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Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

MID-CENTURY MODERN STYLE

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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Style: Mid-Century Modern
The Natural House Frank Lloyd Wright
Located in Richmond, VA
Vintage hardback coffee table book featuring the concept for a natural house by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. By Frank Lloyd Wright, published in 1954. First edition, 223 pages. "...
Category

Early 20th Century Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

Large Vintage Wooden Child's Toy Truck
Located in Porto, PT
Large vintage wooden child's toy truck in a wonderful original condition.
Category

1960s Portuguese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Rubber, Wood

Carl Auböck Model #4500 'Lucky Pig' Brass Figurine Keyring
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck Model #4500 'Lucky Pig' brass figurine keyring. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural object is hand fabricated in polished brass. Price is p...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Model #5663 'Shell' Brass Figurine Keyring
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck model #5663 'Shell' brass figurine keyring. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural object is hand fabricated in polished brass. Price is per it...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Brass

Virgin Mary Mid-Century European Wall Decor, 1970s
Located in Chicago, IL
European ceramic wall art depicting the Virgin Mary and child Jesus. Highly detailed figures draped in red and hand-painted with semi-gloss glaze. A one-of-a-kind, handcrafted piece ...
Category

1960s European Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Clay

Carl Auböck Model #5608 'Donkey' Brass Figurine Keyring
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck model #5608 'Donkey' brass figurine keyring. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural object is hand fabricated in polished brass. Price is per i...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Brass

1940s Jaeger Desk Top Barometer and Thermometer
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
1940s French Jaeger Baromètre and thermometer. Good vintage condition.
Category

1940s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Brass

Domicilium Decoratus Decorating Hard Cover Book by Kelly Wearstler
Located in Oakland Park, FL
Domicilium Decoratus decorating hard cover book by Kelly Wearstler Kelly Wearstler is the author of Modern Glamour and the founder of the Los Angeles architectural interior design f...
Category

Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

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 Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

Modernist Japanese Iron Lidded Vessel
Located in San Diego, CA
Iron vessel from Japan. Great form. Could be used as a incense burner of ashtray. Wonderful patina.
Category

1950s Japanese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Iron

Mid-Century Modern Chrome Adjustable Desk Light
Located in Nantucket, MA
Mid-Century Modern chrome desk light. It adjusts up and down using the lever and the open work shade portion tilts up and down. It takes a European base bulb, which are easy to find....
Category

Mid-20th Century European Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Chrome

Carl Auböck Handcrafted Midcentury Hand Brass Figurine Key Ring Chain Holder
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming modernist hand keyring / key holder / keychain, designed by Carl Auböck in the 1950s. Handmade of solid polished brass by Werkstätte Auböck in Austria. Fully stamped and m...
Category

20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Handcrafted Midcentury Brass Heart Figurine Key Ring Chain Holder
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming modernist heart keyring / keyholder / keychain, designed by Carl Auböck in the 1950s. Handmade of solid polished brass by Werkstätte Auböck in Austria. Fully stamped and m...
Category

20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Handcrafted Midcentury Hand Figurine Key Ring Chain Holder
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming modernist Hand keyring / keyholder / keychain, designed by Carl Auböck in the 1950s. Handmade of solid polished brass by Werkstätte Auböck in Austria. Fully stamped and ma...
Category

20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Handcrafted Midcentury Foot Brass Figurine Key Ring Chain Holder
Located in Vienna, AT
A charming modernist foot keyring / keyholder / keychain, designed by Carl Auböck in the 1950s. Handmade of solid polished brass by Werkstätte Auböck in Austria. Fully stamped and ma...
Category

20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Brass

Domicilium Decoratus Decorative Book by K. Wearstler
Located in Oakland Park, FL
Domicilium Decoratus Decorative Book by K. Wearstler An acclaimed interior designer and author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller Modern Glamour, Kelly Wearstler presents sumptuous...
Category

Early 2000s North American Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

1960s Tin Toy Servis Pick Up truck with ladder by Nekur, Ne-Kur , Turkey
Located in Antwerp, BE
1960s lithographed Tin Toy Car - Tin Toy Truck. A Ford Service - Servis truck , Pick up Van with ladder by Nekur , Ne-Kur Turkey. Vintage Toys - Tin Toys - Service Trucks - Lad...
Category

Mid-20th Century Unknown Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Tin

Interiors for Contemporary Living 1st Edition, 1960
By The Architectural Press Co.
Located in London, GB
Published by The Architectural Press Co. 1st Edition, 1960 This beautiful book is a comprehensive survey of modern European ideas on interior decoration. More than 220 photograph...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

Vintage Handmade Scrap Metal Design Robot Statue German, 1970s
Located in Nuernberg, DE
A handmade scrap metal robot statue. Some parts are rusty some with patina. A nice architectural sculpture for every living room or men’s cave. Some scratches and a nice patina due t...
Category

1970s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Metal

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 Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Other

1950s Midcentury Jacaranda Geometric Faceted Humidor Dispensary Apothecary Box
Located in Hyattsville, MD
Heavy solid Brazilian rosewood lidded jar/box, weighing 1 lb. 11 oz. Possibly was designed as a humidor but does not smell of tobacco. Unmarked.
Category

1950s Brazilian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Rosewood

Midcentury Three-Piece Lucite Powder Room Set
Located in Bridgeport, CT
An amazing group of three vintage Lucite accessories for the powder room; wastebasket, tissue holder and soap-dish. Each piece has meticulously embedded slices of pearl shells that a...
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Lucite

Industrial Philips Speaker
Located in Antwerp, BE
An Industrial Philips speaker.
Category

1950s Dutch Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Metal

Mid-Century Modern Record Player LP Vinyl Album Metal Holder Rack Stand Table
Located in New York, NY
A Mid-Century Modern black record player and LP vinyl album metal holder rack stand table, circa mid-20th century, USA. Piece can support player and albums with more storage space at...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Metal

'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 Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

Religious Plaque or Icon of Mary in Brass on Wood
Located in San Diego, CA
A very nice and simple religious plaque or icon of Mary the mother of Jesus. The piece is bas-relief in brass on a wood plaque, circa 1960s.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Brass

Large Gilt Wall Crucifix, Glazed Ceramic, Handmade, Belgium
Located in Antwerp, BE
Large 37 cm tall wall crucifix in ceramic, made in Belgium in the 1950s.     
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Ceramic

Dunhill Black Leather and Cork Humidor
Located in New York, NY
A black leather and cork cigar humidor by Dunhill of England. Signed. Portugal, circa 1950. Made of cork with black leather banding and removable cover. Underside of cover incl...
Category

1950s Portuguese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Glass, Leather, Cork

Industrial Military Ice Chest
Located in National City, CA
For your consideration a vintage military ice chest in the original vintage condition. Great Industrial prop with great character. It can be used as an ice chest or catch all. ...
Category

1940s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Metal

S.S. United States Aluminum Grand Stairway Hand Rails
Located in Hudson, NY
These aluminum handrails which once graced the center of the grand staircase of the S S United States exemplifies the sophisticated sleek aesthetic of Mid-Century American design. W...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Aluminum

Limited Edition Dalí Gold Necklace and Bracelet 'The Man and the Dolphin'
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Limited edition Salvador Dalí gold necklace and bracelet "The man and the dolphin". Manufactured by Exmundart, Spain, circa 1950. In original condition, with minor wear consistent ...
Category

1970s Spanish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Gold

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 Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

Los Angeles Then and Now by Rosemary Lord Book
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Los Angeles Then and Now Lord, Rosemary. Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is the capital of show business, where to be young and beautiful is to have it all. Los Angeles Then & Now...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

French Sculptural Bronze Bracelet 'La Manif" by Line Vautrin
Located in Atlanta, GA
A gilt bronze bracelet by Line Vautrin (1913-1997), circa 1945-46. The design is known as "La Manif" or "La Manifestation", which features a chain of arm-linked figurines. Monogramme...
Category

1940s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Bronze

The Queen Mother and Her Family by Trevor Hall, British Heritage Hardcover Book
Located in North Hollywood, CA
The Queen Mother and Her Family by Trevor Hall, British Heritage Press, 1981. With a forward by the Duke of Beaufort, this is a wonderful book full of the most interesting photos fr...
Category

Late 20th Century English Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

European Ceramic Crucifix in Black, Brown, Beige, 1960s
Located in Chicago, IL
European mid-century ceramic crucifix hand-painted in black, brown and beige with a crackled paint style on the cross. A raised black Christ figure adds volume. DIMENSIONS 6 i...
Category

1950s European Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Ceramic

Striking Mid-Century Modern Brass Church Bible Stand Lectern with XP Christogram
Located in Lisse, NL
A beautiful design and strong quality, solid brass stand for placing your bible on. Over the years we have sold many ecclesiastical antiques, but you hardly ever find any from the m...
Category

Mid-20th Century European Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Brass

Jens Risom: A Seat at the Table Vicky Lowry
Located in New York City, NY
The first and only monograph on the life and work of the iconic Danish-American mid-century furniture designer Jens Risom – an unsung hero of Mid-Century Modern design Jens Risom,...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Chinese Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

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 Collectibles and Curiosities

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 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 Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Other

19th Century French Newspaper 'Le Petite Jounal', 1897
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
19th century newspaper 'Le Petite Jounal' from France, 1897. In original condition, with minor wear consistent with age and use, preserving a beautiful patina. Materials: Pape...
Category

1890s French Antique Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

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 Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

1960s Italian Three Piece Green Genuine Hand Carved Alabaster Smoking Set Unused
Located in Haarlem, NL
Very decorative unused 1960s Italian hand carved green alabaster smoking set by Romano Bianchi. New and unused in original box. Consists of a heavy ashtray, also very useful as tri...
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Alabaster

'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 Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

SS United States Sign Notice and Information for Passengers
Located in Hingham, MA
Hefty enameled solid aluminum framed passenger safety and information sign from Passenger Stateroom 139 on the Main deck of the SS United States. Four glass paned windows. Lower ri...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Aluminum

Mid-Century "Easi-Bild" Lawn Glider Salesman Sample with Full Size Pattern Book
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Miniature Easi-Bild lawn glider (likely a Salesman Sample advertising the sale of the instructional manual for the full size model). Attractive color combination of red, white, and ...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Wood

Petite Red Stone Decorated Silvering, 1940s
Located in Stockholm, SE
Decorative and special vintage silvering with 12 red/orange stones on a decorated silver base. From circa 1940s. Silverstamped: 925. Measures: Inner diameter is 16 mm. Size of sto...
Category

1940s Scandinavian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Stone, Silver

'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 Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Paper

Set of Three Antique Copper Barrel Valves
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Antique copper barrel valve by unknown manufacturer from France, circa early 20th century. In original condition, with minor wear consistent with age and use, preserving a beautif...
Category

Early 20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Copper

1970s High-Quality Children Toy by German Renate Müller
Located in Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Three play pillows, children toys in jute and leather by Renate Müller, Germany, 1971. Authentic Renate Müller animal toy from the 1970s. Unique in shape and workmanship. This examp...
Category

1970s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Leather, Jute

English Royal Prince Pedal Car by Triang, Circa 1950
Located in Devon, England
Professionally restored is this royal prince pedal car by the English peddle car company Triang. Dating to the early 1950s this child’s pedal car is an absolute delight. Resprayed in...
Category

Mid-20th Century English Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Metal

Large Aluminum Munich TV Television Tower Scale Design Model, 1970s
Located in Nuernberg, DE
Scaled model of the Munich television tower. Hand-spun in aluminum. A nice architectural sculpture for every living or man’s room. Some dents and scratches at the tower base, like se...
Category

1970s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Metal

1978 Gibson Estate Fresh ES 335 TD Semi Hollow Body Electric Guitar
By Gibson Guitars
Located in Ferndale, MI
Out of long term storage. Very original Gibson ES 335 guitar. Guitar is in excellent condition. Case does show wear and has replaced handle.
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Mahogany

Supernatural Mid-Century Crucifix, 1960s
Located in Chicago, IL
Small cross with three supernatural alien-like figures in turquoise and white. Semi-glaze on a grey slate colored cross and very subtile volumes. DIMENSIONS H 5 in. x W 5 in. ...
Category

1960s European Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Clay

European Terra Cotta Crucifix, 1980s
Located in Chicago, IL
Eleven inch tall wall crucifix in terra cotta. Matte cross in an earthy sienna clay color with an angelic swathed christ figure in volume. This cross is part of a large collection of...
Category

1970s European Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Clay

Blue Clown Head Cookie Jar, USA, 1960s
Located in Esbjerg, DK
A rare survivor from late 1950s or early 60s comes this large canister in the shape of a clown bear head. It measures 25 cm in height and 17 cm in width. Originally made as a toy bea...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Plastic

Midcentury Spanish Football Table, Cordoba Model
Located in Vulpellac, Girona
Mid century Spanish football table in good conditions. The players represent the Real Madrid's and Barcelona's football teams. Córdoba model. Ready to start your game?.  
Category

Mid-20th Century Spanish Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Wood

Vintage Crystal Glass Ambassador Ash Tray by Saint Louis
Located in London, GB
An exquisite vintage crystal glass ash tray, by the high end French manufacturer Saint Louis. This dates from circa 1970s-1980s, it is in lovely condition, there is one incredibly sh...
Category

1970s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Collectibles and Curiosities

Materials

Crystal

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