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Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Organically-shaped, clean-lined and elegantly simple are three terms that well describe 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.

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 American furniture on 1stDibs demonstrates, this period saw one of the most delightful and dramatic flowerings of creativity in design history.

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St. Peter Cathedral Church Souvenir Building Vintage, Italy, Rome, 1960s
Located in Nürnberg, 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

Mid-Century Modern Fornasetti Style Metal Tray with Confederate Money Notes
Located in Haddonfield, NJ
Painted metal tray with scalloped edges bearing the confederate money notes of early America. This mid-size serving tray is perfect for serving your guests. The painted gold trim and...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Sheet Metal

I Love Lucy MCM Old Fashioned Sculptural Glass TV Tube 1950s Vintage, USA
By RCA
Located in National City, CA
For your consideration: Mid-Century Modern old fashioned sculptural glass TV tube Days of I Love Lucy vintage sculptural glass television tube, 1950s Designed for RCA and Curtis Ma...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Glass

Collection of Vintage Shaving Brushes
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

Audrey Hepburn "Roman Holiday" Original Vintage Movie Poster, American, 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

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

Midcentury Modern CGE 'Compagnia Generale Elettricità' Cast Iron Ceiling Fan
Located in Firenze, Tuscany
Made from General Electric in Italy. To be used only with 220 Volts Perfectly functioning and balanced with 3 new wooden blades. 220 V - 80 watts - 19 Kg. Dimmer and hook to the ...
Category

1930s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Iron, Brass

Vintage Norseman Style Polished Chrome Viking Helmet
Located in Haddonfield, NJ
Post modern polished chrome Viking helmet. The only known Viking helmet with the possibility of reconstruction was found in Norway. This great archeological find inspired the Norsem...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Chrome

'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

Vintage Note/Phone Number Keeper Made in Japan
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Telephone number keeper or just a note keeper notepad from the 19960Â’s made in Japan, the brand is Lion. Metal with vinyl accents. Measurements: 6.5 deep x 4 wide x 1 high (i...
Category

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

Materials

Metal

Red Arrow Reflect O Flare Light Vintage Car Safety Device Compact Road Hazard
Located in National City, CA
Vintage automotive safety road hazard gear compact reflect o flare for vintage car enthusiasts in reflector red, midcentury period. New Jersey USA (model 96) Red paint has some oxi...
Category

1940s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Metal

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

Industrial Midcentury Nail Pliers Pincers Tool Rustic Steel Iron Patina 1960s
Located in National City, CA
Vintage tool nail pliers pincers pullers. Made in the USA. 1960s Signs of vintage wear and tons of character present. Great design and form. Wonderful prop. Dimensions: 12.25 H x...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Steel, Iron

WWII Military Surplus Large Metal Latch Lock Box Aluminum Vintage in Army Green
Located in National City, CA
Fabulous Militaria surplus collectible WWII military aluminum metal box original vintage khaki olive army green industrial midcentury period A vintage military box made of solid alu...
Category

1940s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Metal, Aluminum

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

Vintage Crimson & White Harvard University Scarf / Muffler by J. August Company
Located in San Diego, CA
Vintage crimson and white Harvard University striped scarf / muffler by J. August Company, Harvard Square, circa 1950s. The muffler is 100% wool and was handcrafted in England. The p...
Category

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

Materials

Wool

Harry Bertoia Sonambient Sculpture Sound Record Collection
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A set of ten sealed unplayed Sonambient LP records by Harry Bertoia of his sound sculptures these ten from the period albums trace his different handcrafted sculptures making the sou...
Category

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

Materials

Plastic

L’Archeologie Larousse Paris 1969
Located in CH
L’Archeologie Larousse Paris 1969.
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'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

'Frankenstein' Original Vintage US One Sheet Movie Poster, 1960s
Located in Devon, GB
"The Monster that terrorized the world!" A spine chilling poster for a 1960s US re-release of the classic 1931 Universal horror 'Frankenstein,' the most iconic of the many film adapt...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

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 Modern Polished Brass NY New York Display Sculpture Table Decoration
Located in Miami, FL
Mid-Century Modern polished decorative heavy Brass New York big NY sculpture, window display or table decor. Great for a Store or Showroom.   
Category

Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Brass

Midcentury Era Winchester Molded Ammunition Advertising Store Wall Display
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This Winchester ammunition store display was made in the United States in circa 1965 in the period Mid-Century Modern style. This wall display is composed entirely of a thin molded p...
Category

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

Materials

Plastic

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

Paper

'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

'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

Midcentury Anatomical "Life Like" Medical Model of the Male Torso by Nystrom
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This anatomical medical model was produced by the Nystrom Company of Chicago, U.S.A. in circa 1969 in the period midcentury style. The model is composed entirely of molded rubber of ...
Category

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

Materials

Rubber

'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

Vintage Detmer Woolens Advertising Store Display or Salesman's Sample Box
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This promotional advertising store display box was made for the Detmer Woolens Company of the United States in circa 1945. This box was either sent to various clothing retailers or t...
Category

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

Materials

Paper

10 "VOTE" 1970s-1980s New Old Stock Vintage Election Themed Neck Ties
Located in Philadelphia, PA
A group of 10 vintage VOTE Neckties. With a red, white, and blue striped pattern that includes stars, liberty bells, donkeys and elephants. Likely from the 1970s or early 1980s...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Cotton, Polyester

Cartier 1950s Brass Copper Enigma Box
Located in Atlanta, GA
Sophisticated 1950s copper and brass decorative box by Cartier. This is a puzzle box that uses Leonardo da Vinci's specular writing technique*. If you look at the box in the normal w...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Metal, Brass, Copper

James Dean 'Rebel Without A Cause' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Finnish, 1956
Located in Devon, GB
A rare poster for the first Finnish release of the Classic 1955 teenage drama "Rebel Without A Cause," with artwork by Engel. Starring James Dean in his most celebrated role as a tro...
Category

1950s Finnish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

MGM's "Ziegfeld Follies" Original Vintage Australian Daybill Movie Poster, 1945
Located in Devon, GB
“Greatest production since the birth of motion pictures!” A stunning stone lithography poster for the 1945 MGM musical extravaganza "Ziegfeld Follies," with artwork inspired by pin-u...
Category

1940s Australian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Bob Dylan & Joan Baez Original Vintage US Tour Poster by Eric Von Schmidt, 1965
Located in Devon, GB
A rare and sought after tour blank poster for Joan Baez and Bob Dylan's brief joint acoustic tour of the US East Coast in March and April 1965. Friend and fellow folk musician Eric V...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Italian Midcentury Brass Plate and Wood Structure Weight Scale, 1950s
Located in MIlano, IT
Italian midcentury brass plate and wood structure weight scale, 1950s Wooden structure weight scale, very rare and typical, entirely decomposable, with brass plate and arms attached...
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Brass

Naugahyde Cute Nauga Monster Doll 1960s Adv. Promotion for Uniroyal Pleather
Located in Miami, FL
The Nauga was a fictional creature created for an advertising campaign to promote the faux leather material Naugahyde, trademarked in 1936, was developed Louis and Kurt Weirs. The Na...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Naugahyde

The Beatles 'A Hard Day's Night' Vintage Australian Daybill Movie Poster, 1964
Located in Devon, GB
A stunning stone lithography 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 the heigh...
Category

1960s Australian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

ER II Limed Oak 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Stool Green Velvet Upholstery
Located in London, GB
We are delighted to offer for sale this lovely and highly collectable ER II 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation stool with regal velvet upholstery A very good looking and well-made...
Category

1950s English Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Velvet, Oak

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

Vintage Ashtray US Oberammergau US Army School
Located in San Diego, CA
Vintage ceramic ashtray with Imagery of the US Oberammergau US Army School established in Germany in the 1960s. Ashtray is in good condition.
Category

1960s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Ceramic

Vintage WW2 Era Genco "Four Aces" Military Pilot Pinball Machine Back Glass
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This vintage back glass was made by Genco of the United States for their 'Four Aces" military inspired pinball arcade game. The back glass is presumably silk screened in multiple col...
Category

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

Materials

Glass

The Beatles 'Help!' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Yugoslavian, 1966
Located in Devon, GB
A rare poster for the first Yugoslavian release of the 1965 Beatles romp 'Help!', featuring bold lettering and paper-cut silhouettes of the Fab Four and their instruments in deep red...
Category

1960s Bosnian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'Casablanca' Vintage Japanese Movie Poster, 1962
Located in Devon, GB
"Here's looking at you kid!" A knockout Ingrid Bergman takes centre stage on this beautiful B2 poster for the 1962 Japanese re-release of the enduring Hollywood classic 'Casablanca,'...
Category

1960s Japanese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Serata Futurista, F.T Marinetti, circa 1914
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Serata Futurista, F.T Marinetti, circa 1914 In good original condition, with minor wear consistent with age and use, preserving a beautiful patina, with a bit of color fading as s...
Category

1910s French 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

1950s Italian Zodiac Rotary Floor Fan produced by San Giorgio
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

'Moulin Rouge' Original Vintage Movie Poster by Lucjan Jagodzinski, Polish, 1957
Located in Devon, GB
Based on the novel by Pierre La Mure, the 1952 British film 'Moulin Rouge' is a fictionalized account of the life of street artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec as he pursues his art in ...
Category

1950s Polish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

'One Million Years B.C.' Vintage Australian Daybill Movie Poster, 1966
Located in Devon, GB
Screen siren Raquel Welch sizzles in "mankind's first bikini' on this striking Australian Daybill poster for Hammer Films unforgettable prehistoric fantasy adventure One Million Year...
Category

1960s Australian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Buster Keaton's 'The General' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Hungarian, 1964
Located in Devon, GB
A bold and playful paper-cut design by Tibor Jakfalvy for the 1964 Hungarian re-release of Buster Keaton's 1926 silent comedy classic 'The General.' Inspired by the true story of the...
Category

1960s Hungarian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Andy Warhol's 'Flesh' Original Vintage Movie Poster, French, 1968
Located in Devon, GB
Conceived by Andy Warhol and young filmmaker Paul Morrissey while Warhol was recovering from gunshot wounds, 'Flesh' was the first of Warhol's experimental and avant-garde films to b...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Poterie Du Mûrier Plaque with Mulberry Leaf Logo by Gustave Reynaud, circa 1950s
Located in London, GB
French Ceramic Poterie Du Mûrier Sign with Mulberry Leaf Logo (circa 1950s) by Gustave Reynaud. Reynaud started his pottery in the famous town of Vallauris in the South of France. Th...
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Ceramic

Midcentury Era Chesterfield Cigarette Metal Tobacciana Advertising Sign
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This midcentury period embossed and painted tin advertising sign was made for the Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company in circa 1965 to promote their Chesterfield cigarette brand. The s...
Category

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

Materials

Metal

'Le Mepris' Original Vintage French Movie Poster by Georges Allard, 1963
Located in Devon, GB
At the height of her fame, Brigitte Bardot is every inch the devastating screen siren on Georges Allard's sumptuous and sought after poster for the country of origin release of Jean-...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Paper

Carpenter Scribe Marking Gauge Vintage Wood Working Tool in Wood and Brass
Located in National City, CA
For your consideration: Carpenter scribe marking gauge vintage wood working tool in wood and brass Dimensions: 7 1/8" L x 2 7/8" x 1 7/8 Original unrestored vintage condition i...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Brass

7-Up Wet & Wild Trash Can Pop Art Soda Can Metal Garbage
Located in National City, CA
For fun: Vintage 7up wet & wild trash can 1970s metal soda collectible advertisement garbage can 7 up logo soda can trash can rustic pop Art Decor Andy Warhol Pop Art style decor ...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Historical Memorabilia

Materials

Metal

Charlie Chaplin 'The Champion' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Swedish, 1944
Located in Devon, GB
A bold, eye-catching poster for a 1944 Swedish re-release of the 1915 Charlie Chaplin silent boxing comedy short 'The Champion,' starring Chaplin as the sparring partner who wins the...
Category

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

Materials

Paper

Audrey Hepburn 'Sabrina' Original Vintage Movie Poster, Swedish, 1955
Located in Devon, GB
Swedish one sheet Backed on linen Printed in Sweden by Boras Kliche & Litografiska AB., Boras An extremely rare poster for the first Swedish release of 'Sabrina' in 1955, undoub...
Category

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

Materials

Paper

Mid-Century Modern American Duplex Commercial Coffee Grinder & Store Display
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This commercial coffee grinder was made by the American Duplex Company of New York city in circa 1965 in the period Mid-Century Modern style. This is American Duplex's Grindmaster 50...
Category

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

Materials

Metal, Metal