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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Pair of George Nakashima Walnut Lounge Chairs
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Lounge Chairs
Walnut
Pair of George Nakashima walnut lounge chairs purchased from the original owners-Hammerhouse, Kings Point, LI-1951.
George Nakashima Nightstands
George Nakashima Nightstands
CONVERSO
George Nakashima Nightstands
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American American Craftsman Night Stands
Walnut
Nakashima Studio nightstand or end tables, three-drawer cases with cut-out recessed pulls in American black walnut.
George Nakashima Coffee Table in Walnut, 1960s
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
Large George Nakashima English walnut coffee table, USA, circa 1961. Measures: 85 x 37 x 13.5 in. 215 x 94 x 34.2 cm. Signed to underneath with client's name. Copy of origina...
George Nakashima Conoid Dining Chairs, circa 1969
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs
Hickory, Walnut
George Nakashima, Conoid dining chairs, set of six USA, 1969. American black walnut, hickory. Measures: 20.75 W x 22 D x 35.5 H inches. Underside of each signed in black mark...
George Nakashima Dining Suite
George Nakashima Dining Suite
Zigzag Modern
George Nakashima Dining Suite
George Nakashima
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs
George Nakashima Studio, English walnut pedestal table and four captains chairs. Superb vintage condition. Dimensions given are for the table.
Nakashima for Widdicomb Floating Buffet in Rosewoo...
Knoll, George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Burl, Rosewood, Walnut
Exceptional wall-mount floating buffet, credenza or sideboard designed by George Nakashima for Widdicomb. This piece contains a stunning assemblage of woods: Rosewood top and cabinet wi...
George Nakashima Minguren Cocktail Table
George Nakashima
20th Century Coffee and Cocktail Tables
A petite Nakashima table. Provenance accompanies.
George Nakashima "Mira" Chairs Set of Six
George Nakashima "Mira" Chairs Set of Six
Galerie XX
George Nakashima "Mira" Chairs Set of Six
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
A nice original set named after George's daughter, Mira. Provenance accompanies.
George Nakashima Double Pedestal Desk
George Nakashima
20th Century Mid-Century Modern Desks
A great Nakashima double-pedestal desk. Full provenance accompanies.
George Nakashima "Directors" Table with Extensions...
George Nakashima
Mid-20th Century Dining Room Tables
A wonderful, early example of George Nakashima "Directors" table with extensions. Provenance accompanies.
George Nakashima Custom English Burl Free Edge Tab...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Another phenomenal piece by George Nakashima. Full provenance. A truly stellar example.
George Nakashima Pandanus Front Free Edge Credenza...
George Nakashima
Mid-20th Century Credenzas
George Nakashima pandanus front free edge credenza. A perfect example.
George Nakashima Dry Bar with Pandanus Front
George Nakashima
Mid-20th Century Dry Bars
George Nakashima dry bar with pandanus front. A rare form.
George Nakashima Minguren Cocktail Table
George Nakashima
20th Century Coffee and Cocktail Tables
George Nakashima Minguren cocktail table. A stunning example. Full provenance.
George Nakashima Persian Walnut Slab One Coffee Ta...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
This is a phenomenal example of a slab one coffee table, in a very rare wood. An east coast architect had purchased a very large order of this Persian walnut sight-unseen. When it ar...
George Nakashima Floor Screen
George Nakashima Floor Screen
Galerie XX
George Nakashima Floor Screen
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Screens and Room Dividers
A rare floor screen. Provenance accompanies.
George Nakashima Minguren Desk
George Nakashima Minguren Desk
Galerie XX
George Nakashima Minguren Desk
George Nakashima
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Desks and Writing Tables
A seminal example of Nakashima's work. Full provenance accompanies.
George Nakashima "Mira" Chairs, Set of 14
George Nakashima
20th Century Side Chairs
George Nakashima "Mira" chairs, set of 14. A great set.
George Nakashima "Wepman" Side Tables
George Nakashima
20th Century Tables
George Nakashima "Wepman" side tables. A perfect pair. Provenance accompanies.
George Nakashima Daybed in Black
George Nakashima Daybed in Black
Galerie XX
George Nakashima Daybed in Black
George Nakashima
20th Century Daybeds
A Classic Nakashima daybed. Provenance accompanies.
George Nakashima Pair of Slat-Back Daybeds
George Nakashima
20th Century Daybeds
A great pair of rare daybeds. Provenance accompanies.
George Nakashima Table with Fissures
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Important George Nakashima table with fissures. Insane. Full provenance.
George Nakashima Rosewood "Single Board" Table
George Nakashima Rosewood "Single Board" Table
The Exchange Int
George Nakashima Rosewood "Single Board" Table
George Nakashima
American American Craftsman Dining Room Tables
Rosewood
Special commission masterwork George Nakashima table, all parts rosewood. New Hope, PA, circa early 1980s. Entirely old-growth rosewood from single tree. Large highly figured sin...
Dining Table by George Nakashima for Widdicomb in ...
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
Beautifully grained dining table designed by George Nakashima for Widdicomb. The top is veneered in strongly grained book matched Bay Laurel framed in walnut. The corners have bold fing...
George Nakashima, Large Minguren Low Table, USA, 1...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s Coffee and Cocktail Tables
George Nakashima's beautiful Minguren low/cocktail table is substantially sized, handmade of large slabs of East Indian laurel walnut of thicknesses ranging from 2 to 4 inches. The t...
Set of Five Barstools by George Nakashima
Set of Five Barstools by George Nakashima
Sputnik Modern
Set of Five Barstools by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s Stools
A set of five walnut barstools by George Nakashima. Signed with client name to underside of each example: [Lunna-30].
George Nakashima Walnut Slab Conoid Coffee Table
George Nakashima Walnut Slab Conoid Coffee Table
Modern Drama
George Nakashima Walnut Slab Conoid Coffee Table
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Rosewood, Walnut
Walnut slab conoid coffee table by George Nakashima, circa 1960s. Beautiful wood grain, knot and patterning, with original rosewood butterfly joint. An incredible piece from Nakashima S...
George Nakashima Rocking Chair
George Nakashima Rocking Chair
Modern Drama
George Nakashima Rocking Chair
George Nakashima
Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Rocking Chairs
Hickory, Walnut
Single paddle arm rocker by George Nakashima. Walnut with hickory spindles.
George Nakashima Orgins Desk for Widdicomb
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Desks
Wood
Classic, early George Nakashima desk designed for Widdicomb's Orgin Collection.
Long Low Cherry Table by George Nakashima, New Hop...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Gueridon
Cherry
A beautiful long low cherrywood bench or table by George Nakashima.
George Nakashima Slipper Lounge Chairs
George Nakashima Slipper Lounge Chairs
Modern Drama
George Nakashima Slipper Lounge Chairs
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Slipper Chairs
Walnut
Rare pair of Sundra slipper lounge chairs by George Nakashima for Widdicomb. Fully restored. New woven upholstery over walnut bases.
Pair of Nakashima New Chairs
Pair of Nakashima New Chairs
Barbarella Home
Pair of Nakashima New Chairs
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American American Craftsman Armchairs
Hickory, Walnut
Pair of George Nakashima "New Chairs", two armchairs in excellent original condition, from the master of the genre. American black walnut with Hickory spindles. Measures: Arm H 25.5".
George Nakashima Studios Walnut Lounge Chair
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Lounge Chairs
Walnut
George Nakashima Studios walnut lounge chair from the mid-1950s. Purchased from the original owner.
George Nakashima Free Edge Credenza
George Nakashima Free Edge Credenza
Foreground
George Nakashima Free Edge Credenza
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Credenzas
Walnut
George Nakashima credenza. Walnut construction. Free edge top. This piece can easily function as a dresser, as well. A copy of the original order included.
George Nakashima Sideboard
George Nakashima Sideboard
Frank Landau - Selected Design Objects & Fine Art
George Nakashima Sideboard
George Nakashima, Nakashima Studio
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sideboards
Walnut
Handcrafted sideboard designed by famous American George Nakashima. It is constructed with American black walnut and contains six drawers with sufficient storage space. Graceful in prop...
Matched Pair of George Nakashima Walnut and Grass ...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Stools
Seagrass, Walnut
Authentic, all original, excellent condition, George Nakashima solid walnut stools with woven sea grass rope seats. Complimentary shipping on these in the lower 48 States arriving withi...
George Nakashima's Writing Table for Knoll
George Nakashima's Writing Table for Knoll
20th Century Interiors
George Nakashima's Writing Table for Knoll
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Desks and Writing Tables
Birch
A solid birch writing table from the limited Knoll line by furniture master George Nakashima.
George Nakashima Counter Stools
George Nakashima Counter Stools
Modern Drama
George Nakashima Counter Stools
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Stools
Walnut
Set of three Mira counter stools by George Nakashima. Early set circa 1960.
Double Pedestal Desk by George Nakashima, 1964
Double Pedestal Desk by George Nakashima, 1964
Jonathan Burden LLC
Double Pedestal Desk by George Nakashima, 1964
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Desks
Walnut
American Studio Movement desk by George Nakashima in black walnut. Double pedestal supports with three drawers with a curving and tapered top. With one previous owner who acquired this ...
George Nakashima Chest of Drawers
George Nakashima Chest of Drawers
Lost City Arts
George Nakashima Chest of Drawers
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Walnut
As with all of Nakashima's work the simple beauty of fine craftsmanship and superior quality woods make this an outstanding piece of furniture.
George Nakashima for Widdicomb Cabinet or Sideboard
George Nakashima for Widdicomb Cabinet or Sideboard
On Hold
circa20c
George Nakashima for Widdicomb Cabinet or Sideboar...
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Walnut
A beautiful cabinet or sideboard by George Nakashima for Widdicomb. In Sundra walnut with curved top and bowed doors that open to reveal three drawers and shelving on both sides. Nakash...
Nakashima Studios Grass-Seated Chairs
Nakashima Studios Grass-Seated Chairs
Almond & Co.
Nakashima Studios Grass-Seated Chairs
George Nakashima
20th Century American American Craftsman Chairs
Rush, Walnut
A pair of custom grass seated chairs, both signed and dated. High versions of original George Nakashima grass chairs by Mira Nakashima. LOA and Provenance available, along with origin...
Gorgeous George Nakashima for Knoll Splay-Leg Tabl...
Knoll, George Nakashima
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Tables
Hickory
A gorgeous George Nakashima for Knoll splay-leg table originally designed in 1947. Signed and dated on the underside of the tabletop.  
Special Walnut Shelf/Console George Nakashima
Special Walnut Shelf/Console George Nakashima
20CDesign.com
Special Walnut Shelf/Console George Nakashima
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Shelves and Wall Cabinets
Rosewood, Walnut
'Special Walnut Shelf', 1979 George Nakashima (wall mount.) Walnut with rosewood butterflies. Original sketch by George Nakashima included. Detachable base also included. Measures 24...
George Nakashima Frenchman's Cove Table
George Nakashima Frenchman's Cove Table
Lynn Goode Vintage
George Nakashima Frenchman's Cove Table
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Dining Room Tables
A beautiful example of Nakashima's "Frenchman's Cove" dining table. The top comprises of a pair of black walnut planks joined by four rosewood butterfly keys. The table is 8 feet long, ...
George Nakashima Walnut Cross-Legged Desk, 1975
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Desks
Rare walnut and hickory cross-legged desk from Nakashima, circa 1975. Desk with exceptional top featuring a single-slab top with two free edges, worm hole details and large knot with sm...
George Nakashima Wall-Mounted Nightstands
George Nakashima Wall-Mounted Nightstands
Adam Edelsberg
George Nakashima Wall-Mounted Nightstands
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Exceptional and very rare pair of black walnut wall mounted nightstands or bedside tables. Cases with free-edge fronts, over-hang left and right and dovetailed at square ends. Each case...
Rare George Nakashima Room Divider
Rare George Nakashima Room Divider
Lost City Arts
Rare George Nakashima Room Divider
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Cabinets
Grasscloth, Walnut
A spectacular piece of George Nakashima's work. Infinitely useful due to its finished reverse side and possessing all of the fine details you hope for in one of his pieces.
M10 Coffee Table by George Nakashima for Knoll
M10 Coffee Table by George Nakashima for Knoll
Archive 20th Century
M10 Coffee Table by George Nakashima for Knoll
Knoll, George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Birch, Walnut
M10 coffee table by George Nakashima for Knoll.
Large George Nakashima Coffee Table
Large George Nakashima Coffee Table
Lost City Arts
Large George Nakashima Coffee Table
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
All of the wonderful qualities you expect from George Nakashima. It has an outstanding free edge form with beautiful irregularities in the grain.
George Nakashima Minguren II Coffee Table Rosewood...
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Rosewood
George Nakashima Minguren II coffee table. Nakashima Studio. English walnut and rosewood. Measures: 16 H x 44 W x 30 D inches. Rare wood selection, highly figured, single sl...
"Long Chair" by George Nakashima
"Long Chair" by George Nakashima
Archive 20th Century
"Long Chair" by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Cherry
"Long Chair" by George Nakashima. Sold with a letter of authentication from Mira Nakashima.
Conoid Cross-Leg Desk by George Nakashima
Conoid Cross-Leg Desk by George Nakashima
Sputnik Modern
Conoid Cross-Leg Desk by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
Desks
A Conoid cross-leg desk in Cherry and Hickory. Expressive cantelievered free edge top with bowtie and extended back leg. Signed and dated by George Nakashima, 1986.
Rare Trundle Bed by George Nakashima, 1958
Rare Trundle Bed by George Nakashima, 1958
Archive 20th Century
Rare Trundle Bed by George Nakashima, 1958
George Nakashima
20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern Beds
Cherry
Rare trundle bed by George Nakashima, 1958. Provenance on request.
George Nakashima Free Edge Chest of Drawers
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Walnut
Rare in the free edge form this chest has Nakashima's signature dovetail joinery and is in unusually good original condition.
Rare George Nakashima Dining Set
Rare George Nakashima Dining Set
Montaperto
Rare George Nakashima Dining Set
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs
Walnut
Rare single-owner dining set by George Nakashima featuring exceptionally-preserved splayed leg dining table and four carved-seat "Captain's Chairs". Chairs signed to underside with...
George Nakashima Minguren II Coffee Table, 1968
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Excellent Nakashima walnut coffee table on a Ming II base. Nice expressive top with sap edge and a crotch cut edge, fissures and a single butterfly. Signed and dated “George Nakashima 1...
George Nakashima Minguren II Coffee Table, 1968
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Excellent Nakashima walnut coffee table atop a rare Ming II base. Nice expressive top with sap edge and a crotch cut edge. Signed and dated "George Nakashima 1968" This table and the fo...
George Nakashima Nesting Tables
George Nakashima Nesting Tables
Zigzag Modern
George Nakashima Nesting Tables
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Nesting Tables and Stacking Table...
George Nakashima , 1960's , group of three nesting tables in English walnut . Lovely original condition with a warm patina . Measurements given are for the largest table .
Walnut Dining Table by George Nakashima for Widdic...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
Walnut
Walnut dining table by George Nakashima.