20th Century Design


Design from the 20th century was a period with industrial breakthroughs and unbelievable advancements in technology. Designers were quick to adopt these breakthroughs in their creation of furniture. For the first time post-1920s it was possible to mass produce items and after the war – designers wanted to do something different and therefore they worked mostly with natural materials and set a new direction for design with the humanistic approach and handmade objects.

Because of the quality of these designs and the simple beauty in many pieces. Interest has increased rapidly. Even younger generations are abandoning the traditional antiques and focus on the 20th century designs.

What is important for the value of 20th century design


The most important thing in 20th century design, as in any other auction category, is the creator. There are several artist which is recognized as leaders in this field and many of their items are considered treasures and collectibles. There has been an incredible increase in value for some of these artists. If you do not know the artist. It will probably be marked on the chair or you can research online. Getting an appraisal or identifying similar chairs in auction results databases.

Some famous designers from this period include:

George Nakashima

Marcel Breuer

Arne Jacobsen

Hans Wegner

Finn Juhl

Ettore Sottsass

Bruno Mathsson

But there are literally hundreds of important designers from this period. Check if you have a famous creator – that is your first step to make a lot of money from your 20th design.


The condition of your 20th-century design is really important. In some cases, it is possible to refurbish the material. But original material in great condition is the most valuable.


If you can prove a direct connection to the artist in some way or form that will increase the value as well. At least, being able to prove how old it is exactly, that will be an important step for you.

Who is an expert on 20th century design

John Sollo is considered to be an expert on this topic. You might have seen him in the Antiques Roadshow.


Best 20th century web destinations





Best 20th century auctions