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George Nelson Furniture

George Nelson (USA, 1908-1986)

Architect, designer, and writer, George Nelson was a central figure in the mid-century American modernist design movement; and his thoughts influenced not only the furniture we live with, but also how we live.

     Nelson came to design via journalism and literature. Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Yale in 1931, he won the Prix de Rome fellowship, and spent his time in Europe writing magazine articles that helped bring stateside recognition to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Gio Ponti, Le Corbusier and other canonical modernist architects. In the 1940s, Nelson wrote texts that suggested such now-commonplace ideas as open-plan houses, storage walls and family rooms. D.J. Depree, the owner of the furniture maker Herman Miller Inc., was so impressed by Nelson that in 1944 — following the sudden death of Gilbert Rohde, who had introduced the firm to modern design in the 1930s — he invited Nelson to join the company as its design director.

     There Nelson’s curatorial design talents came to the fore. To Herman Miller he brought such eminent creators as Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, and the textile and furniture designer Alexander Girard. Thanks to a clever contract, at the same time as he directed Herman Miller he formed a New York design company, George Nelson & Associates, that sold furniture designs to the Michigan firm, as well as its competitor, the Howard Miller Clock Company. Nelson’s New York team of designers (who were rarely individually credited) would create such iconic pieces as the “Marshmallow” sofa, the “Coconut” chair, the “Ball” clock, the “Bubble” lamp series and the many cabinets and beds that comprise the sleek “Thin-Edge” line.

     For dedicated collectors, as well as for interior designers who look beyond “the look,” there is a “cool-factor” inherent to vintage pieces from George Nelson and others. Nelson was in on it from the start, and it’s valuable to have a piece that was there with him. But still, as is evident from the offerings from dealers on these pages, in any of the designs, in any iteration whose manufacture Nelson oversaw and encouraged, there are shining elements of lightness, elegance, sophistication —and a little bit of swagger. George Nelson felt confident in his ideas about design and didn’t mind letting the world know.

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Nightstand by George Nelson for Herman Miller
H 24.75 in. W 16.75 in. D 17.25 in.
Machine Age
Nightstand by George Nelson for Herman Miller
H 24.75 in. W 16.75 in. D 17.25 in.
Machine Age
Unique Fireplace Bench by George Nelson
H 30.5 in. W 9 in. D 5 ft. 2 in.
R & Company
George Nelson 3 Bay CSS for Herman Miller, circa 1960
H 7 ft. 6 in. W 8 ft. 1 in. D 15 in.
Bright Lyons
George Nelson 3 Bay CSS for Herman Miller, circa 1960
H 7 ft. 10 in. W 8 ft. 1 in. D 18 in.
Bright Lyons
George Nelson Sofa, Herman Miller, 1950
H 28 in. W 6 ft. 3 in. D 32 in.
Bright Lyons
George Nelson Writing Desk
H 29.53 in. W 4 ft. 10.3 in. D 24.02 in.
Frank Landau - Selected Design Objects & Fine Art
George Nelson Thin Edge Dresser
H 40 in. W 4 ft. 8 in. D 18.5 in.
DeAngelis
George Nelson "Thin Edge" Chests
H 32 in. W 34 in. D 18.5 in.
DeAngelis
George Nelson Action Office 1 Roll Top Desk
H 32.68 in. W 4 ft. 2 in. D 31.89 in.
MY MODERN
George Nelson Original Cane-Back Side Chair
H 30.71 in. W 17.72 in. D 20.47 in.
MY MODERN
George Nelson Gate-Leg Table by Herman Miller
H 29.75 in. W 5 ft. 4.8 in. D 40 in.
Pegboard Modern
Set of Six Trays by George Nelson
H 14 in. W 18 in. D 1 in.
Sam Kaufman Gallery
George Nelson for Herman Miller Walnut Desk
H 29.5 in. W 4 ft. 6 in. D 25 in.
AWK DESIGN ANTIQUES
George Nelson Credenza
H 26.75 in. W 4 ft. 10.5 in. D 18.75 in.
Mainly Art Vintage Modern Furniture
Coconut Chair, George Nelson
H 33.5 in. W 40 in. D 34 in.
Hudson Supermarket
Pair of George Nelson Headboards
H 38 in. W 36 in. D 18 in.
Las Venus
George Nelson Case System
H 32.5 in. W 9 ft. 6 in. D 18.5 in.
CONVERSO
Mid Century Walnut Dresser by George Nelson
H 39.5 in. W 40 in. D 18.5 in.
Another Time
George Nelson Dresser and Vanity Set
H 29.5 in. W 10 ft. 0.4 in. D 18.5 in.
Stellar Union
Pair of Nelson Armchairs
H 31 in. W 20 in. D 22 in.
AERO
Rare  Daybed George Nelson
H 33.46 in. W 6 ft. 2.8 in. D 33.46 in.
Frank Landau - Selected Design Objects & Fine Art
George Nelson Sofa
H 28 in. W 8 ft. D 30 in.
Modern Drama
George Nelson Secretary
H 39.75 in. W 40 in. D 18.5 in.
Fresh Kills
George Nelson Cabinet
H 39.75 in. W 40 in. D 18.5 in.
Fresh Kills
George Nelson - Thin Edge Drop Front Secretary
H 41 in. W 4 ft. 8 in. D 18.5 in.
Modern Drama
George Nelson Walnut Cabinet by Herman Miller
H 29.5 in. W 34 in. D 18.5 in.
Pegboard Modern
George Nelson Catenary Chairs
H 27.5 in. W 30 in. D 27 in.
Antiquities
George Nelson Dresser
H 29.5 in. W 4 ft. 8.4 in. D 18.5 in.
Stellar Union
George Nelson Dresser
H 29.5 in. W 34 in. D 18.5 in.
Stellar Union
George Nelson for Herman Miller Sofa
H 28 in. W 8 ft. D 30 in.
Orions Objects
George Nelson Three Thin Edge Dressers
H 27.25 in. W 24 in. D 18.5 in.
CONVERSO
Thin Edge Bed By George Nelson
H 36 in. W 6 ft. 4.5 in. D 4 ft. 6 in.
Montaperto
George Nelson Herman Miller CSS Shelving System
H 8 ft. 10 in. W 12 ft. 1 in. D 14.5 in.
METRO Interiors
George Nelson Rare High Back Chair
H 40 in. W 27.5 in. D 31 in.
Almond Hartzog Gallery
George Nelson DAF Swag Leg Chair 1950's
H 31 in. W 29 in. D 22 in.
Just in Modern
Pretzel Chair with Armrests by George Nelson
H 30.31 in. W 26.77 in. D 18.5 in.
WonderWood
Rare George Nelson Herman Miller Sofa
H 15.5 in. W 8 ft. 2 in. D 30.5 in.
On Hold
Red Modern Furniture
George Nelson Herman Miller Lacquered Chest
H 37.25 in. W 40 in. D 19.5 in.
Red Modern Furniture
George Nelson Herman Miller Secretary Chest
H 37.5 in. W 34 in. D 18.5 in.
Red Modern Furniture
George Nelson Hairpin Dresser
H 38 in. W 40 in. D 19 in.
Stellar Union
George Nelson Herman Miller Dresser
H 39.5 in. W 4 ft. 8.3 in. D 18.5 in.
Barbarella Home
Steel Frame Desk by George Nelson
H 30 in. W 42 in. D 17 in.
Darrell Dean Antiques
Arthur Umanoff Desk Clock
H 5.5 in. Dm 4.25 in.
The Exchange Int
Georgie Nelson Dresser with Cabinet
H 30 in. W 4 ft. 8.3 in. D 18.5 in.
reGeneration Furniture Inc.
George Nelson Cases
H 39.75 in. W 24 in. D 12 in.
CONVERSO
George Nelson Miniature Jewelry Chest
H 10.75 in. W 20.25 in. D 14 in.
Galere
Long Dresser by George Nelson for Herman Miller
H 30.88 in. W 4 ft. 9 in. D 18.5 in.
Machine Age
George Nelson for Herman Miller Dresser
H 39.75 in. W 4 ft. 8.3 in. D 18.5 in.
DeAngelis
Georg Nelson DAF Armchairs (6)
H 30.71 in. W 28.35 in. D 22.05 in.
Frank Landau - Selected Design Objects & Fine Art
George Nelson Steel Frame Night Stand / End Table
H 24.5 in. W 16.82 in. D 18.5 in.
LUNA
George Nelson Rosewood Sofa Table
H 16.14 in. Dm 39.37 in.
inside-room
George Nelson Chest
H 29.5 in. W 4 ft. 8 in. D 18.5 in.
On Hold
Orions Objects
Pair of George Nelson/Herman Miller Dressers
H 39.5 in. W 4 ft. 8.5 in. D 18.5 in.
Studio One 11