How to tell if a piece of Mid-Century Modern is Authentic

How to tell if a piece of Mid-Century Modern is Authentic

Feb 02, 2023Habitus Shop

Mid-century modern furniture is a highly sought after style, and knowing how to identify authentic pieces is key to making an informed purchase. Here are the key elements to look for when determining the authenticity of mid-century modern furniture:


Mid-century modern furniture is characterized by its simple, clean lines, minimal ornamentation, and an emphasis on form and function. Look for designs that are typical of the mid-century modern aesthetic, such as tapered legs, geometric shapes, and asymmetrical lines.

Arne Vodder Sideboard Habitus London


High-quality materials were used in the construction of mid-century modern furniture, such as teak, walnut, rosewood, and other premium woods. Inspect the materials used in the piece, paying attention to the grain pattern and finish. If the materials look cheap or artificial, it may not be authentic.

Rosewood Ib Kofod Larsen Sideboard Habitus London 

Brand Marks/Stamps

Look for the manufacturer’s mark or label on the piece. This can be found on the underside or back of most furniture. Brands like Herman Miller, Knoll, and Danish makers like Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen are known for producing iconic mid-century modern designs. If the brand mark is missing or unfamiliar, it may not be authentic.

Mid Century Modern Stamp Habitus London

Eames Label Habitus London


Check the joints of the furniture for signs of quality craftsmanship. Mid-century modern furniture was often constructed with strong, tight joints, so any looseness or wobbliness may indicate that the piece is not authentic.

Mid Century Modern Joint


Look for signs of quality craftsmanship, such as smooth finishes, well-fitted joints, and even spacing in the legs or armrests. If the craftsmanship is shoddy or the piece looks poorly made, it may not be authentic.

Mid Century Modern Joint Habitus London


Mid-century modern furniture was produced from the 1930s to the 1960s, so if your piece was manufactured outside of this time period, it may not be authentic. Look for signs of wear consistent with age, particularly a patina on any wood surfaces and leather surfaces.

Borge Mogensen Spanish Chair Habitus London


If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Original mid-century modern furniture is highly sought after and can command high prices, so be wary of any pieces that are priced significantly lower.

Expert Opinion

Consider consulting with a professional appraiser or dealer who specializes in mid-century modern furniture. They can provide a more in-depth evaluation of your piece and help you determine its authenticity. Feel free to contact us here and we can assist with verifying the authenticity for you. 

By considering these factors, you can get a good idea of whether your mid-century modern furniture is authentic or not. However, if you are still unsure, seeking the opinion of an expert is always a good idea.

It is important to keep in mind that the market for mid-century modern furniture is saturated with reproductions and knock-offs. Knowing how to identify authentic pieces will ensure that you make a wise investment and enjoy your furniture for years to come.

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