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.

Refine
George Nakashima M10 Coffee Table
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: San Francisco, CA
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 Coffee Table
By George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
By George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Materials & Techniques: Walnut
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
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Allentown, PA
Materials & Techniques: Rosewood
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 Coffee Table
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Materials & Techniques: Wood
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...
1960's walnut veneer Coffee Table by George Nakashima for Widdicomb 'b'
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Frankfurt, Hessen, DE
Materials & Techniques: Walnut
1960's walnut veneer Coffee Table by George Nakash...
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
The handcrafted coffee table comes with a beautifully walnut veneer top and is supported by four tapered dowel legs. The table is designed by famous American George Nakashima and can al...
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Materials & Techniques: Walnut
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 Coffee Table for Widdicomb
Dealer Location: Pelham, MA
Materials & Techniques: Rosewood
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...
George Nakashima Walnut Bench or Table, 1960
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Dallas, TX
George Nakashima Walnut Bench or Table, 1960
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s Coffee and Cocktail Tables
A large 1-3/4" thick walnut bench or table by George Nakashima, 1960. Sold with copy of original order card.
George Nakashima Walnut Coffee Table, 1980
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Dallas, TX
George Nakashima Walnut Coffee Table, 1980
George Nakashima
Vintage 1980s Coffee and Cocktail Tables
A walnut coffee table/bench by George Nakashima, 1980. Sold with copy of original receipt.
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Pittsburgh, PA
George Nakashima Side or Coffee Table, 1960s
George Nakashima
Vintage 1960s American Organic Modern Coffee and Cocktail 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...
George Nakashima Coffee Table Model 272 Laurel and Walnut Widdicomb, 1961
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Camden, ME
George Nakashima Coffee Table Model 272 Laurel and...
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
George Nakashima flip-top coffee table model 272 manufactured by Widdicomb in 1961. This is a rare example of a cabinet form coffee table with inset magazine storage, two drawers, and ...
George Nakashima Table with Fissures
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Los Angeles, CA
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 Minguren Cocktail Table
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Los Angeles, CA
George Nakashima Minguren Cocktail Table
George Nakashima
20th Century Coffee and Cocktail Tables
George Nakashima Minguren cocktail table. A stunning example. Full provenance.
Walnut Butterfly Base Coffee Table by George Nakashima
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Sea Cliff, NY
Materials & Techniques: Walnut
Walnut Butterfly Base Coffee Table by George Nakas...
George Nakashima
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
Free edge walnut top with very complex graining supported by canted walnut legs and butterfly base.
George Nakashima Minguren ii Coffee Table, 1968
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Pawtucket, RI
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...
1980s George Nakashima Studio Wood Coffee Side Table, 1981
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Richmond, VA
Materials & Techniques: Wood
1980s George Nakashima Studio Wood Coffee Side Tab...
George Nakashima
20th Century American Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Wood
Offered is a stunning, 1980s George Nakashima Studio coffee or side table. Signed and marked on underside, 1981.
Rare George Nakashima Coffee Table in Indian Laurel, 1969
On Hold
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: New York, NY
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...
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Materials & Techniques: Hickory, Oak, Walnut
George and Mira Nakashima English Oak, Walnut and ...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1980s American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Hickory, Oak, Walnut
A wonderful collaboration from father and daughter George and Mira Nakashima. This table was custom-made and acquired from it's original owner.
George Nakashima Minguren Coffee Table
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Materials & Techniques: Walnut
George Nakashima Minguren Coffee Table
George Nakashima
Vintage 1980s American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
A classic example of Nakashima taking an extraordinarily beautiful slab of wood and turning it into an outstanding piece of furniture. There are two butterflies and incredibly interesti...
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Pawtucket, RI
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.
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Washington, DC
Materials & Techniques: Walnut
Rare Authenticated George Nakashima Wepman Live Ed...
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s American American Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
George Nakashima studio piece, accompanied by authentication paperwork from the Nakashima Foundation.
Large Coffee Table by George Nakashima
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Dallas, TX
Large Coffee Table by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
Vintage 1950s Coffee and Cocktail Tables
A large coffee table made of solid rosewood and carpathian elm. Designed by George Nakashima for Widdicomb.
George Nakashima Coffee Table
On Hold
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Materials & Techniques: Walnut
George Nakashima Coffee Table
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American American Craftsman Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
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.
George Nakashima  Conoid Coffee Table
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Pawtucket, RI
George Nakashima Conoid Coffee Table
George Nakashima
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Excellent Nakashima walnut Conoid coffee table circa 1971. Very expressive thick top with 2 large rosewood butterflies, free edges, knots and fissures. Full provenace included.
George Nakashia designe for Widdicomb Coffee Table.
By George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Kansas City, MO
Materials & Techniques: Walnut
George Nakashia designe for Widdicomb Coffee Table...
George Nakashima, Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
George Nakashima walnut coffee table manufactured by Widdicomb. Excellent original condition.
Walnut Coffee Table by George Nakashima
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Sea Cliff, NY
Materials & Techniques: Walnut
Walnut Coffee Table by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Walnut
A thick Walnut slab having a beautiful and complex grain pattern supported by four angled Walnut legs make this small scale table a great example of the form.
A Minguren II Coffee Table by George Nakashima
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Sea Cliff, NY
A Minguren II Coffee Table by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
A Beautiful and rare form done in a very rare Persian Walnut. Having one of the most defined and interesting tops that I've seen to date. Top supported by upright slab and floor support...
Walnut Coffee Table by George Nakashima
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Sea Cliff, NY
Walnut Coffee Table by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
20th Century American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
A large and highly figured and thick free edge Walnut slab top having several different types of grain patterns. Burling to edges of top as well. Walnut slab and leg configuration suppo...
A Black Walnut Coffee Table by George Nakashima
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Sea Cliff, NY
A Black Walnut Coffee Table by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
20th Century American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
This is a beautiful Slab of Black Walnut having a swirling marble grain pattern.Great free edge on all sides with a very interesting corner edge of the top. Large slab upright and two a...
Walnut  Bench by George Nakashima
Dimensions:
Dealer Location: Sea Cliff, NY
Walnut Bench by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
20th Century American Coffee and Cocktail Tables
A very rare and wonderful tongue and groove bench having a thru tenon board running the length of the bench with exposed tenon. There has only been one other example of this form to hav...
View other items in this style