Antique furniture can be extremely valuable, depending on the piece, brand, condition, and current market. Some items that were once commonplace or seemed unremarkable can become coveted collector’s items over time. You may be surprised to find that certain furniture pieces gathering dust in your attic could be worth thousands.

The condition and provenance (origin/ownership history) of a piece also significantly impact its worth. Furniture that is intact, with original hardware and minimal damage or repairs, is most valuable. Documentation of the item’s age, manufacturer, and previous owners boosts credibility and price.

USM Haller Storage Units

The USM Haller storage units are highly sought-after pieces of furniture that have maintained their value over time. Originally designed in 1965 by Swiss designer Fritz Haller, these metal storage units are considered iconic examples of mid-century modern design. They feature a minimalist style with clean lines and a modular construction, allowing for a variety of storage configurations.

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The USM Haller system consists of powder-coated metal panels, posts, and drawers that can be assembled in many combinations. The modular design and high-quality materials enable these units to last for decades. The sleek and minimal style also gives them a timeless appeal. As a result, vintage USM Haller units from the 1960s and 1970s are prized by collectors and can sell for steep prices at auction.

1870s Saratoga Trunks

During the 1870s, Saratoga Springs in upstate New York became a popular summer retreat for wealthy urbanites looking to escape the heat and crowds of the city. To transport their belongings to their summer homes, the affluent travelers used large trunks that were specifically designed for this purpose.

Source: The Antique Almanacs

Saratoga trunks were dome-shaped with curved lids and multiple storage compartments to keep belongings organized during travel and unpacking. The interiors were adorned with ornate lithographed paper that matched the era’s aesthetic sensibilities.

Ettore Sottsass Mandarin Chairs

The eccentric and colorful furniture designs of Ettore Sottsass have become highly coveted in today’s market. In particular, Sottsass’s Mandarin chairs from his time as design director of Memphis Milano are considered prized antique finds.

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Due to their status as icons of postmodern Italian design and Sottsass’ artistic genius, vintage Mandarin Chairs in pristine condition can sell for tens of thousands of dollars at auction. Their cultural significance and distinct appearance have garnered interest from museums, galleries, and private collectors worldwide.

1986 Phillips and Clark Stove Co. Art Andes 20 Stove

The Phillips and Clark Stove Co. Art Andes 20 stove is an antique wood-burning stove from 1986 that has become highly coveted by collectors. Its arched double doors open to reveal a firebox that can hold 20-inch logs, allowing for an extended burn time between refueling.

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The stove stands on curved legs and has a flat cooktop surface, enabling it also to be used for basic cooking and heating needs. Due to its age and handcrafted quality, the Art Andes 20 stove has become a rare find.

Mid-Century Chairs

Mid-century modern chairs from the 1950s and 1960s have become quite valuable today. Their sleek, minimalistic designs epitomize an era of postwar optimism and new materials. Many famous furniture designers helped popularize the mid-century modern aesthetic, creating iconic chairs that have enduring appeal and high price tags at auction.

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Chairs by Charles and Ray Eames, such as the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, are among the most coveted mid-century pieces. First released in 1956, the Eames Lounge Chair is made of molded plywood and leather.

1987 Wallace Nutting Brace-Back Bow-Back Windsor Chair

The 1987 Wallace Nutting Brace-Back Bow-Back Windsor Chair is an antique piece of furniture that has become tremendously valuable. Nutting was an influential furniture maker known for reviving and popularizing traditional woodworking techniques in the Arts and Crafts era.

Source: LiveAuctioneers

This particular Wallace Nutting chair features a bow-back, meaning its backrest has a gentle arch for comfort and style. It also has a brace-back, indicating the backrest is reinforced for durability and sturdiness. The turnings, or rounded components, exhibit the high level of craftsmanship that Wallace Nutting furniture is known for.

Oak Hoosier Cabinets

Oak Hoosier cabinets were popular freestanding kitchen cabinets that originated in Indiana around 1898. They were sturdy, highly useful pieces of furniture with multiple drawers and compartments for storage. Many sought after these cabinets for their durability and functionality.

Source: Harp Gallery

These antique cabinets are now quite valuable, with prices ranging up to several thousand dollars for well-preserved pieces. Hoosier cabinets were the forerunners of modern built-in kitchen cabinets. They provided a stationary and dedicated space for kitchen tools and pantry items at a time when kitchens were evolving from utilitarian workspaces to the social centers of homes that they are today.

1985 Thonet Bentwood Chair

The 1885 Thonet bentwood chair is an iconic antique furniture piece that has become extremely valuable. Michael Thonet, an Austrian furniture designer, invented the bentwood chair technique and design. Thonet chairs are precious due to their innovative craftsmanship and timeless style.

Source: Fleur de Lis

Thonet developed a new method for bending wood using heat and pressure. This allowed him to create light, curving chair frames from multiple pieces of wood. The bentwood chair’s graceful, organic shape was a revolutionary departure from the bulky, rigid furniture of the era. The bentwood method also made mass production of affordable, comfortable chairs possible for the first time.

Sheet Music Cabinet

Sheet music cabinets were crafted from high-quality wood such as mahogany, oak, or rosewood and featured multiple drawers to categorize and file sheet music. The cabinets were decorated with ornate carvings and metal hardware and often featured a table surface on top to display the current piece of music being played.

Source: Dean Watts Bespoke Furniture

Some sheet music cabinets were quite large, standing over six feet tall, indicating that affluent and dedicated musicians would have owned a vast collection of sheet music to warrant such an expansive storage solution.

Knoll Charles Pollock Office Chairs

The Knoll Charles Pollock office chair is considered a mid-century modern design classic. Originally released in 1963, these chairs feature a sleek aluminum band that wraps around the molded plywood seat and back to securely join all parts of the chair together.

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The simplistic yet innovative design of these chairs has allowed them to stand the test of time and remain popular in homes and offices today. For antique furniture collectors and mid-century modern design enthusiasts, an original Knoll Charles Pollock office chair in excellent vintage condition can sell for several thousand dollars at auction.

Umbo Shelves

Umbo shelves were popular decorative furniture pieces in the 1970s made of plastic and glass. Now seeing a revival, Umbo shelves have become sought-after collector’s items due to their versatility, retro-futuristic design, and nostalgic popularity.

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The revival of mid-century modern and retro interior design has sparked a new interest in Umbo shelves. Their futuristic yet nostalgic form appeals to designers and homeowners seeking to incorporate vintage flair. As more people search for original Umbo shelves, demand has caused prices to climb significantly.

Bruno Rey Chairs

Considered paragons of modern design, the Bruno Rey chairs have become highly sought-after collector’s items. Designed in 1971 by Swiss architect Bruno Rey, these chairs are renowned for their simple yet elegant form. Their timeless style and high-quality construction have allowed them to withstand the test of time.

Source: Twentytwentyone

The sleek, minimalist design highlights the materials themselves. While the chairs were originally produced in black, white, red, and blue, collectors today prize the vibrant, translucent colors that have become rare.

Marble Nesting Trio Tables

Nesting tables, especially those made of high-quality materials like marble, are decorative furniture pieces that provide useful surface space in living rooms. This design originated in the 18th century, so antique nesting trio tables are precious compared to modern reproductions.

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Marble is a luxurious material that has been used for centuries to construct tables, countertops, and other surfaces. Nesting trio tables feature three separate yet stackable tabletops made of marble, with the largest table on the bottom and the smallest on top. When stacked together, they take up minimal space.

K700 Paperclip Stools

The K700 Paperclip Stools are an iconic piece of antique furniture that has become quite valuable. Designed in the 1970s, these metal bar stools feature a minimalistic yet futuristic design consisting of a single piece of tubular steel bent into a paperclip-like shape.

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While simple in form, the K700 stools exhibit a timeless style that has allowed them to remain popular decades after their initial release. The K700 Paperclip Stools were created by renowned industrial designer Luigi Colani for Italian furniture manufacturer Kartell.

Togo Sofas

The Togo Sofa is an iconic piece of modern furniture design that has stood the test of time. Created in 1973 by Italian designers Michel Ducaroy and Piero Gatti for Ligne Roset, the Togo Sofa features an unconventional shape that resembles a “folded tube.” This unique design and high-quality construction have made the Togo Sofa a coveted collector’s item.

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The Togo Sofa consists of a steel frame and injected flame-retardant polyurethane foam. The foam is then wrapped in a removable cover, available in a variety of fabrics and colors. This combination of materials provides a firm yet comfortable sitting experience.