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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 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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Pair of Ear & Nose Bookends by C2C Designs
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A resin composite ear and nose bookend set by C2C Designs, c. 1980s. These playful bookends have the look of alabaster. Perhaps they remind you of something out of a museum? They are...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Resin

Ben Seibel for Jenfred-Ware Copper Sculptural Ladder Bookends
Located in St. Louis, MO
Ben Seibel bookends copper plated finish, designed for Jenfred-Ware and marketed for Raymor. Nice vintage condition, some discoloration and wear to copper finish. Labels on both.
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Model #3530 'Flatiron' Brass and Cane Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
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 handwove...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Ben Seibel Bookends, Brass, Sunburst
Located in New York, NY
Ben Seibel brass plated bookends sunburst. Small scale brass over white metal bookends, decorated with incised lines that create a sunburst effect. Both retain their original cork bo...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Jane and Gordon Martz Bookends Two Pairs
Located in San Diego, CA
Two pairs of ceramic and walnut bookends by Jane and Gordon Martz for their company, Marshall Studios. Both retain original labels. 1950s, USA.
Category

1950s North American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Pottery, Walnut

Carl Auböck Model #3848 Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck model #3848 brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in polished brass. Price is for the pair. One ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Model #4842 Patinated Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck Model #4842 patinated brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in patinated brass. Price is for the...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Bookends #4630
Located in Berlin, DE
Classic pair of Carl Auböck bookends in a patina and polish brass mix.
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Model #3846 Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
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 pair. Two ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Carl Auböck Model #3847 Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck Model #3847 brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in polished and patinated brass. Price is for ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Mid-Century Modern Brass Jacks Bookends in the Style of Bill Curry
Located in St. Louis, MO
Vintage set of Bill Curry style brass plated iron jacks bookends or decorative objects. Often attributed to George Nelson, these are all original. Light wear to plating, otherwise ve...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Iron

Acrylic and Mahogany Ritts Bookends for Astrolite
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A versatile pair of Ritts for Astrolite Bookends. Whether your den or library is modern or in a paneled room, this pair has you covered. The bolts on either side add an industrial to...
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Metal

Ben Seibel Stirrup Bookends, Brass, Jenfred-Ware, Raymor, Signed
Located in New York, NY
Ben Seibel Stirrup bookends, brass, Jenfred-Ware, Raymor, signed. A very clean pair with original bright warm brass finish. Impressed signature: Jenfred-ware on back lower edge. Bott...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Gordon and Jane Martz Bookends for Marshall Studios
Located in San Francisco, CA
Gordon and Jane Martz bookends for Marshall Studios. Signed with manufacturer's label, made from black walnut and inlayed multicolored ceramic circles.
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Ceramic, Walnut

Carl Auböck Model #3652 Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
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. Price is per ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Bookends 'Strumenti Musicali' by Piero Fornasetti, 1950-1960
Located in JM Haarlem, NL
Vintage pair of bookends 'Strumenti musicali' (Musical instruments) by Piero Fornasetti, Milano, Italy, 1950-1960. These are original and not a reissued version. Black lacquered and ...
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Metal

Carl Auböck Model #4636 Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck model #4636 brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in patinated and polished brass. Price is for ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Midcentury Animal Motif Quartz Horse Bookend or Decorative Object
Located in Oklahoma City, OK
Beautiful quartz horse bookend. It looks to have some separation between the top and the base. Chips along base as well. It could be used as a bookend, or as a decorative object.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Quartz

Pair of Rare Enamel on Copper Bookends by Robert Wuersch Geometric Design
By Robert Wuersch Associates
Located in San Diego, CA
A rare pair of bookends by Robert Wuersch, circa 1950s, hard to find classic design from an Atomic age nice condition with some wear and light cracking due to age no chips.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Enamel

Pair of Carl Auböck Bookends #4100 in a Patina and Polish Brass Mix
Located in Berlin, DE
Classic pair of Carl Auböck bookends in a patina and polish brass mix.
Category

1940s Austrian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Large Carl Auböck Model #4219 'Hands' Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Large Carl Auböck Model #4219 'Hands' Brass Bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in polished brass. Hand fully rotat...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Grouping of Eight Carl Auböck Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Grouping of eight Carl Auböck brass bookends. Includes one pair each of Models #3651, #3652, #3653 & #3654. Designed in the 1950s, these incredibly refined and sculptural bookends ar...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Copper Bookends by Ben Seibel for Jenfred-Ware
Located in San Diego, CA
A pair of sculptural copper bookends by Ben Seibel for Jenfred-Ware, 1950s.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Chiseled Glass Book Ends in the Manner of Fontana Arte
Located in New York, NY
Hand chiseled glass book ends from the 1960s in the manner of Fontana Arte. Edges have been smoothed out for safe handling. Condition: Excellent vintage condition, minor wear cons...
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Glass

Blenko Mid-Century Modern Glass Bookends with Elephant Motif
Located in New York, NY
A pair of Mid-Century Modern glass bookends depicting elephants on the front end. The pair was made in the United States by Blenko in the 1960s and is in very good vintage condition.
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Glass

Ceramic Free Form Bookends
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Ceramic free form blue bookends. Weighted bookends with a bluish glaze. Looks like a molten dropped liquid!
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Ceramic

Carl Auböck Model #3651 Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck model #3651 brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in patinated and polished brass. Price is per ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

1970s Italian World Globe Bookends
Located in Amherst, NH
Vintage Italian wood world globe bookends. Great globe design. Marked.
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Wood

Carl Auböck Bookends # 3652
Located in Berlin, DE
Classic pair of Carl Auböck bookends in polished brass.
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Aged Bronze Bull Bookends, B. Seibel
Located in New York, NY
Pair of mid century bronze stylized bull bookends by Ben Seibel for Jenfredware.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Bronze

Mid-Century Modern Studio Bookends
Located in San Jose, CA
Vintage Studio solid planked wood bookends, circa 1970s. This unique set is handcrafted of oak and walnut with details of rosewood, purpleheart, mahogany and birch. Perfect to displa...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Purpleheart, Rosewood, Walnut, Birch, Mahogany, Oak

Jenfred Ware Triangle Bookends by Ben Seibel for Raymor
Located in San Mateo, CA
Triangle brass plate bookends designed by Ben Seibel. These were part of the Jenfred Ware line by Raymor. These show a little wear and have some oxidation in a few spots.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Metal, Brass

Ben Seibel Jenfred Ware Copper Finish "Stirrup" Bookends
Located in Brooklyn, NY
This pair of bookends was designed by Ben Seibel for Jenfred Ware in the 1950s (New York) and exported by Raymor. Sculptural "stirrup" form with a nicely aged, patinated copper finis...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Metal, Copper

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

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Post Modern Marble Bookends
Located in San Diego, CA
Beautiful pair of vintage Italian marble bookends, circa 1970s. Stone is beautifully veined and in great condition. The almost identical bookends are sculptural and functional.
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Marble

Curtis Jere Mars & Venus Gold Gilt Bookends Sculptures Signed Jeré, 1968
Located in Saint Louis, MO
A beautiful, and in lovely condition, pair of Mars and Venus Curtis Jere sculptures or bookends depicting the male and female gender symbols on square bases made of gold leafed cast ...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Gold, Iron

Carl Auböck Model #1937 'Bamboo' Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck Model #1937 'Bamboo' bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed hand cut and polished bamboo and brass. Pri...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Massive Vintage Geode Bookends
Located in San Diego, CA
Gorgeous pair of very large geode bookends, circa 1960s. Bookends can be set in two positions (see pictures), exposing different color options and textures. Truly a unique gift!
Category

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

Materials

Rock Crystal

Carl Auböck Bookends #3847
Located in Berlin, DE
Classic pair of Carl Auböck bookend in a patina and polish brass mix.   
Category

Mid-20th Century Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Vintage Textured Enamel Fish Bookends by Robert Wuersch
By Robert Wuersch Associates
Located in San Jose, CA
Mid-Century Modern pair of decorative fish bookends designed by Robert Wuersch Associates c. 1960's. This set features contrasting tones of gold, black, and white in a textured metal...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Metal, Enamel

Italian Alabaster Bookends Mid Century Made in Italy
Located in New York, NY
Stunning Italian Solid Alabaster Marble Pair of Bookends Mid Century. Marked Made in Italy.
Category

20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Alabaster, Marble

Pair of Vintage Brass Clam Shell Bookends
Located in San Diego, CA
Pair of vintage brass clam shell bookends, circa 1970s. #1439.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Vintage Abstract Fratelli Mannelli Travertine Bookends Collection for Raymor
Located in Chicago, IL
Vintage abstract fratelli mannelli travertine book ends collection for Raymor Set of 3. (6 Pieces) Dimensions are of the square bookend.    
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Travertine

Brass Marble Bird Bookends or Paperweight, France
Located in Vienna, AT
Brass and red marble bird bookends, France, circa 1940 Good condition.
Category

1940s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Marble, Brass

Pair of Mid-Century Aqua Ceramic Foo Dogs / Bookends
Located in San Diego, CA
A very nice pair of mid-century aqua ceramic foo dogs / bookends, circa 1970s. The pair are in very good vintage with no chips or cracks and have a wonderful patina. They measure: 14...
Category

20th Century Chinese Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Ceramic

Grouping of Six Carl Auböck Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Grouping of six Carl Auböck brass bookends. Includes one pair each of models #4635, #4636 and #4637. Designed in the 1950s, these incredibly refined and sculptural bookends are execu...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Large Jacks Polished Steel Book End or Decorative Objects
Located in Westport, CT
Large handmade polished steel Jacks book ends decorative arts, circa 1940s.
Category

1930s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Iron, Steel

Sculptural Cast Iron Bookends in the Manner of Frederick Weinberg, circa 1955
Located in Costa Mesa, CA
Sculptural cast iron bookends in the manner of Frederick Weinberg, circa 1955.
Category

20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Iron

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

Seguso Murano Yellow Amber Green Sommerso Italian Art Glass Elephant Bookends
Located in Kissimmee, FL
Beautiful vintage Murano hand blown Sommerso golden yellow amber to green Italian art glass figural elephant bookend sculptures. Attributed to designer Archimede Seguso, with early o...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Glass, Art Glass, Blown Glass, Murano Glass, Sommerso

Bitossi Bookends, Ceramic, Blue and Gold, Geometric, Signed
Located in New York, NY
Bitossi bookends, ceramic, blue and gold, signed. Gold glazed geometric zig-zag pattern over Rimini blue glaze. Signed "Italy" with impressed mark on the undersides of both bookends....
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Ceramic

Bull and Bear Bookends
Located in Van Nuys, CA
A pair of heavy marble bookends featuring a bull and bear, icons of the stock market and Wall Street. Both the bull and bear figures are made up of bronze. The bases are a deep, gree...
Category

1960s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Marble, Bronze

Carl Auböck Model #4635 Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck model #4635 brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in patinated and polished brass. Price is for ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Ben Seibel Jenfred Ware Copper Finish Bookends
Located in Brooklyn, NY
This pair of bookends was designed by Ben Seibel for Jenfred Ware in the 1950s (New York) and exported by Raymor. This exquisite example is nicely aged with a rich, patinated copper ...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Metal, Copper

Puddled Bronze Bookends
Located in San Diego, CA
A pair of sculptural puddled bronze bookends. A substantial pair of artist made solid metal bookends, 1960's.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Bookends by Carl Auböck III
Located in San Diego, CA
Rare pair of bookends by Carl Auböck III. Nickel plated steel. 1970s.  
Category

1970s Austrian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Steel

Carl Auböck Model #4100 Patinated Brass Bookends
Located in Glendale, CA
Carl Auböck Model #4100 patinated brass bookends. Designed in the 1950s, this incredibly refined and sculptural pair of bookends are executed in patinated brass. Price is for the...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Austrian Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Brass

Pair of Bookends by Archimede Seguso (SATURDAY SALE)
Located in Hingham, MA
Pair of heavy green and blue Murano glass book ends by maestro Archimede Seguso, circa 1950.
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bookends

Materials

Murano Glass