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Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

MID-CENTURY MODERN STYLE

Organically shaped, clean-lined and elegantly simple are three terms that well describe vintage mid-century modern American furniture. The style, which emerged primarily in the years following World War II, is characterized by pieces that were conceived and made in an energetic, optimistic spirit by creators who believed that good design was an essential part of good living.

Postwar American architects and designers were animated by new ideas and new technology. The lean, functionalist “International Style” architecture of Le Corbusier and Bauhaus eminences such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius had been promoted in the United States during the ’30s by Philip Johnson and others. New building techniques, such as “post-and-beam” construction, allowed the International-style schemes to be realized on a small scale, in open-plan houses with long walls of glass.

Materials developed for wartime use became available for domestic goods and were incorporated into mid-century modern furniture designs. Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen, who had experimented extensively with molded plywood, eagerly embraced fiberglass for, respectively, pieces such as the La Chaise and the Womb chair. George Nelson and his design team created Bubble lamp shades using a new translucent polymer skin. Harry Bertoia and Isamu Noguchi devised chairs and tables built of wire mesh and wire struts. Materials were re-purposed: the Danish-born designer Jens Risom created a line of chairs that used surplus parachute straps for webbed seats and backrests. The Risom lounge chair was among the first pieces of furniture commissioned and produced by legendary manufacturer Knoll, a chief influence in the rise of modern design in the United States thanks to the work of Florence Knoll, the pioneering architect and designer who made the firm a leader in its field.

As the demand for casual, uncluttered furnishings grew, more mid-century designers caught the spirit.

Classically-oriented creators such as Edward Wormley, house designer for Dunbar Inc., offered such pieces as the sinuous Listen to Me chaise; the British expatriate T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings switched gears, creating items such as the tiered, biomorphic Mesa table. There were Young Turks such as Paul McCobb — who designed holistic groups of sleek, blonde-wood furniture — and Milo Baughman, who espoused a West Coast aesthetic in lushly upholstered chairs and sofas with angular steel frames.

As the collection of vintage mid-century modern chairs, dressers, coffee tables and other furniture on 1stDibs demonstrates, this period saw one of the most delightful and dramatic flowerings of creativity in design history.

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Style: Mid-Century Modern
'Pinocchio' Original Vintage Polish Film Poster by Kazimierz Mann, 1962
Located in Devon, GB
Although Western films were shown during the Soviet era in the Communist Bloc, American publicity materials were banned, allowing the state-commissioned artists to operate with total...
Category

1960s Polish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Queen Elizabeth II Used & Presented Parker Gold Filled Pen from Blackburn Visit
By Parker Brothers
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This gold filled pen was made by Parker Brothers of England in approximately 1955 in the period Mid-Century Modern style. The pen was used by Queen Elizabbeth II to sign her photogra...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Metal, Gold, Sterling Silver

James Bond 'You Only Live Twice' Original Vintage Movie Poster, 1967
Located in Devon, GB
The fifth film in EON Productions' James Bond series and the last of Sean Connery's first stint starring as the suave secret agent, it was announced during filming of 'You Only Live ...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'Superman Flies Again' Original Vintage Australian Daybill Movie Poster, 1954
Located in Devon, GB
Superman jets off on this super rare stone lithography daybill poster for the Australian release of 'Superman Flies Again,' a 1954 compilation of three episodes of the hit US televis...
Category

1950s Australian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Audrey Hepburn, Original Vintage Photograph by Vincent Rossell, Paris, 1962
Located in Devon, GB
From the Personal collection of Audrey Hepburn Audrey Hepburn and William Holden on the set of 'Paris When it Sizzles,' Paris, 1962 by Vincent Rossell Vintage gelatin silver prin...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Other

'Mon Oncle' Original Vintage Movie Poster by Olle Olsson Hagalund, Swedish, 1959
Located in Devon, GB
A rare poster for the first Swedish release of the 1958 Classic French slapstick comedy "Mon Oncle", written, directed, produced by and starring Jacques Tati as the eccentric hero Mo...
Category

1950s Swedish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

James Bond 'You Only Live Twice' Original Vintage Movie Poster, French, 1967
Located in Devon, GB
An exceptionally rare advance French door panel poster issued for the original release of 'You Only Live Twice' in France. The fifth film in EON Productions' James Bond series and th...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Linen, Paper

Trench Art Copper Bullet Paperweight 1944 Australia Sterling Silver Florin
Located in Stamford, CT
World War II trench art paperweight with five copper bullets, one large caliber, four smaller caliber mounted on an Australian Sterling Silver Florin. Showing the portrait of King ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Australian Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Sterling Silver, Copper

Bruce Goff Architectural Portfolio, 1978
Located in Oklahoma City, OK
Rare limited numbered boxed portfolio for the "Art and Architecture of Bruce Goff" exhibit. Yellowstone Art Center. Billings, Montana 1978. Number 366/1500. A perfect addition to any...
Category

Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Distressed Military Surplus Industrial Ice Cooler Tote Chest 1940s US Army
Located in National City, CA
US vintage military surplus ice cooler chest designed in metal, canvas, cotton and leather presents in original distressed condition. circa 1940s. Fabulous industrial prop has tons o...
Category

1940s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Metal

Fabulous Distress US Gov Military Money Tote Bag Leather Canvas with Olive Belt
By US Government Printing Office
Located in National City, CA
US Government Bag Old US military style bag in canvas and leather with olive green cotton belt. 12.5 tall x 8.25 diameter Stamped underneath LIGHTS Incorporated ALHAMBRA, CALIF. M...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Leather, Canvas

'Casablanca' Original First Release Japanese Movie Poster, 1946
Located in Devon, GB
An exceedingly rare and attractive poster for the first Postwar release of 'Casablanca' in Japan, printed only for use in the three theatres where the film premiered on 13th June 194...
Category

1940s Japanese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Czech, 1978
Located in Devon, GB
A fantastically bizarre poster by Jan Weber for the first Czech release of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Although Western films were shown during the Soviet era in the Communist...
Category

1970s Czech Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Mid-Century Modern Sunbeam Advertising Three-Tier Chrome and Wood Étagère
Located in Haddonfield, NJ
Mid-Century Modern Sunbeam appliance three-tier chrome and wood advertising shelving display case. Logo and company slogan is written in red letters on the sides of the shelves: "Su...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Chrome

'Cool Hand Luke' Original Vintage Australian Daybill Movie Poster, 1967
Located in Devon, GB
An uber cool Australian Daybill for the 1967 American prison drama 'Cool Hand Luke' starring Paul Newman in an Oscar nominated performance as the titular anti-hero, a free spirited p...
Category

1960s Australian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Audrey Hepburn "Roman Holiday" Original Vintage US Movie Poster, 1953
Located in Devon, GB
A delightful US window card for Audrey Hepburn's 1953 Hollywood debut "Roman Holiday," the reverse Cinderella story of a frustrated young princess who eludes her attendants for 24 ho...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Audrey Hepburn 'Sabrina' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Swedish, 1955
Located in Devon, GB
An extremely rare poster for the first Swedish release of the classic American romantic comedy 'Sabrina' in 1955. Undoubtedly one of the best poster designs for this title, we have n...
Category

Mid-20th Century Swedish Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

"Phoenix Recumbent" Silver Print from Original Negative by Imogen Cunningham
Located in Palm Desert, CA
This photograph by Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976), titled "Phoenix Recumbent", is a silver print from the original negative. The woman in the photo, Phoenix, was a friend of Imogen in...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Silver Leaf

Gas Pump-Form Media Cabinet
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Amazing gas Pump-Form Media cabinet, Texaco, in great condition. American, 1960s.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Metal

Italian Mid-Century Floor Electric White Metal and Plastic Popcorn Machine, 1960
Located in MIlano, IT
Italian mid-century floor electric white metal and plastic popcorn machine, 1960s Floor standing electric popcorn machine with square base in cream white painted metal and upper str...
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Metal

Original 1964 Beatles Car Mascots Bobblehead Set with Box and Instruction Sheet
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This complete boxed set of Beatles bobbleheads or "Bobb'n heads"'are the original 1964 edition produced in Japan for the distributor Car Mascots of the United States. The figures are...
Category

Mid-20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Ceramic

Bob Dylan Original Vintage Poster by Milton Glaser, 1967
Located in Devon, GB
One of America's most celebrated graphic designers and creator of the I (HEART) NY logo, Milton Glaser was commissioned by Columbia Records to design a bonus insert poster for inclus...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'La Dolce Vita' Original Vintage US One Sheet Movie Poster, 1961
Located in Devon, GB
Opening with the striking panorama of a statue of Christ suspended by helicopter, flying across the city of Rome, Federico Fellini’s epic satire 'La Dolce Vita' charted seven episode...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

1950s Italian Zodiac Rotary Floor Fan produced by San Giorgio
By San Giorgio, Italy
Located in Dallas, TX
This elusive fan was produced in Italy between 1950 and 1959. It is called the Zodiaco or "Zodiac" fan. The robin's egg blue is the best color they were ever available in and it is a...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Steel

Queen Elizabeth II Signed Letter for the Presentation of Standards 1963 & Photos
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This grouping includes a framed letter from Buckingham Palace signed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1963 for the Presentation of Standards, with two photos of the ceremny and a...
Category

Mid-20th Century English Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' French Movie Poster by Bernard Lancy, 1951
Located in Devon, GB
With a retelling of a German fairytale by the Brothers Grimm, Walt Disney introduced a sceptical America to his first full-length cel animated feature film in 1937. Hailed as a landm...
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'The Jungle Book' Original Vintage British Double Crown Movie Poster, 1967
Located in Devon, GB
An incredibly rare and charming British Double Crown poster for the 1967 Walt Disney animated classic 'The Jungle Book,' based on Rudyard Kipling's 1894 book of the same name, and th...
Category

1960s British Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

The Beatles 'A Hard Day's Night' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Japanese, 1964
Located in Devon, GB
A rare and sought after Japanese B2 poster for The Beatles' first full-length feature film 'A Hard Day's Night,' which followed the fab four over an anarchic 36 hours in London at th...
Category

1960s Japanese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

1960s Atomic Energy Commission Building Office Logo Wall Plaque AEC IAEA Hoover
Located in Hyattsville, MD
The AEC seal is one of those great totems of the atomic age. A largely symmetrical and stylized representation of an atom (the highly toxic beryllium), it is strikingly more straight...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Aluminum

1960s Robert Berks Unique Sculpture of John F Kennedy JFK Bust Miami Beach Award
By Robert Berks
Located in Hyattsville, MD
This is a rare 1965 presentation award bust of JFK. A wonderful piece of mid-century historical decor from an important American sculptor, Robert Berks. His work can be scene through...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Resin

Large Mid-Century Plaster 'Scenicruiser' Greyhound Bus Advertising Display Model
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This large and substantial molded plaster model of the iconic Mid-Century Modern Greyhound 'Scenicruiser' bus has no maker's marks, but presumed to be made in the United States in ap...
Category

Mid-20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Plaster, Wood

'Not Of This Earth' Original US One Sheet Movie Poster by Albert Kallis, 1957
Located in Devon, GB
A Classic US one sheet poster for the 1957 B-movie thriller "Not Of This Earth," one of the earliest sci-fi movies made by prolific low-budget producer/director Roger Corman in what ...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

1950s Aluminum on Wood General Electric Logo, Sign Plaque
Located in Buffalo, NY
1950s aluminum on wood General Electric logo, sign plaque. Salvaged from General Electric Buffalo NY office, stunning, original plaque, cast aluminum depicting famous G E Logo, mount...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Aluminum

Collection of Vintage Shaving Brushes
By Gillette and Johnston
Located in Buffalo, NY
A collection of 17 distinctive vintage shaving brushes from the 1940s-1950s. Great design, colors, bakelite, carved plastic, wood. Horsehair, nylon, wonderful display or objects, sev...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Nylon, Plastic, Bakelite, Wood

Yamaha Casette Deck Mario Bellini
Located in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Yamaha casette deck designed by Mario Bellini in 1974. Working with 100V or DC12V. Historical audio equipment which is one of MOMA permanent collection. Inclined body has control ...
Category

1970s Japanese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Plastic

Original Tourism Posters Promoting Mexico 68 Olympic Games Bursting with Colors
Located in Mexico, DF
Striking original large posters printed for promoting tourism to Mexico´s 68 Olympic Games. Each poster is dedicated to a specific Mexican craft or tradition, such as "Fireworks", "P...
Category

1960s Mexican Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'Batman' Original Vintage Australian Daybill Movie Poster, 1966
Located in Devon, GB
"For the first time on the motion picture screen in color!" Printed in stunning stone lithography, this fabulously kitsch and colourful Australian Daybill poster advertised the first...
Category

1960s Australian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Linen, Paper

Midcentury Las Vegas Strip Neon Bail Bonds Sign Art
Located in Rio Vista, CA
Large, old Las Vegas strip neon sign from the midcentury. Centered by red neon letters spelling Bail Bonds. The frame is constructed from wood covered with zinc sheet metal. There ar...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Metal

Mid-Century Industrial Fiberglass Helmet / Hard Hat Collection
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A set of five mid-century fiberglass helmets typifying the power of American and building after world war two. Each piece has a different design and style but accomplishes the same...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Fiberglass

Vintage Sculpted Brass Oil Dispenser Thumb Oiler Tiny Can Collectible Decor
Located in National City, CA
Vintage Sculpted Brass Oil Dispenser Thumb Oiler Tiny Can Collectible Decor Measures: 1.88 diameter x 2.75 H inches Original vintage condition unrestored piece. See images.  
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Metal, Brass

James Bond 'Thunderball' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Japanese, 1974
Located in Devon, GB
In Sean Connery's fourth outing as suave secret agent James Bond, 'Thunderball' saw the British spy dispatched to the Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by Spectre, culmi...
Category

1970s Japanese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

St. Peter Cathedral Church Souvenir Building Vintage, Italy, Rome, 1960s
Located in Nuernberg, DE
A 1960s souvenir building architectural model. Some wear with a nice patina, but this is old-age. Made of metal. A beautiful nice desktop item or just a display item in your collecti...
Category

Mid-20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Metal

Antique Horse-Collar, 1930s, Czechoslovakia
Located in Prague 8, CZ
This horse collar was made in the 1930s in Czechoslovakia. It is made of wood, iron and genuine leather. An interesting decoration. Measures: Height: 86 cm Width: 42 cm Dept...
Category

Mid-20th Century Czech Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Iron

1950s Midcentury Shortwave Radio by Phillips
Located in San Diego, CA
This cool vintage original radio shortwave by Phillips, circa 1950s with bakelite knobs in cream color case, the radio works but it takes a while to warm up due to bulbs, we are sell...
Category

20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Bakelite

Paul Newman 'Hud' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Japanese, 1963
Located in Devon, GB
Evoking the wide, flat landscape and beating sun of the American West, this rare knockout poster for the original Japanese release of revisionist Western ‘Hud’ places Paul Newman cen...
Category

1960s Japanese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Linen, Paper

'Frankenstein' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Belgian, 1950s
Located in Devon, GB
A spine chilling small-format Belgian poster for a 1950s re-release of the Classic 1931 Universal horror 'Frankenstein,' the most iconic of the many film adaptations of Mary Shelley'...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Italian Midcentury Walnut-Colored Filofort Sewing Chest of Drawers, 1960s
Located in MIlano, IT
Italian midcentury walnut-colored Filofort sewing chest of drawers, 1960s Filofort sewing chest of drawers from 1960s with walnut-colored light wood structure, unfortunately without...
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Walnut

Paul Newman 'The Hustler' Original Vintage Movie Poster, American, 1964
Located in Devon, GB
One of the few re-release US One Sheets that is preferred to the original by collectors due to its superior artwork, this eye-catching poster was issued for a 1964 re-release of the ...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'The Great Escape' Original Vintage US One Sheet Movie Poster, 1963
Located in Devon, GB
Best known for his action packed James Bond posters, American artist Frank McCarthy's dynamic design for John Sturges' spectacular 1963 wartime adventure 'The Great Escape' features ...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Rita Hayworth 'Affair in Trinidad' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Finnish, 1952
Located in Devon, GB
An exceedingly rare and vibrant poster for the Finnish release of Rita Hayworth's 1952 film noir "Affair in Trinidad." The movie marked Hayworth's return to the screen after a three ...
Category

1950s Finnish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'Ulysses' Original Vintage Movie Poster by Wiktor Gorka, Polish, 1957
Located in Devon, GB
A simplified adaptation of Homer's 'Odyssey,' the 1954 Italian fantasy-adventure film 'Ulysses' follows the warrior king on his wandering ten year journey home to Ithaca after the Tr...
Category

1950s Polish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Fabulous Vintage Industrial Collectible US Military WWII Fuel Gas Tanks Set of 3
Located in National City, CA
Wonderful collectible item listed as one set of three (3) military fuel gas tanks with original vintage patina. All tanks have the original matching closing caps. The USA, circa 194...
Category

1940s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Steel

Audrey Hepburn, Original Vintage Photograph by Vincent Rossell, Paris, 1962
Located in Devon, GB
From the Personal collection of Audrey Hepburn Audrey Hepburn on the set of 'Paris When it Sizzles,' Paris, 1962 by Vincent Rossell Vintage gelatin silver print Photographer's c...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Other

James Bond 'From Russia With Love' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Japanese, 1972
Located in Devon, GB
In Sean Connery's second outing as James Bond, 'From Russia With Love' saw the British spy battling a secret crime organisation known as Spectre. The follow-up to 007's 1962 debut in...
Category

1970s Japanese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'The Man with the Golden Arm' Original Movie Poster by Saul Bass, British, 1956
Located in Devon, GB
Based on a novel by Nelson Algren, Otto Preminger's controversial and groundbreaking 1955 drama "The Man with the Golden Arm" starred Frank Sinatra in an Oscar nominated performance ...
Category

1950s British Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Mid-20th Century Stout Advertising Bottle
Located in London, GB
Mid- 20th Century Stout advertising bottle Made from papier Mache this oversized Mackeson Stout advertising bottle would have sat in the window or on a countertop of a public hou...
Category

1950s British Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

James Bond 'Thunderball' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Japanese, 1965
Located in Devon, GB
In Sean Connery's fourth outing as suave secret agent James Bond, 'Thunderball' saw the British spy dispatched to the Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by Spectre, culmi...
Category

1960s Japanese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Audrey Hepburn, Vintage Photograph by Vincent Rossell, Paris, 1962
Located in Devon, GB
From the Personal Collection of Audrey Hepburn Audrey Hepburn in the bathtub on the set of 'Paris When it Sizzles,' Paris, 1962 by Vincent Rossell Vintage gelatin silver print ...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Other

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