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Heywood-Wakefield Co. Furniture

Created by the 19th-century merger of two venerable Massachusetts furniture makers, Heywood-Wakefield was one of the largest and most successful companies of its kind in the United States. In its early decades, the firm thrived by crafting affordable and hugely popular wicker pieces in traditional and historical styles. In the midst of the Great Depression, however, Heywood-Wakefield reinvented itself, creating instead the first modernist furnishings to be widely embraced in American households.

The Heywoods were five brothers from Gardner, Massachusetts, who in 1826 started a business making wooden chairs and tables in their family shed. As their company grew, they moved into the manufacture of furniture with steam-bent wood frames and cane or wicker seats, backs and sides. In 1897, they joined forces with a local rival, the Wakefield Rattan Company, whose founder, Cyrus Wakefield, got his start on the Boston docks buying up lots of discarded rattan, which was used as cushioning material in the holds of cargo ships, and transforming it into furnishings. The conglomerate initially did well with both early American style and woven pieces, but taste began to change at the turn of the 20th century and wicker furniture fell out of fashion. In 1930, the company brought in designer Gilbert Rohde, a champion of the Art Deco style. Before departing in 1932 to lead the Michigan furniture maker Herman Miller, Rohde created well-received sleek, bentwood chairs for Heywood-Wakefield and gave its colonial pieces a touch of Art Deco flair.

Committed to the new style, Heywood-Wakefield commissioned work from an assortment of like-minded designers, including Alfons Bach, W. Joseph Carr, Leo Jiranek and Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, a Russian nobleman who had made his name in Europe creating elegant automotive body designs.

In 1936, the company introduced its “Streamline Modern” group of furnishings, presenting a look that would define the company’s wares for another 30 years. The buoyantly bright, blond wood — maple initially, later birch — came in finishes such as amber “wheat” and pink-tinted “champagne.” The forms of the pieces, at once light and substantial, with softly contoured edges and little adornment beyond artful drawer pulls and knobs, were featured in lines with names such as “Sculptura,” “Crescendo” and “Coronet.” It was forward-looking, optimistic and built to last — a draw for middle-class buyers in the Baby Boom years. 

By the 1960s, Heywood-Wakefield began to be seen as “your parents’ furniture.” The last of the Modern line came out in 1966; the company went bankrupt in 1981. The truly sturdy pieces have weathered the intervening years well, having found a new audience for their blithe and happy sophistication.

Find a collection of vintage Heywood-Wakefield desks, chairs, tables and other furniture on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Heywood-Wakefield Co.
Dealer: Mainly Art Vintage Modern Furniture
Encore Mid Century Side Table by Heywood Wakefield
By Heywood-Wakefield Co.
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A well crafted solid maple wood lamp table with lower storage area for your reading material sitting on sculptural legs. Manufactured by the Heywood Wakefield furniture company model...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Heywood-Wakefield Co. Furniture

Materials

Maple

Sculptura Smaller Dresser Chest by Herrmann / Jiranek for Heywood Wakefield
By Heywood-Wakefield Co.
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A solid maple small scaled single three drawer dresser chest with sculptural ribbon flowing designed drawer fronts . The handles are integrated into the drawers leaving the lines of ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Heywood-Wakefield Co. Furniture

Materials

Maple

Sculptura Nightstand M778 for Wakefield
By Heywood-Wakefield Co.
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A nicely crafted solid maple wood nightstand with open storage space and a single drawer sitting on an X base . Manufactured by the Heywood Wakefield furniture company model # M778 i...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Heywood-Wakefield Co. Furniture

Materials

Maple

Mid Century Encore Headboard by Heywood Wakefield
By Heywood-Wakefield Co.
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A full sized Mid Century headboard in the champagne finish with sliding double doors having tapered solid brass pulls . The doors can be position...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Heywood-Wakefield Co. Furniture

Materials

Wood

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Heywood-wakefield Co. furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Heywood-Wakefield Co. furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Heywood-Wakefield Co. furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Heywood-Wakefield Co. were created in the mid-century modern style in north america during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Design Institute America, Pace Collection, and Brown Saltman. Prices for Heywood-Wakefield Co. furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $325 and can go as high as $29,500, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $2,295.
Questions About Heywood-Wakefield Co. Furniture
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Heywood-Wakefield furniture is an American brand founded in 1897. The mid-century modern furniture manufacturer uses sustainable, durable Northern Yellow birch, which gives its pieces a rich yellow color. Shop a collection of Heywood-Wakefield furniture from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Heywood Wakefield furniture is made of solid wood, which means the best approach to cleaning it is to use a damp cloth and a small amount of mild dish soap for clean-up. Do not get the wood overly wet or it can warp or wet spots may develop. Shop a collection of Heywood Wakefield furniture from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2023
    Heywood-Wakefield closed in 1981 when the company went bankrupt. The furniture maker is well known for their rattan and wicker furniture as well as for their blond wood casegoods made from maple and birch wood. On 1stDibs, find a selection of Heywood-Wakefield furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 1, 2024
    To identify Heywood-Wakefield furniture, search for the maker's mark. You will typically find it on a paper label or stamped directly onto an inconspicuous part of the piece, such as under the seat or tabletop. Early pieces usually display the company's name on its own, while those manufactured after 1949 will often have an eagle logo along with the Heywood-Wakefield wordmark. If questions about authentication remain, a certified appraiser or experienced antiques dealer can assist you. Explore a diverse assortment of Heywood-Wakefield furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2023
    To identify Heywood-Wakefield wicker furniture, look for the maker's mark. It will either be printed on a paper label or stamped onto the piece in an inconspicuous area like the bottom or back. Pieces made after 1949 normally have the company name positioned inside of an eagle. Earlier furnishings will likely just show the maker's name. If you're unsure whether a specific piece is authentic, a certified appraiser or experienced antique dealer can assist you. Shop a range of Heywood-Wakefield furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, Heywood-Wakefield uses solid wood to create its furniture. The lumber used for the designs is sustainable and harvested from farms in New Hampshire. You can shop a collection of Heywood-Wakefield furniture from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2023
    Heywood-Wakefield started making furniture in 1897. The company formed from the merger of two rattan furniture manufacturers, Heywood Brothers and Wakefield Company. Both companies were in Massachusetts. On 1stDibs, find a collection of Heywood-Wakefield furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2023
    Heywood-Wakefield furniture was made from a variety of woods. However, the furniture maker's acclaimed blond wood casegoods were made from birch and maple wood. On 1stDibs, find a selection of Heywood-Wakefield furniture.

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