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George Nakashima Furniture

George Nakashima (USA, 1905–90)
George Nakashima (USA, 1905–90)

A master woodworker and M.I.T.-trained architect, George Nakashima was the leading light of the American Studio furniture movement. Along with Wharton Esherick, Sam Maloof and Wendell Castle, Nakashima was an artisan who disdained industrial methods and materials in favor of a personal, craft-based approach to the design. What sets Nakashima apart is the poetic style of his work, his reverence for wood and the belief that his furniture could evince — as he put it in the title of his 1981 memoir — The Soul of a Tree.

Born in Spokane, Washington, to Japanese immigrants, Nakashima traveled widely after college, working and studying in Paris, Japan and India, and at every stop he absorbed both modernist and traditional design influences. The turning point in Nakashima’s career development came in the United States in 1942, when he was placed in an internment camp for Asian-Americans in Idaho. There, Nakashima met a master woodcarver who tutored him in Japanese crafting techniques. A former employer won Nakashima’s release and brought him to bucolic New Hope, Pennsylvania, where Nakashima set up a studio and worked for the rest of his life.

Nakashima’s singular aesthetic is best captured in his custom-made tables and benches — pieces that show off the grain, burls and whorls in a plank of wood. He left the “free edge,” or natural contour, of the slab un-planed, and reinforced fissures in the wood with “butterfly” joints. Almost all Nakashima seating pieces have smooth, milled edges. Nakashima also contracted with large-scale manufacturers to produce carefully supervised editions of his designs. Knoll has offered his Straight chair — a modern take on the spindle-backed Windsor chair — since 1946; the now-defunct firm Widdicomb-Mueller issued the Shaker-inspired Origins collection in the 1950s.

Nelson Rockefeller in 1973 gave Nakashima his single largest commission: a 200-piece suite for his suburban New York estate. Today, Nakashima furniture is collected by both the staid and the fashionable: his work sits in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as in the homes of Stephen Spielberg, Brad Pitt, Diane von Furstenberg and the late Steve Jobs.

Iconic Designs from George Nakashima
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Conoid Chair
Conoid Chair
Mira Chair
Mira Chair
New Chair
New Chair
Captain Chair
Captain Chair
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Creator:George Nakashima
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George Nakashima African Zebrawood & Walnut Double Pedestal Desk, USA 1986
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
A magnificent example of George Nakashima's work. Commissioned directly from the artist by the previous owner in 1985 and executed in 1986. The desk is signed and dated by George Nak...
Category

1980s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut, Zebra Wood

George Nakashima Walnut Minguren Side Table, USA, 1960s
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
Category

1960s American American Craftsman Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima Wepman Walnut Occasional Table, USA, 1960s
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
Category

1960s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima Kornblut Cabinet with Persian Walnut, Oregon Myrtle & Rosewood
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
Category

1980s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Rosewood, Walnut

George Nakashima Walnut and Grasscloth Room Divider Cabinet, USA, 1971
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
Category

1970s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Grasscloth, Walnut

George Nakashima Black Walnut Free Edge Two-Tier End Tables, USA 1956
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
Category

1950s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

George Nakashima Adjustable Music Stand in Burl, Elm & Walnut, USA 1980
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
Category

Late 20th Century American George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Elm, Walnut, Burl

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George Nakashima Walnut and Grasscloth Room Divider Cabinet, USA, 1971
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George Nakashima Black Walnut Free Edge Two-Tier End Tables, USA 1956
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George Nakashima Black Walnut Room Divider, USA, 1962
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George Nelson Wood and Leather Office Desk for Herman Miller, USA 1948
By George Nelson
Located in New York, NY
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1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

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George Nakashima Kornblut Cabinet with Persian Walnut, Oregon Myrtle & Rosewood
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George Nakashima Fine Walnut & Rosewood Conoid Dining Room Table, USA 1965
Located in New York, NY
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Mid-Century Drexel "Parallel" Desk with Extension by John Van Koert, USA, 1960s
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Walnut and Leather "Missboss Desk" by Oluf Lund for Lop, Denmark
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Wall-Mounted Writing Desk or Catch All
By Lost City Arts
Located in New York, NY
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Laminate, Walnut

Previously Available Items
George Nakashima Walnut Greenrock Ottomans/Stools, USA 1980
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
Rare and wonderful these ottoman/stools have Nakashima's very distinctive Conoid base.
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1980s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Textile, Walnut

George Nakashima Walnut "Cushion Chair", USA 1960s
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
The cushion chair features a square seat and back, supported on tapering dowel legs. The back is demountable, secured to the seat with wedges. Pre-dating the conoid cushion chair, th...
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1960s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

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George Nakashima Buckeye Burl and Parchment Table Lamp, USA 1970s
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
This lamp has an unusually complex burl base that exemplifies the mastery of Nakashima's amazing selection of woods for his pieces.
Category

1970s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Burl, Parchment Paper

Walnut Wepman Table by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
A wonderfully crafted side table by George Nakashima . The table consists of a simple three sided walnut top with three tapered bowed peg legs with thru tenons.
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1950s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

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  • Walnut Wepman Table by George Nakashima
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  • Walnut Wepman Table by George Nakashima
  • Walnut Wepman Table by George Nakashima
H 22 in. W 28 in. D 23 in.
George Nakashima Coffee Table
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
A free edge coffee table by renown master woodworker George Nakashima. The freeform black walnut surface with two knotted top openings sits elegantly on a Minguren base.
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  • George Nakashima Coffee Table
  • George Nakashima Coffee Table
  • George Nakashima Coffee Table
  • George Nakashima Coffee Table
H 14.5 in. W 51 in. D 21.5 in.
George Nakashima Free Edge Chest of Drawers
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
Rare in the free edge form this chest has Nakashima's signature dovetail joinery and is in unusually good original condition.
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1970s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Wonderful Triple Cabinet by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
A wonderful Triple cabinet by George Nakashima, USA, 1957. The cabinet has three sections of storage which consist of a mix of drawers and shelves. The doors are made of pandanus clo...
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1950s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

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Walnut, Oak, Cherry

George Nakashima Black Walnut Double Pedestal Desk, Signed and Dated
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
A truly exceptional George Nakashima desk with incomparable details. It's size and drawer configuration make this desk as functional as it is beautiful.
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1980s American Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

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Walnut

Outstanding George Nakashima Conoid Bench
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
A superior example of this classic Nakashima form with two rosewood butterflies and unusually irregular and beautiful grain characteristics.
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  • Outstanding George Nakashima Conoid Bench
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Outstanding Walnut Desk by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
A beautiful and dramatic construction sets this desk apart from other works by George Nakashima. The stout pedestal features three drawers with inset handles, and is ingeniously desi...
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Walnut

George Nakashima Walnut Spindle Back Bench, USA, 1960s
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
This bench has become an iconic example of George Nakashima's early work. A Classic simple design with shaker influences.
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George Nakashima American Black Walnut Turned Leg Slab Bench, USA, 1960s
By George Nakashima
Located in New York, NY
Another of George Nakashima's simple but brilliant early designs. Solid and sturdy this slab bench could function in a variety of settings including as a coffee table.
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1960s American American Craftsman Vintage George Nakashima Furniture

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