Danish style by way of the good ol’ USA, American of Martinsville pieces have that Scandinavian feeling you love, as well as solidly built stateside sturdiness. Founded in Virginia in 1906 by tobacco farmers, the company went on to produce more types of furniture, and to become known for styling and design leadership. Find American of Martinsville used dressers, vintage desks and used dining sets right here.
YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO AMERICAN OF MARTINSVILLE FURNITURE
American of Martinsville pieces are sleek, minimalistic, and very modern. Almost exclusively made of wood, American of Martinsville furniture boasts clean lines, interesting pulls and handles, and the thin, tapering legs that one expects from mid-century modern pieces. The wood is typically polished to a high sheen and the focus of the pieces is typically the beautiful wood grain. Occasionally, pieces are sanded and thickly lacquered, giving the pieces a finished look. The true wonder of American of Martinsville furniture is the interesting shapes. Whether it’s a roll top desk with a completely rounded top or a free-standing bar that features a delightful curve, American of Martinsville furniture pieces are durable and timeless, the perfect combination for any home.
Tables are equal parts functional and design-savvy. Whether it’s a set of nesting tables with long, curved legs or a high-top with cross support beams that never touch, American of Martinsville furniture is clean and packs a serious style punch. Some tables have been accented with inlaid tile, creating a more European vibe.
One piece that is most sought after is the American of Martinsville credenza, in almost any style. These pieces are perfect for a hallway, bedroom, living room, or kitchen. With thin legs, and a space-saving design, credenzas are the ideal storage solution for many homes. Similar to the credenza, but on a larger scale, is a dresser. These pieces don’t scream “I belong in a bedroom” and can be used for storage, an entertainment stand, or a hallway table. If you’re on the hunt for something smaller, American of Martinsville chests or side tables offer up character, style, and storage in a neat and design-savvy package.
The sofas and chairs are equally as sleek, with curved lines, tight fabrics like vinyl or thick upholstery rather than silks or cottons. The curved lines loved on bedroom pieces translate well to chairs and sofas, which feature sloping backs or curved seats.
With a focus on simplicity and space-saving designs, American of Martinsville furniture, like design contemporary Heywood-Wakefield, blends in well with almost any style. Rather than taking up space and demanding attention, these pieces are better suited to play a supporting role and ensure that you love every piece in your home. Packed with infinitely more character than an off-the-shelf piece, American of Martinsville furniture is quintessential mid-century modern furniture. With a love for warm woods, minimal (but bold) detailing, and proper use of negative space, these furniture pieces reflect the age and time of their conception and design.
THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN OF MARTINSVILLE
Prior to American of Martinsville’s founding in 1906, Martinsville, Virginia was primarily known for its tobacco farming. Tobacco farmers Ancil Witten and Charles Kessee set out to change that however, when they began petitioning for funds to establish a furniture company in Martinsville. It took the investments of twelve businessmen to reach their $30,000 goal, but by early 1906 Witten and Kessee had their dollars in hand and subsequently opened the doors to the American Furniture Company.
In its founding years, the American Furniture Company (which eventually changed its name to the American of Martinsville moniker we know today), produced only bedroom furniture. It wasn’t until the 1920s that they expanded their line, adding dining furniture to the mix. In the years that followed, American of Martinsville adopted the emerging Danish Modern style, but opted to put an American twist on things by way of an unexpected inlays and sculpted drawer fronts.
During this time, the company began working with designer Merton Gershun. It was Gershun who designed some of American of Martinsville’s most iconic pieces, including the Dania line which featured the brand’s signature louvered drawer fronts. Other lines designed by Gershun include the Travertine line, which showcased simple Danish Modern-inspired case pieces topped with travertine slabs. At the time, the line received acclaim for its designer twist on the increasingly pedestrian Danish style.
Throughout the 1950s and 60s, American of Martinsville continued to experiment with finishes (cerused mahogany and ebonized wood entered the line-up) and styles. Among the styles introduced were Chippendale and Ming, both popular during the era. Although these Oriental-inspired pieces differ in from the company’s more traditional Danish-style pieces, they still maintain the brand’s boxlike silhouettes and penchant for sculpted inlays, making them immediately identifiable as American of Martinsville.
In the 2000s, American of Martinsville was purchased by La-Z-Boy and was rebranded as a purely hospitality furniture maker. Considering the company’s breadth in case piece design, the rebrand was an astute one, and today, American of Martinsville bedroom sets are commonplace in American hotels.
FIND THE PERFECT PIECE OF VINTAGE AMERICAN OF MARTINSVILLE FURNITURE
The value of American of Martinsville furniture depends significantly on style, collection, and age, whether it was produced for personal home use, or for a motel, how many pieces of furniture a lot comprises, and the quality and materials involved. We know how important quality and efficiency is for those who love and collect antiques. That’s why our pieces are showcased online, so you can shop anytime, anywhere. We want you to find the piece of your dreams, no hassle, no rush.