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Mid-Century Modern Bookends

MID-CENTURY MODERN STYLE

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

ORIGINS OF MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGN

CHARACTERISTICS OF MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGN

MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGNERS TO KNOW

ICONIC MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE DESIGNS

VINTAGE MID-CENTURY MODERN FURNITURE ON 1STDIBS

The mid-century modern era saw leagues of postwar American architects and designers animated by new ideas and new technology. The lean, functionalist International-style architecture of Le Corbusier and Bauhaus eminences Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius had been promoted in the United States during the 1930s 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 pieces such as the La Chaise and the Womb chair, respectively. 

Architect, writer and designer George Nelson created with his team shades for the Bubble lamp using a new translucent polymer skin and, as design director at Herman Miller, recruited the Eameses, Alexander Girard and others for projects at the legendary Michigan furniture manufacturer

Harry Bertoia and Isamu Noguchi devised chairs and tables built of wire mesh and wire struts. Materials were repurposed too: The Danish-born designer Jens Risom created a line of chairs using 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 influencer 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. The seating that Knoll created for office spaces — as well as pieces designed by Florence initially for commercial clients — soon became desirable for the home.

As the demand for casual, uncluttered furnishings grew, more mid-century furniture 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, blond wood furniture, and Milo Baughman, who espoused a West Coast aesthetic in minimalist teak dining tables and lushly upholstered chairs and sofas with angular steel frames.

As the collection of vintage mid-century modern chairs, dressers, coffee tables and other furniture for the living room, dining room, bedroom and elsewhere 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
Vintage Midcentury Aluminum Sculptural Owl Bookend Pair
Located in San Diego, CA
Beautiful and unique pair of sculptural aluminum bookends. Each piece is 5 inches tall and 3.5" in width. The unique style is something that sets them apart. Created out of a block S...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Aluminum

Vintage Bird Book Ends, Set of 2
Located in Seattle, WA
Vintage bird book ends. Set of 2 Dimensions. 2 1/2 W ; 4 D ; 7 12 H.
Category

1970s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Small Don Shoemaker for Señal Bookends in Solid Cocobolo
Located in San Diego, CA
A pair of solid wood bookends by Mexican-American designer Don Shoemaker for his company, Señal. Rendered in highly figured cocobolo wood, a species of local tropical wood with a sim...
Category

1960s Mexican Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Cocobolo

Vintage Modernist Rectangular Pink Marble Bookends by Vermont Marble Co
Located in San Diego, CA
Beautiful pair of modernist marble bookends by Vermont Marble Company. These sizeable pieces of marble are captivating as they are commanding. The veining that develops on the pink m...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Marble

Hollywood Regency Solid Brass Clam Shell Bookends, a Pair India
Located in Oklahoma City, OK
A pair of two solid brass clam shell bookends. This set would be wonderful on a desk, bookshelf or dressing table. Measures: 4.75" Wide 6.25" Tall 2" Deep.
Category

20th Century Indian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

American Mid-Century Modern Pair of Polished Brass Golfer Bookends
Located in San Diego, CA
A nice pair of polished brass American Golfers bookends a nice patina.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Glass Bookends in the Style of Lalique
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A wonderful pair of frosted Horse Head sculpture bookends. The pair could be used as decorative pieces but also are perfect for bookends, especially in a Childs room. They are molded...
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Art Glass

Pair of Large Vintage Owl Bookends
Located in Esbjerg, DK
Detailed pair of cast solid brass bookends in the shape of owl mothers with babies. Made in Europe circa 1950-70. They are rather heavy weightin...
Category

20th Century European Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

1930s Bronze Brass Cocker Spaniel Dog Bookends Florida USA
Located in National City, CA
1930s bronze brass cocker spaniel dog bookends Florida USA Made in the USA by the PM Craftsman Company of Eaton Park, FL. circa1930. Maker stamp Meas...
Category

1930s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of C2C Designs, a Resin Based Sculptural Ear and Nose Bookend Set
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A wonderful pair of iconic C2 Design bookends. The pair combine a combination pop Nose and Ear. The resin has a stone look and are very popular. The ...
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Acrylic, Resin

Pair of Brass Elephant Bookends by Walter Von Nessen for Chase USA
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pair of brass bookends by Walter von Nessen for Chase, circa 1930s, USA. The pair of bookends feature two brass elephants with curved tubular bodies and geometric shaped heads with d...
Category

1930s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

1960s Brass Pineapple Bookends, Pair
Located in Amherst, NH
Vintage 1960s pair of brass pineapple bookends. Solid and heavy. Light tarnish from age. No marks.
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Vintage Brass Tennis Racket and Ball Bookends
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Pair of vintage brass tennis racket and ball bookends. This pair of vintage cast brass bookends feature a tennis racquet sculptures on each with a ball in front of a tennis net. Vintage from the late 1970s-1980s these brass tennis racket and ball bookends. This heavy weighted set will keep your books organized and ready for display, could be used as paperweight desk accessories as well. Truly stunning vintage Heavy Brass Tennis Racket Bookends perfect gift for tennis players, tennis enthusiast, will look lovely in any library office or sports den. This is a great pair of vintage brass tennis themed...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Solid Brass Bookends with a Skeleton Key Detail
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A wonderfully designed pair of solid brass bookends with a skeleton key... the pair are perfect for a locksmith or someone who works with securi...
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Vintage Gilded Owl Bookends in 24k Gold Leaf Mid-Century Modern, 1966s
By Progressive Art Products
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Vintage Mid-Century Modern 1966s gilded owl bookends a pair. Vintage cast owl figurine sculpture bookends Vintage pair of large gold cast owl figurine...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Composition

1950s Chrome Horseshoe Bookends, Pair
Located in Amherst, NH
Vintage 1950s pair of bookends with chrome horseshoes and leather straps. Bookends are on a wood base. No marks.
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Chrome

1970s Burnt Metal Bookends, Pair
Located in Amherst, NH
Vintage 1970s pair of burnt metal bookends. One bookend is a bike and the other is a steam engine. Bookends are different heights. No marks.
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Metal

Expanding Vintage Bookends in Purple Lucite and Coiled Metal, Made in England
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A vintage pair of English bookends in purple lucite and coiled steel. The rectangular lucite panels fit into bases that scroll outward, expanding to accommodate a small collection of...
Category

20th Century English Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Steel

Vintage Pair of Carved Aztec Onyx Stone Bookends
Located in San Diego, CA
Beautiful pair of onyx bookends. These beautiful pieces are carved in the likes of aztec warrior deities. The onyx veining and translucent beauty come...
Category

1970s Mexican Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Onyx

Brazilian Hardwood Geometric Bookends, Pair
Located in New York, NY
Pair of Brazilian hardwood geometric bookends, unmarked. 6" H x 5.75" W x 3.25" D. Dealer: S138XX
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Wood

Pair of Brass American Eagle "1776" Bookends by Philadelpha Manufacturing Co.
Located in San Diego, CA
A nice pair of brass American eagle "1776" bookends by Philadelpha Manufacturing Co., circa 1970s. The eagles are in very good vintage condition and measure 5.5"W x 6"D x 6.75"H. Th...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Bronze

Pair of Mid-Century Italian Abstract Marble and Ceramic Bookends
Located in Miami, FL
Vintage pair of abstract marble and ceramic bookends. This interesting design is attributed to Fratelli Mannelli and was manufactured by Raymor. These stylish pair of abstract ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Marble

Carl Aubock Patinated Brass Bookends #4636
Located in Chalk Hill, PA
Carl Aubock patinated brass bookends #4636. Produced by Carl Auböck IV in the original Auböck workshop in Vienna, Austria using the same standards, high-quality materials, original m...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Ben Seibel Orb Bookends, Brass, Jenfred-Ware
Located in New York, NY
Ben Seibel Orb bookends, brass. Pair of rounded sculptural brass over white metal bookends with cutout handles - the form resembling Turkish kettlebells. The warm patina to the brass...
Category

1950s North American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Metal, Brass

Glass Sculptural Bookends Boda Sweden Ice Man & Glass Head by Erik Hoglund
Located in San Diego, CA
Two different sculptural pieces that work great together. These vintage bookends are Mid Century symbols that give a nod to Tiki references. Ice like and full of personality. Great p...
Category

1960s Swedish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Glass

Midcentury Bookends with Music Sheet Pattern by Grafiche Tassotti & Figli, Italy
Located in Vienna, AT
A pair of lovely and large triangular Midcentury book ends from the 1950s, executed by Tassotti & Figli, Bassano, Italy. Made of wood, covered...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Wood, Paper

Vintage Mid-Century Wall Street Bear and Bull Bronze Bookends, 'Pair'
Located in San Diego, CA
Mid-Century Modern stock market bookends brass bull & bear on marble base. These iconic symbols of wall street are presented majestically on marble bases that add a solid (literally)...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Marble, Bronze

Pair of Vintage Brass and Copper Trench Art Bookends
Located in San Jose, CA
Pair of mid century trench art bookends in copper circa 1950's. Features a rustic hammered texture and bullet casing in patinated brass. The perfect accessory to organize your books or library and pairs well with industrial modern and Scandinavian decor.
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass, Copper

Ben Seibel for Jenfred Ware Bookends in Brass and Walnut "Diamond"
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Pair of Ben Seibel for Jenfred Ware brass bookends with an inlaid walnut diamond motif. Wear throughout, as shown (patina, tarnish, scuffs). Newly polished condition. Original green ...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Mid-Century Bookends by Kai Kristiansen for FM 1960s, Set of 8
Located in Asaa, DK
Mid-century bookends by Kai Kristiansen for FM 1960s, set of 8. Very decorative Danish modern bookends in rosewood and metal designed by Danish designer Kai Kristiansen for Feldball...
Category

1960s Danish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Hardwood

1970 Vintage Cast Bronze Owl Figurine Sculpture Bookends Mid-Century Modern Pair
Located in Miami, FL
Pair of Owl Bookends in Cast Bronze sitting on books Mid-Century Modern Craftsmanship made in the USA. In original vintage condition with some Patina due to History. Makers Mark and...
Category

Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Bronze

Vintage Stacked Solid Wood Bookends
Located in Denton, TX
Vintage solid wood bookends made of ash, walnut, mahogany and maple. Glued together in a stacked design then shaped in a curved pattern. They make nice decorative sculptures.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Mahogany, Maple, Oak, Walnut

Ben Seibel Bookends for Jenfred-Ware
Located in San Francisco, CA
Ben Seibel design copper plated bookends for Jenfred-Ware, U.S.A.
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Copper

Pair of Carl Auböck Model #3846 Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Pair of Carl Auböck model #3846 brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in polished brass. Price is for the pa...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Midcentury Ben Seibel Sculptural Brass Bookends
Located in Saint Louis, MO
Sculptural brass Ben Seibel for Jenfred bookends, circa 1950s. A freeform, organic design in brass finish with applied patina that has deepened over time giving them an even more ric...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

1960s Mod Pop Art Pair JACK Bookends George Nelson Design Line Calif
Located in National City, CA
Mod Pop Art Pair JACK Bookends style George Nelson Bill Curry Design Line 1960s Calif 4.5 tall x 5.75w x 4.75d Original Rustic Unrestored Vintage Cond...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Metal

Pair of Carl Auböck Model #3530 'Flatiron' Brass and Cane Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Pair of Carl Auböck model #3530 'Flatiron' brass and cane bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in polished brass and ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Vintage Teal Geode Bookends
Located in San Diego, CA
Versatile set of teal colored geode bookends, circa 1980s. The set is in very good vintage condition with no chips or cracks and measures 7.5"W x 3.25"D x 5"H. #2617
Category

15th Century and Earlier American Antique Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Rock Crystal

Carl Aubock Patinated Brass Bookends #3653
Located in Chalk Hill, PA
Carl Aubock Patinated Brass Bookends #3653. Patinated and polished brass bookends. Classic 1950's design still handcrafted using traditional methods in the Carl Aubock Workshop locat...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Vintage Italian Marble Mushroom Bookends, 1960s
Located in View Park, CA
A pair of vintage Italian mid century modern mushroom marble bookends, circa 1960s. Hand-carved in Italy and featuring tones of caramel, pewter, and cognac. Felted bases. Some minor ...
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Alabaster, Marble

Polished Brass Teddy Bear Vintage Bookends Paperweights
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Polished brass teddy bear vintage bookends or paperweight. Vintage mid-century brass teddy bear bookends. These pair of teddy bear would make a l...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Marble Art Italy Travertine Bookends
Located in Garnerville, NY
A fine pair of carved pierced carved geometric travertine bookends. Circa 1960-70. Signed with label, Marble Art, Marta (VT), Italy. Good overall condition with natural exclusions an...
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Travertine

Pair of Vintage MCM Mouse / Cheese Wedge Bookends
Located in San Diego, CA
A whimsical pair of vintage MCM brass mouse on walnut cheese wedge bookends, circa 1970s. The bookends are in very good vintage condition and measure 8....
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Septarian 'Dragon Stone' Bookends, a Pair
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A vintage pair of septarian stone bookends. Commonly referred to as "dragon stone." A smooth organic surface with polished face showing a crackled crys...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Stone

Pair 1950s Patinated Cast Brass Duck Mallard Head Bookends Mid-Century Modern
Located in Miami, FL
Sarreid attributed Vintage pair of patinated cast brass duck or Mallard Head bookends, Paperweight Home Decor, circa 1950. Great for holding up books on a bookshelf or as paper weig...
Category

1950s Taiwanese Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Carl Auböck Model #4099 Patinated Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Pair of Carl Auböck Model #4099 patinated brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in patinated and polished brass....
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Bill Curry Jacks Sculptures Bookends Paperweights for Design Line 1967
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Vintage Large Handmade Iron Jacks bookends by Bill Curry in chocolate brown enamel. Bill Curry Oversized Pop Art Jacks Bookends. Bill Curry Jacks S...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Iron

Gucci Bookends, Leather, Brass, Horsebit, Signed
Located in New York, NY
Gucci bookends, leather, brass, horsebit, signed. Handcrafted equestrian themed bookends in walnut brown stitched leather with brass stirrups over gr...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Alfred James Perry, Mid-Century Turtle Bookends, Signed & Dated, circa 1950
Located in Chatham, ON
ALFRED JAMES PERRY - mid-century - folk art - turtle form bookends - articulated shell and features - each hand carved from a solid block of pine - weighted - original finish - each ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Canadian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Softwood

Pair of Mid-Century Golf Bag Themed Bookends
Located in Haddonfield, NJ
Brass Golf Bag Themed Bookends on wooden stand. All the clubs comes out.
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass, Chrome

Mid-Century Modern Architectural Brass Globe Sculpture and Bookend, 1970s
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Mid-Century Modern polished brass ball orb sculptural bookend. The design features a round spherical globe beautifully enhanced by a square walnut wood Stand, adding an architectural...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Bill Curry Oversized Pop Art Jacks Bookends
Located in Garnerville, NY
A pair of Bill Curry oversized Jax (Jacks) bookends in black. Iron and black enamel. Circa 1960. Good overall condition. Wear commensurate with age and use. Some minor scuffs and scr...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Iron

Gucci Italy Hand-Stitched Red Leather Bookends with Gilt Metal Partridges, 1970s
Located in Atlanta, GA
A superb pair of handcrafted leather and metal bookends made by Gucci in Italy in the 1970s. This rare large-scale set features two gilded metal partridges resting on a hand-stitched...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Metal, Brass

Austrian Midcentury Brass and Wicker Bookends by Carl Auböck
Located in Vienna, AT
This rare brass and wicker book ends have been designed and manufactured by Carl Auböck in the 1950s in Vienna Austria, Mod. no. 3530. the polished brass remains in beautiful condit...
Category

1950s Austrian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Carl Auböck Model #3652 Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Pair of Carl Auböck model #3652 brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in patinated and polished brass. Produ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Carl Auböck Model #3653 Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Pair of Carl Auböck model #3653 brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in patinated and polished brass. Produc...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Curtis Jere Tic - Tac - Toe Onyx and Metal Sculptures or Bookends
Located in Saint Louis, MO
One of a kind Curtis Jere onyx and metal Tic Tac Toe sculptures or bookends, sold individually or as a pair. All of Jere's Tic Tac Toe sculptures are uniq...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Onyx, Metal

Pair of Carl Auböck Model #3654 Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Pair of Carl Auböck model #3654 brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in patinated and polished brass. Price...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Mid-Century Modern bookends for sale on 1stDibs

Find a broad range of unique Mid-Century Modern bookends for sale on 1stDibs. Many of these items were first offered in the 21st Century and Contemporary, but contemporary artisans have continued to produce works inspired by this style. If you’re looking to add vintage bookends created in this style to your space, the works available on 1stDibs include more furniture and collectibles, decorative objects, serveware, ceramics, silver and glass and other home furnishings, frequently crafted with metal, brass and other materials. If you’re shopping for used Mid-Century Modern bookends made in a specific country, there are North America, Europe, and United States pieces for sale on 1stDibs. While there are many designers and brands associated with original bookends, popular names associated with this style include Werkstätte Carl Auböck, Blenko, Ben Seibel, and Don S. Shoemaker. It’s true that these talented designers have at times inspired knockoffs, but our experienced specialists have partnered with only top vetted sellers to offer authentic pieces that come with a buyer protection guarantee. Prices for bookends differ depending upon multiple factors, including designer, materials, construction methods, condition and provenance. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $45 and tops out at $7,500 while the average work can sell for $557.

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