Retro dining room furniture – 1959 Heywood Wakefield Danish Modern Contessa line

danish modern heywood wakefield contessa linedanish modern heywood wakefield contessa line

This Danish Modern take from Heywood Wakefield is beautiful, don’t you think? Again, the company is so well known for its iconic blonde furniture, we forget they were a full-line manufacturer. This ad for their new, 1959 Contessa line says there are 45 pieces in all, including for the bedroom.

A pretty vignette, altogether — and notice the walls, which I peg as grasscloth. I put grasscloth in a similar colorway in my living room, dining room about two years ago, and we love it. I’ll do a post soon on this very classic and versatile wall covering option.

  1. Femme1 says:

    One of these dining sets was on E-Bay not that long ago. I didn’t catch the final bid price on it, though. Generally, the prices on these Danish Modern styles from Heywood-Wakefield aren’t as much as on their more well-known styles. That may be changing, though, as Danish Modern becomes more “retro” and in demand.

  2. Rosemary says:

    Do you have information to the size of the Contessa Dining Table? Also, does the table become a drop leaf table if the leaves are taken out?

  3. Pam Kueber says:

    Rosemary – sorry, I don’t. I am not a collector, just interested in the era. I am sure you can find help online from Heywood Wakefield collectors…

  4. sablemable says:

    I wonder if my Danish dining set is a H-W? I bought the set from one of my mother’s friends about 20 years ago. The set included 4 chairs, table with 2 leaves and a buffet.

  5. pam says:

    HW is usually marked with a burned in eagle within a circle logo inside the top dresser/nightstand drawer and on the underside of tables. Upholstery wasn’t usually marked.
    The Contessa and CliffHouse were quality lines made in gorgeous cherry with the Doeskin finish – which looked great on birch as well but blonde was more popular in the 50s.
    Unfortunately, in the late Danish period, they switched to cheaper oak and the manufacturing slipped as well.
    This table is not a drop leaf.

  6. Sara in AZ says:

    FYI – The burned/stamped Eagle logo was not adopted until 1946. Prior to that Heywood marked their furniture in many different ways. One popular way was to use paper labels. The paper labels usually would fall off over time, so you would only know it was truly HW by the style numbers stamped/written on the bottom. This happened to me when I found a piece of HW at Goodwill. There was NO official HW markings anywhere on the table – only numbers and letters written and stamped on the bottom, but I was absolutely positive it was HW. I got it home and sure enough, it was HW from 1940-1944 – before they started using the burned/stamped Eagle logo. Also, on upholstered items, they would usually have a cloth tag, but again probably more so after 1946.

  7. Suzanne McKay says:


    Does anyone have a picture of the Contessa Heywood Wakefield Bedroom set? An older friend has bed, dresser, chest of drawers and one night stand of what I think is this line. The bed headboard and footboard look like the “slats” in the above dining chairs. She was going to GIVE away the bed, until I convinced her NOT to. Thanks for any info you can give!



  8. Karen says:

    OMG!! (squeal of delight) I had no idea the Heyward Contessa had 45 pieces! Just bought a sideboard off Craigslist for $150. Fell in love with the elliptical handles, the feet, and the small, apartment-perfect size. She needs a little TLC, but that’s why she was $150 instead of, say, $400. 😉 I uploaded some pics to tinypic.com if you’d like to see what mine looks like. For the record, there’s a blue satin tag inside the top drawer with the name “Heyward Contessa” and an eagle symbol.

    Contessa, pic #1: http://tinypic.com/r/ogaxp5/7

    Contessa, pic #2: http://tinypic.com/r/2zi53qe/7

  9. Karen says:

    Whoops, sorry folks! I meant to say “HayWOOD Wakefield Contessa” in my last post, not “Heyward.”

  10. The Bird's Nest says:

    I’m wondering if anyone knows of any differentials with the numbering system.

    Some have M, G, C. What’s up with that? I’ve seen my piece on sites, same numbering but different letters.

    Any clues?

  11. S Cala says:

    Does anyone know what kind of wood was used in making the Heywood Contessa line? The original finish is actually a paint and the origin is obscured. Any help appreciated.

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