George Nakashima (USA, 1905-1990)

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.

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Rocking Chair with Free-Edge Arm by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Rocking Chair with Free-Edge Arm by George Nakashi...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Modern Rocking Chairs
Hickory, Walnut
As with all of "Japanese Shaker" Nakashima's work, the craftsmanship carries on a brisk dialog with the design: through-tenons secured by wedges of different-colored wood, hand-shaved s...
Walnut Side Table by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Walnut Side Table by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
Vintage 1980s Side Tables
Walnut side table by George Nakashima signed and dated 1981.
Monumental George Nakashima Mirror
By George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Monumental George Nakashima Mirror
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Wall Mirrors
Mirror, Wood
This incredible Mid-Century Nakashima mirror spans 52'' by the base/shelf. Showing a wonderful warm patina and in wonderful condition.
George Nakashima Side or Coffee Table, 1960s
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Side or Coffee Table, 1960s
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Organic Modern Side Tables
A magnificent, George Nakashima walnut table. The beautifully grained and fissured top features signature live edge and butterfly key joinery, all resting upon four turned, tapered leg...
Dining Table # 202-W by George Nakashima for Widdicomb
By George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Dining Table # 202-W by George Nakashima for Widdi...
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1950s American Organic Modern Dining Room Tables
Walnut dining table from Origins group; designed by George Nakashima for Widdicomb in the 1950s. Measure: One 22" leaf included.
George Nakashima Studio Walnut Wall-Mounted Desk/Shelf
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Studio Walnut Wall-Mounted Desk/S...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1980s American Mid-Century Modern Desks
Walnut
George Nakashima studio hanging wall shelf/desk with two drawers, USA, 1980. Walnut 12 x 52 x 21 in Copy of original order card.
George Nakashima Two-Door Walnut Cabinet, 1960s
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Two-Door Walnut Cabinet, 1960s
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Walnut
Double sliding door cabinet. New Hope, PA, circa 1961. Walnut, pandanus cloth. Measures: 30.5 H x 103 W x 21.5 D in Sold with copies of original invoice and drawing.
George Nakashima Cabinet with Walnut and Pandanus Cloth
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Cabinet with Walnut and Pandanus ...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Grasscloth, Walnut
George Nakashima, triple sliding door cabinet, walnut, pandanus cloth, New Hope, PA, 1970 Cabinet with three sliding doors and several compartments behind each door, executed in waln...
Signed George Nakashima Walnut Floor Cabinet
By George Nakashima
Signed George Nakashima Walnut Floor Cabinet
George Nakashima
Vintage 1980s Credenzas
Walnut
Stunning walnut case floor cabinet by George Nakashima. Signed piece, in fabulous condition.  
George Nakashima, Vintage Walnut Cabinet from 1950s
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima, Vintage Walnut Cabinet from 1950...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Cabinets
Wood
Gorgeous wooden cabinet designed by George Nakashima from 1950s.
George Nakashima Table or Desk Walnut with Rosewood Inlay
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Table or Desk Walnut with Rosewoo...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s Dining Room Tables
Rosewood, Walnut
Absolutely stunning table or desk by George Nakashima. In great condition.  
George Nakashima Coffee Table
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Coffee Table
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Wood
George Nakashima, 1965. American black walnut, double free edge solid top with highly figured grain. Signed with original clients name with authenticity document from Nakashima Wo...
George Nakashima Spindleback Armchairs with Ottoman
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Spindleback Armchairs with Ottoma...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Ottomans and Poufs
Fabric, Walnut
George Nakashima, armchairs, walnut, green to ocre fabric, United States, design ca. 1950 These quintessential spindleback armchairs and ottomans are designed by Nakashima. The chairs ...
George Nakashima Walnut Sideboard, 1955
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Walnut Sideboard, 1955
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Walnut
George Nakashima, cabinet in walnut, New Hope, PA, 1955. This cabinet features eight drawers, executed in walnut with traditional and finished with archetypical dovetail Nakashima wood...
Cherry Spindle Back Lounge Chairs by George Nakashima with Live Edge Arms, 1955
Cherry Spindle Back Lounge Chairs by George Nakash...
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Cherry
Rare custom ordered pair of cherry spindle back lounge chairs with live edge arms by George Nakashima, circa 1955 with provenance and original receipt. New cushions.
George Nakashima Extendable Walnut Dining Table Model 277 for Widdicomb, 1961
By George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
George Nakashima Extendable Walnut Dining Table Mo...
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
An extendable walnut dining table by George Nakashima for Widdicomb Furniture Company from 1961. A line of bookmatched veneers encased by a 3 inch deep carved and finger joined solid w...
George Nakashima Walnut Slipper Chair
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Walnut Slipper Chair
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Slipper Chairs
Walnut
Slipper chair by George Nakashima for Widdicomb. Fully restored and refinished. Newly upholstered in neutral cotton weave.
1970s Brown Walnut Wall-Mounted Sideboard by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima, George Nakashima
1970s Brown Walnut Wall-Mounted Sideboard by Georg...
George Nakashima, George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Sideboards
Walnut
This handcrafted and wall-mounted sideboard by George Nakashima has a beautifully figured American black walnut slab top with an organic and subtle free-form edge. Comes with two slidin...
Origins Coffee Table with Storage Model 272 by George Nakashima for Widdicomb
By George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Origins Coffee Table with Storage Model 272 by Geo...
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
This coffee table by George Nakashima for Widdicomb was designed in 1961 for the Origins Line. Featuring two drawers, storage compartment with lid on top and open storage in the back. L...
Rare George Nakashima Coffee Table in Indian Laurel, 1969
By George Nakashima
Rare George Nakashima Coffee Table in Indian Laure...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Four board Laurel round coffee table by George Nakashima with three "Butterflies" on top. Original correspondence , July, 31 1969 from Mr. Nakashima describing the Laurel as a "very fin...
George Nakashima, "New" Chairs
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima, "New" Chairs
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Chairs
George Nakashima, set of six "New" chairs in walnut, Hickory spindled back and saddle seat. Provenance: Upon request.
Walnut Tripod Lamp Table by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Walnut Tripod Lamp Table by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Side Tables
Walnut
A simple tripod table in walnut with a triangular top showing its beautiful grain and three dowels from the supporting turned legs. By George Nakashima, American, circa 1960.
George Nakashima, Double Dresser
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima, Double Dresser
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Dressers
Double dresser in walnut, dovetail case. Provenance available.
George Nakashima Rocker
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Rocker
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Rocking Chairs
Walnut
Rocker in walnut with hickory spindles. Signed with provenance.
George Nakashima, Coffee Table/Bench
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima, Coffee Table/Bench
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
George Nakashima, coffee table/bench in American black walnut. Signed: George Nakashima, 1977.
George Nakashima, "New" Armchairs
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima, "New" Armchairs
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Armchairs
Walnut, Hickory
Pair of "New" armchairs walnut, hickory spindled back and saddle seat. Provenance: Upon request.
George Nakashima Frenchman's Cove Dining Table
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Frenchman's Cove Dining Table
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
Walnut
George Nakashima Frenchman's cove dining table.
George Nakashima for Widdicomb Dresser
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima for Widdicomb Dresser
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s Commodes and Chests of Drawers
A walnut chest of drawers with brass hardware. Designed by George Nakashima for Widdicomb.
George Nakashima Dining Table
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Dining Table
George Nakashima
20th Century American Dining Room Tables
George Nakashima drop-leaf dining table. Table features one 26-inch drop-leaf; table measures 38 inches when folded. Signed with manufacturer's mark to underside.
Early George Nakashima Walnut Conoid Dining Table with Rosewood Keys, 1965
Early George Nakashima Walnut Conoid Dining Table ...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
Rosewood, Walnut
Conoid dining table by George Nakashima New Hope, PA, 1965 Walnut, rosewood Signed with client name to underneath and copy of original order card Measures: 28.5 x 72 x 40 in...
George Nakashima New Lounge Chair, Studio Crafted for Architect Phillip Cotton
George Nakashima New Lounge Chair, Studio Crafted ...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Walnut
George Nakashima New Lounge Chair - Studio production c. 1978 for St. Louis Architect Phillip Cotton in beautiful walnut with great patina. This chair comes with the original documents ...
Set of Four Grass Seated Dining Chairs by George N...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs
Walnut
A set of four dining chairs with grass rope seats by George Nakashima, American, circa 1950.
George Nakashima No. 205-WG Buffet for Widdicomb
By George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
George Nakashima No. 205-WG Buffet for Widdicomb
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1960s American American Modern Buffets
Original condition George Nakashima credenza or buffet. Walnut with grille sliding doors. On the left, set of five drawers, on the right, two adjustable shelves. Widdicomb label in the ...
Magnificent Early Set of Round Table with Mira Cha...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Sets
Cherry
Truly a exceptional dining set custom made by George Nakashima in his New Hope Studio, circa 1958-1959. Early work that was commissioned by using cherry wood. It consists of a large rou...
George Nakashima Cherrywood Studio Cabinet, Double Sliding Doors, circa 1960
George Nakashima Cherrywood Studio Cabinet, Double...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Cherry
A standing cherrywood cabinet that features superb dovetail joinery and practical storage. Original condition. The purity of the rectangular form gives the cabinet a quintessentially...
George Nakashima Dining Chairs
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Dining Chairs
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Dining Room Chairs
Set of six dining chairs designed by George Nakashima for Widdicomb. Newly refinished and recovered in Belgian linen. All pieces labeled. Measure seat height 18.5".
Pair of George Nakashima Wepman Tables, 1961
By George Nakashima
Pair of George Nakashima Wepman Tables, 1961
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s Side Tables
A pair of free edge, sap grain walnut side tables by George Nakashima, 1961. These are sold with a copy of the original order card.
George Nakashima, Sliding Door Cabinet, Walnut and Pandanus Cloth, before 1958
By George Nakashima, Nakashima Studio
George Nakashima, Sliding Door Cabinet, Walnut and...
George Nakashima, Nakashima Studio
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Grasscloth, Walnut
A beautiful and practical cabinet handcrafted in walnut and pandanus cloth. Four drawers on each side. Produced by American Nakashima studios, before 1958. Includes a letter of authenti...
George Nakashima, Wall Cabinet, Three Sliding Doors, Free Edge, Studio 1963
By George Nakashima, Nakashima Studio
George Nakashima, Wall Cabinet, Three Sliding Door...
George Nakashima, Nakashima Studio
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Walnut
An American three-drawer walnut cabinet by George Nakashima. Handcrafted in Nakashima studios. Features sliding doors, interiors with three adjustable shelves. The cabinet presents ...
Rare Custom Walnut Floor Screen by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Rare Custom Walnut Floor Screen by George Nakashim...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Home Accents
Textile, Walnut
A rare three-section folding screen handmade by George Nakashima in his New Hope studio, circa1975. Constructed with American walnut, upholstered with original Guatemalan fabric, and fi...
George Nakashima Captain Chair in Black Walnut
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Captain Chair in Black Walnut
George Nakashima
Mid-20th Century American American Craftsman Armchairs
Walnut
An accomplished example from American midcentury craftsman George Nakashima. The black walnut Captain chair has a curved, peaked backrest atop carved spindles. The seat is sculpted for ...
Pair of Dovetailed Dressers by George Nakashima
By George Nakashima
Pair of Dovetailed Dressers by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Cherry
An excellent pair of four-drawer dressers custom-made by George Nakashima in his New Hope Studio in 1970. Constructed in highly figured cherry in a Minimalist rectangular forms with exp...
Walnut Origins Headboard by George Nakashima for Widdicomb, 1950s
By George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Walnut Origins Headboard by George Nakashima for W...
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Furniture
Metal, Walnut
George Nakashima for Widdicomb king-size headboard. USA, 1950s. Measures: 38.5 H x 1.75 D x 80 W in (headboard measures 20.5 h in) Walnut.
George Nakashima Conoid Dining Table in Walnut with Rosewood Keys, 1970s
George Nakashima Conoid Dining Table in Walnut wit...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
Rosewood, Walnut
Conoid dining table by George Nakashima New Hope, PA 1970s Walnut, rosewood keys Measures: 28.5 x 72 x 40 in 28.5 x 99 x 40 in with leaves Two leaves: 13.5 in each Origi...
George Nakashima Sea Grass Chair
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Sea Grass Chair
George Nakashima
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Seagrass, Walnut
Single grass-seated chair from circa 1950s production in black walnut by George Nakashima, Nakashima Studios with original sea grass seat.
George Nakashima Single Board Rocking Armchair
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Single Board Rocking Armchair
George Nakashima
1990s American Mid-Century Modern Rocking Chairs
Hickory, Walnut
George Nakashima rocking armchair with single board seat New Hope, Pennsylvania USA, 1990 American black walnut, hickory Measures: 35 H x 26.5 W x 29.5 D.  
George Nakashima Credenza in American Walnut
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Credenza in American Walnut
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Walnut
George Nakashima, triple sliding door cabinet, walnut, New Hope, PA, 1960s Cabinet with three sliding doors and four drawers behind each door, executed in walnut with traditional and a...
Stunning George Nakashima Sofa 'a'  ** New Upholstery **
By George Nakashima
Stunning George Nakashima Sofa 'a' ** New Upholst...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas
Upholstery, Walnut
Handcrafted, unique, stunning and gorgeous sofa designed by famous American George Nakashima. It is constructed with American walnut and contains a generous backrest and armrests on bot...
Walnut Credenza Nakashima for Widdicomb Sundrea
By George Nakashima
Walnut Credenza Nakashima for Widdicomb Sundrea
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Walnut
Walnut Credenza.Widdicomb. By Nakashima. Four doors with vertical tapered struts. Hidden brass pulls. Tapered hexagonal walnut legs with shaped wood stretcher. Dimensions: H: 31.5 inche...
George Nakashima Walnut Cabinet, 1950s
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Walnut Cabinet, 1950s
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Walnut
Cabinet by George Nakashima with three sliding doors. USA, circa 1957. American black walnut. Dimention: 95 W x 22 D x 33 H in. Single-slab top with one free edge. Three sl...
George Nakashima "Long Chair"
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima "Long Chair"
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Chaise Longues
Walnut, Cotton Canvas
George Nakashima "Long Chair" two position adjustable chaise in black walnut with asymmetric free edge armrest. Canvass webbing replaced by Nakashima Studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania. L...
George Nakashima for Knoll Tray of Douglas Fir and Wenge
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima for Knoll Tray of Douglas Fir and...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Platters and Serveware
Wenge, Fir
George Nakashima for Knoll Tray constructed of solid Douglas Fir lumber that is quarter-cut and finished in clear low sheen finish with solid edge details of Wenge joined to top with mo...
George Nakashima M10 Coffee Table
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima M10 Coffee Table
George Nakashima
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Rare early design from George Nakashima for Knoll, 1947. Made with solid birch planks trimmed in walnut with oak legs, refinished recently.
George Nakashima Frenchman's Cove Console / Dining Table, 1967
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Frenchman's Cove Console / Dining...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s Console Tables
A rare form. Walnut drop-leaf dining / console table with Frenchman's cove base, 1967. Sold with a copy of the original invoice. Measures: 72.25 x 28.5 x 24.5 W (closed) 48.25 W (open)...
George Nakashima Coffee Table
By George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
George Nakashima Coffee Table
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
The handcrafted coffee table comes with a walnut veneer top and is supported by four tapered dowel legs. The table is designed by famous American George Nakashima and can also be used a...
George Nakashima Coffee Table for Widdicomb
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Coffee Table for Widdicomb
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Rosewood
George Nakashima coffee table for Widdicomb. This is the larger version of this table. Table consists of both carpathian elm and rosewood. Signed and dated.
George Nakashima, Lounge Chair with One Arm
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima, Lounge Chair with One Arm
George Nakashima
Mid-20th Century American Modern Lounge Chairs
Walnut
George Nakashima, lounge chair with one arm, USA, American black walnut and hickory, unsigned. Measures: 33” x 31” x 28” Condition Good original condition.       
George Nakashima Coffee Table for Widdicomb
By George Nakashima
George Nakashima Coffee Table for Widdicomb
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Rosewood
George Nakashima coffee table for Widdicomb. This is the larger version of this table. Table consists of both carpathian elm and rosewood. The rich grains and color contrast between the...