EVERYTHING TO KNOW ABOUT VINTAGE LANE FURNITURE
Outfitted with the tagline “Furniture for the Future,” Lane Furniture ranks among the most-loved Mid-Century Modern furniture brands. Based out of Altavista, Virginia, Lane dominated the furniture market throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Their hallmark? Durable, hard-wearing wood furniture that took its cues from Danish Modern style.
OPENING THE TREASURE CHEST: LANE FURNITURE BEGINNINGS
Lane actually got its start long before the Mid-Century Modernism boom. The company originally specialized in creating red cedar chests. While their chests aren’t what Lane is known for these days, Lane Furniture cedar chests are still highly coveted, so don’t hesitate to grab one if you see it! Lane Furniture chests can be found in a wide variety of styles, including Art Deco. Perfect for positioning at the end of the bed or doing double-duty as entry seating and storage, possibilities for using Lane chests are virtually limitless. Fun Fact: In the 1940s and 1950s Lane dubbed its cedar chests “sweetheart chests” and advertised them as the new alternative to the promise ring!
By the late 1950s, Lane had branched out of chests and was producing a variety of case goods and tables. In the mid 1960s, Lane accent pieces were introduced and the brand widened to include dozens of themed collections. To help shed light on these many collections, we’ve summarized some of the most iconic vintage Lane Furniture collections below, along with tips on how to vet your used Lane Furniture as a true original!
VINTAGE LANE ACCLAIM FURNITURE
With a name like Acclaim, you know that this collection of vintage Lane dressers and vintage Lane tables has to be good. Holding the top spot as the best-selling Lane collection of all time (and as of 1963, the best-selling in the country!), the Lane Acclaim line debuted in 1959. The collection was designed by a little-known designer names Andre Bus. Similar to Drexel’s Declaration line, Bus aimed to make the Acclaim line a collection that blended modernity and traditionalism. On the surface, Lane Acclaim tables and chairs are fully indebted to streamlined Danish Modern design, but look a second longer and you’ll see that Lane Acclaim furniture features traditional hand-turned details like decorative dovetailed joints and a contrasting wood border.
VINTAGE LANE PUEBLO FURNITURE
It's well-known Lane Furniture went through Brutalist phase in the 1970s, stealing inspiration from the European architecture movement that celebrated block-like architecture and jagged edges. Lane’s Mosaic line, which featured surfaces clad in three-dimensional wood blocks, was the brand’s first foray into the look. A few seasons later in 1973, Lane introed the Pueblo line which consisted of Lane Furniture dressers, Lane Furniture headboards, and Lane Furniture armoires covered in geometric, cubist-like carvings which harked to Paul Evan’s Cityscape series, also released around that same time. Unlike Evan’s collection, which featured smooth brass and chrome shapes, pieces in the Pueblo collection featured crude edges, with some showcasing jagged saw-tooth marks. While the Pueblo line is a definite love-it or hate-it kind of thing, it’s hard even for naysayers to deny the artistry of these vintage Lane furniture pieces.
VINTAGE LANE SILHOUETTE FURNITURE
In the 1960s, the futuristic design style made famous by the Oscar Niemeyer-designed city of Brasilia was a definite thing. Broyhill had the Brasilia line which celebrated the look, while Heywood-Wakefield had the Sculptra line. For Lane, it was the Silhouette series that gave props to the swooping Brazilian city. Made up mostly of Lane Furniture tables, the Silhouette collection consists of pieces with crossed parabolic wood bases. To ensure these sculptural bases were put on display, the series’ table tops were made of glass rather than wood. The result? Lane Furniture tables that stun from every angle. Given that the Silhouette series includes some of Lane’s more envelope-pushing pieces—including a biomorphic coffee table and a wedge side table—it’s tailor-made for those who are on the hunt for used Lane furniture that feels slightly more styled than the Acclaim series, but doesn’t necessarily stray to the theatrics of the Pueblo collection.
VINTAGE LANE PERCEPTION FURNITURE
Lane’s Perception collection takes its cues from Scandinavian design. Like the original advertisement for the Perception line, which features a horned Viking helmet seated at a Perception dining set, these Mid-Century Lane Furniture pieces showcase a good dose of playfulness. Lane Furniture credenzas and Lane Furniture tables from this series showcase woven walnut details contrasted by sculpted V or H-shaped legs. The piece de resistance of the series in the Perception dining set which features an aerodynamic dining table and a crew of crescent-backed chairs. As a whole, this collection of vintage Lane furniture showcases Lane’s expertise with wood, as no sharp angles exist on any piece.
TIPS FOR IDENTIFYING YOUR USED LANE FURNITURE
Lane Furniture was a stickler for marking their furniture. So, if you think a piece may be vintage Lane all you’ll likely need to do is give it a quick once-over. Pieces like Lane Furniture dining tables and Lane Furniture recliners are typically stamped on the underside, where Lane Furniture dressers and Lane Furniture desks often feature the stamp on the inside of a drawer. Authentic stamp logos will always include the words “Lane, Altavista, VA.” Sometimes these words are framed in a jar-like outline or a forest motif. Other times, just the words will appear by themselves. Every Lane Furniture piece is also stamped with a serial number. Fun Fact: Read the serial number backwards to reveal the date your piece was manufactured!
Should you have an older Lane Furniture piece (i.e. one of those red cedar chests), your piece may be stamped with a logo reading “Standard Red Cedar Chest Company.” Be assured your piece is authentic! The Red Cedar Chest Company was just an earlier incarnation of the Lane name.