Pair of early Mid Century Modern step tables by esteemed producer, Heywood Wakefield. Champagne finish over solid maple wood construction. The organic round form hints to the bridge between Art Deco and Bauhaus driven Modern aesthetic.
In 1897, two prominent furniture companies, Heywood Brothers (est. 1826) and Wakefield Company (est. 1855) merged to create Heywood Brothers & Wakefield Company; the name would be shortened to Heywood-Wakefield in 1921. The new company rose to particular popularity in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s with its solid wood, Art Deco-inspired mid-century modern furniture. For the first few decades of the newly-merged company’s existence they kept with their original formula – pumping out several unique wicker and rattan pieces that found their design influence in Japanese motifs and the Aesthetic movement. While they started to streamline their designs during the Arts & Crafts movement, the company was struggling a bit to define its new look. That all changed starting in the 1920s with the hiring of innovative designers such as Paul Frankl, Russel Wright, Gilbert Rohde, and Donald Deskey. This gamble to invest in cutting-edge designsoon paid off. Soon these new Art Deco-inspired designs found an eager audience and Heywood-Wakefield developed a legendary following. This love affair with their designs grew with their displays at the 1933 Century of Progress exhibition and the 1964 World’s Fair. Just as the Lane hope chest became the quintessential gift for a sweetheart, Heywood-Wakefield furniture became the thing for a newlywed’s home. The use of solid wood and focus on quality craftsmanship made these more than just tables and chairs – they were investments in the American dream. Graceful lines and simple curves, when combined with pale blond finishes, defined the look of the mid-century home. Today’s market for Heywood-Wakefield vintage pieces is strong. You can’t beat good quality and thoughtful design.