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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George Nakashima English Walnut Coffee Table, 1961
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George Nakashima English Walnut Coffee Table, 1961...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Large English walnut Nakashima coffee table with free-edge top and knots and sapwood to both top and base. Table with complete provenance.
Rare George Nakashima Portsmouth Table
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Rare George Nakashima Portsmouth Table
George Nakashima
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Walnut
George Nakashima. Rare Portsmouth table. USA, circa 1982. American black walnut. Measures: 28 W x 20 D x 21 H inches. Sold with order card.
George Nakashima Wall Cabinet, 1965
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George Nakashima Wall Cabinet, 1965
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American American Craftsman Cabinets
Walnut
Exceptional walnut, wall handing console by George Nakashima, 1965. Two sliding doors and a shelf on the left side. Beautiful live edge and craftsmanship. Great apartment size.
Pair of George Nakashima "Origins" Nighstands for ...
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Night Stands
This pair of Mid-Century Modern "Origins" nighstands by George Nakashima for Widdicomb feature the Classic Sundra finish. Impeccable vintage design by one of the country's finest design...
Nakashima Lounge Chair with Single Arm
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Nakashima Lounge Chair with Single Arm
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Nakashima walnut lounge chair with exceptional single slab-arm with. Chair signed with clients name to bottom of seat. Chair with complete provenance.
George Nakashima Minguren II Coffee Table Rosewood...
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Rosewood, Walnut
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...
George Nakashima Coffee Table, 1960s
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George Nakashima Coffee Table, 1960s
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
George Nakashima walnut slab coffee table. USA, circa 1966. Measures: 60.5 W x 13 H x 28 D in. Walnut slab with three butterfly keys. Sold with copy of original order card a...
George Nakashima Frenchman's Cove Dining Table
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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 Early Desk
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George Nakashima Early Desk
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Desks
George Nakashima single pedestal desk from 1954. Excellent condition with cherry drawers and stunning walnut top.
George Nakashima Grass Seat Stool
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George Nakashima Grass Seat Stool
George Nakashima
American Mid-Century Modern Stools
George Nakashima grass seat stool, of typical form and construction.
George Nakashima Captains Chair
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George Nakashima Captains Chair
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
George Nakashima Captains chair made from English walnut, circa 1954.  Stunning vintage condition.
George Nakashima Studio Mira Chairs
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George Nakashima Studio Mira Chairs
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Walnut
A gorgeous pair of 1967 George Nakashima "Mirra" chairs in walnut. The chairs have great provenance and previously belonged to two different prominent Texas architects.
20th Century George Nakashima Dining Table
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Tables
Walnut
Free edge walnut dining table custom-made by George Nakashima. Top comprised of two walnut boards with two free edges and three butterfly keys. Four turned legs with two stretchers. Mad...
George Nakashima Lounge Chair with Ottoman in Waln...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Upholstery, Walnut
This Classic and rare lounge chair with ottoman are designed by George Nakashima made of walnut. The chair has just the right form to be very comfortable without taking up a huge space....
George Nakashima Studio Captains Chair
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George Nakashima Studio Captains Chair
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Walnut
A stunning 1969 Captains chair by George Nakashima. The wood selection and craftsmanship of the piece is fantastic.
1950s George Nakashima Walnut and Woven Grass Seat...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Stools
Rope, Rush, Walnut
Footstool with splayed legs in walnut and a woven grass rope seat by George Nakashima. This example has a rich patina throughout and dates to the late 50s / early 60s.
George Nakashima Rosewood "Single Board" Table
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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...
George Nakashima Plank Daybed
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George Nakashima Plank Daybed
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Daybeds
Single-slab back with expressive sap grain, free edges and knot details atop a platform base with through-tenon joinery. Recently upholstered new chenille cushion. Sold with complete pr...
George Nakashima Set of Eight Conoid Dining Chairs, 1965
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George Nakashima Set of Eight Conoid Dining Chairs...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs
Hickory, Walnut
George Nakashima set of eight conoid dining chairs, 1965, walnut and hickory. Signed with client's name: "HOSKIN"(sic) and "George Nakashima", Six chairs dated: 'June 1965'. Provenan...
Dining Table and Chairs by George Nakashima for Widdicomb
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Dining Table and Chairs by George Nakashima for Wi...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Sets
Upholstery, Walnut
Dining table and chairs, designed by George Nakashima for Widdicomb, American, circa 1950s. This set is currently being refinished and reupholstered. The price noted below includes refi...
Rare George Nakashima Walnut Dining Set with Four ...
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 Desk
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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 Walnut Stool
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George Nakashima Walnut Stool
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Stools
Walnut
George Nakashima walnut stool with woven grass seat. Japanese knot technique used for the original sea-grass woven seat as well as the beautiful, rich walnut wood frame has seen little ...
Set of 12 Grass Seat Chairs by George Nakashima, N...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Dining Room Chairs
Walnut
Set of 12 grass seat chairs by George Nakashima, produced in American black walnut with grass seats, this set can be sold as two sets of six.
Monumental George Nakashima Mirror
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Monumental George Nakashima Mirror
George Nakashima, John Widdicomb
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Wall Mirrors
Mirror, Wood
This incredible Nakashima mirror spans measures 52'' at the base shelf. Showing a wonderful warm patina and in wonderful condition.
George Nakashima 12-Drawer Dresser Widdicomb Origins, 1960
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George Nakashima 12-Drawer Dresser Widdicomb Origi...
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dressers
Walnut
This is a walnut and bay laurel 12-drawer dresser by George Nakashima for his "Origins" furniture line manufactured by Widdicomb in 1960. The walnut top has a graceful slightly concave ...
"Origins" Dresser by George Nakashima
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"Origins" Dresser by George Nakashima
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dressers
Brass, Walnut
"Origins" dresser by George Nakashima for Widdicomb. Beautifully figured East Indian Laurel wood with walnut base and brass hardware.
Pair of Solid Walnut Nightstands by George Nakashima
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Pair of Solid Walnut Nightstands by George Nakashi...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Night Stands
Walnut
Pair of rare Nakashima Studio nightstands or end tables in American black walnut. Solid walnut construction. Hand-cut dovetail joints and a single drawer. Hand rubbed oil finish. Na...
George Nakashima 12-Drawer Walnut Dresser
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George Nakashima 12-Drawer Walnut Dresser
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Dressers
This is an amazing "Sundra" 12-drawer walnut dresser designed by George Nakashima for Widdicomb Furniture Co.  
Black Walnut Side Table by George Nakashima, 1977
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Black Walnut Side Table by George Nakashima, 1977
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American American Craftsman End Tables
Walnut
Black walnut triangular side table by George Nakashima. Beautiful color and grain pattern. Rare tripod base. Signed and dated May 1977.
Rare Nakashima Wepman Free-Form Live Edge Walnut Table
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Rare Nakashima Wepman Free-Form Live Edge Walnut T...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Side Tables
Walnut
Studio artist-crafted piece in English walnut, Provenance remains unknown at this time, but this piece has been confirmed by the foundation to be genuine.
George Nakashima "Origins" Walnut Nightstands
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George Nakashima "Origins" Walnut Nightstands
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1960s American Night Stands
Beautifully restored George Nakashima for Widdicomb nightstands. From the "Origins" line, Model #215, "Sundra" finish, stamped with date "2/61" on underside. Signed with manufactur...
George Nakashima 'Mira' Chairs, 1968 MFG Date, Authenticated
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George Nakashima 'Mira' Chairs, 1968 MFG Date, Aut...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Side Chairs
Hickory, Walnut
Utterly organic and effortlessly chic, this set provides both comfort and sleek, space-saving style. Each of these unique chairs features a curved and slightly triangular seat, seamless...
George Nakashima Wall Hanging Cabinet
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George Nakashima Wall Hanging Cabinet
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Beautiful Nakashima 7 Ft. wall-hanging cabinet in walnut with a free-edge top and exposed joinery at cabinets edges. Cabinet with three sliding pandanus cloth covered doors revealing tw...
George Nakashima Conoid Dining Table
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George Nakashima Conoid Dining Table
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
Small but impressive Nakashima Conoid dining table. Table in walnut with book-matched planks and three rosewood butterfly's. Dramatic shaped top with knots, beautiful grain and sap wood...
Nakashima Studio Slat-Back Settee in Walnut
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Nakashima Studio Slat-Back Settee in Walnut
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Settees
Walnut
Studio made slat back settee in walnut, circa 1955, by Japanese American Craftsman George Nakashima (1905–1990). Settee currently has one newly made loose cushion, but we can have one m...
George Nakashima Nightstands
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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.
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 Conoid Dining Chairs, circa 1969
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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
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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
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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
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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 "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 Table
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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
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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
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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 Table
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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
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George Nakashima Floor Screen
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Screens and Room Dividers
A rare floor screen. Provenance accompanies.
George Nakashima "Mira" Chairs, Set of 14
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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
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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
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George Nakashima Daybed in Black
George Nakashima
20th Century Daybeds
A Classic Nakashima daybed. Provenance accompanies.
George Nakashima Pair of Slat-Back Daybeds
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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
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George Nakashima Table with Fissures
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Important George Nakashima table with fissures. Insane. Full provenance.
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 East India Laurel framed in walnut. The corners have bo...
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
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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
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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
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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.