George Nelson (USA, 1908-1986)

Architect, designer, and writer, George Nelson was a central figure in the mid-century American modernist design movement; and his thoughts influenced not only the furniture we live with, but also how we live.

     Nelson came to design via journalism and literature. Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Yale in 1931, he won the Prix de Rome fellowship, and spent his time in Europe writing magazine articles that helped bring stateside recognition to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Gio Ponti, Le Corbusier and other canonical modernist architects. In the 1940s, Nelson wrote texts that suggested such now-commonplace ideas as open-plan houses, storage walls and family rooms. D.J. Depree, the owner of the furniture maker Herman Miller Inc., was so impressed by Nelson that in 1944 — following the sudden death of Gilbert Rohde, who had introduced the firm to modern design in the 1930s — he invited Nelson to join the company as its design director.

     There Nelson’s curatorial design talents came to the fore. To Herman Miller he brought such eminent creators as Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, and the textile and furniture designer Alexander Girard. Thanks to a clever contract, at the same time as he directed Herman Miller he formed a New York design company, George Nelson & Associates, that sold furniture designs to the Michigan firm, as well as its competitor, the Howard Miller Clock Company. Nelson’s New York team of designers (who were rarely individually credited) would create such iconic pieces as the “Marshmallow” sofa, the “Coconut” chair, the “Ball” clock, the “Bubble” lamp series and the many cabinets and beds that comprise the sleek “Thin-Edge” line.

     For dedicated collectors, as well as for interior designers who look beyond “the look,” there is a “cool-factor” inherent to vintage pieces from George Nelson and others. Nelson was in on it from the start, and it’s valuable to have a piece that was there with him. But still, as is evident from the offerings from dealers on these pages, in any of the designs, in any iteration whose manufacture Nelson oversaw and encouraged, there are shining elements of lightness, elegance, sophistication —and a little bit of swagger. George Nelson felt confident in his ideas about design and didn’t mind letting the world know.

Read more about George Nelson in Introspective Magazine

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Dimensions: H 3 in. Dm 10 in.
Dealer Location: Philadelphia, PA
Materials & Techniques: Metal
George Nelson Original Yellow Asterisk Clock by Ho...
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Metal
Nice yellow Howard Miller asterisk clock still with its original second hand! Nice bright paint only showing a few minor pin head chips to very edge of clock. Made to plug directly into...
Dimensions: H 36 in. W 17 in. D 4 in.
Dealer Location: St. Louis, MO
George Nelson for Howard Miller Wall Clock
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Designer: George Nelson Manufacturer: Howard Miller Period/style: Mid-Century Modern. Country: United States. Date: 1960s.
Dimensions: H 2.25 in. Dm 10 in.
Dealer Location: Fulton, CA
Materials & Techniques: Steel
George Nelson for Howard Miller "Asterisk" Wall Cl...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Steel
Vintage George Nelson "Asterisk" electric wall clock. Retains Howard Miller label. Uncommon white dial with black hands. Made of painted steel.
Dimensions: H 2.5 in. Dm 15 in.
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Materials & Techniques: Leather, Wood
George Nelson Clock for Howard Miller
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Leather, Wood
George Nelson wall clock of Howard Miller. Model No. 2504. This clock has a wooden back with leather face and aluminium numbers.
Dimensions: H 14 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: Southampton, NJ
Materials & Techniques: Ceramic, Steel
Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelso...
Raymor, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Ceramic, Steel
Ceramic wall clock having Bitossi Rimini Blue style design in a glazed ceramic body. George Nelson clock components by Howard Miller clock company.
Dimensions: H 4 ft. 11 in. Dm 12 in.
Dealer Location: Keego Harbor, MI
Materials & Techniques: Chrome
Mid-Century Modern Pendulum Clock by George Nelson...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Chrome
Pendulum wall-mounted clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller made of aluminium, chrome and Lucite. The face of the clock is 12" in diameter. When the weights are fully extended, the t...
Dimensions: H 2 in. Dm 30 in.
Dealer Location: San Francisco, CA
George Nelson Sunflower Clock
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Early example of George Nelson's design "Sunflower" clock for Howard Miller Clock Company. New quartz movement, very good vintage condition.
Dimensions: H 5.5 in. Dm 4.25 in.
Dealer Location: Houston, TX
Materials & Techniques: Rosewood, Steel
Arthur Umanoff Desk Clock, George Nelson & Associa...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Rosewood, Steel
George Nelson & Associates table clock. Howard Miller Clock Company, USA. Rosewood, steel. Measures: 4.25 W x 3 D x 5.5 H inches. Signed with decal manufacturer's label to r...
Dimensions: H 4 in. Dm 12 in.
Dealer Location: Salt Lake City, UT
George Nelson Howard Miller Steering Wheel Clock
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s Clocks
Great vintage condition vintage.
Dimensions: H 1.25 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: BROOKLYN, NY
Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelso...
Bitossi, Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Striking Mid-Century Bitossi ceramic wall clock by Howard Miller and designed by George Nelson. This particular design is very rare. All original condition.
Dimensions: H 1.25 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: BROOKLYN, NY
Meridian Clock for Raymor Designed by George Nelso...
Bitossi, Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s Italian Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Striking Bitossi ceramic wall clock by Howard Miller and designed by George Nelson. All original condition.
Rare George Nelson Floor Clock
Dimensions: H 30.25 in. Dm 7.5 in.
Dealer Location: BROOKLYN, NY
Materials & Techniques: Chrome
Rare George Nelson Floor Clock
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Chrome
Rare George Nelson floor clock for Howard Miller. Chrome ball face on a tulip base. A truly stunning clock seldom seen.
Dimensions: H 38 in. W 9 in. D 9 in.
Dealer Location: Hudson, NY
George Nelson Mini Grandfather Clock for Howard Mi...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Clocks
Beautiful half-height tabletop grandfather clock in rosewood. Designed by George Nelson for Howard Miller clock company. Wind-up mechanism. Weights and pendulum are purely decorative.
"Swag-Leg" Grandfather Clock by George Nelson
Dimensions: H 5 ft. 10.9 in. W 15.75 in. D 11.81 in.
Dealer Location: Waalwijk, NL
"Swag-Leg" Grandfather Clock by George Nelson
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Elegant "swag-leg" grandfather clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller. This model (#2256) is chain driven. The mechanism is made in Germany by Hermie. Please note the nice contras...
George Nelson for Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, circa 1950
Dimensions: H 4 ft. 8.5 in. W 14 in. D 10 in.
Dealer Location: Culver City, CA
Materials & Techniques: Lucite, Wood
George Nelson for Howard Miller Grandfather Clock,...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Lucite, Wood
A Mid-Century Grandfather clock, designed by George Nelson for Howard Miller, Model No. 622. A wooden frame with rounded corners borders the smoked Lucite panes, displaying the inner wo...
Dimensions: H 2.5 in. Dm 19 in.
Dealer Location: Philadelphia, PA
Materials & Techniques: Metal, Brass, Wood
Mid-Century Modern Vintage Original George Nelson ...
Howard Miller, George Nelson, George Nelson & Associates
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Metal, Brass, Wood
Early original starburst clock design by George Nelson and manufactured by Howard Miller Clock Company. It features brass inner body with black wooden spikes. Plugs into standard outlet...
Dimensions: H 7 ft. 6 in. W 5 ft. D 13 in.
Dealer Location: Brooklyn, NY
Materials & Techniques: Oak
George Nelson Grandfather Clock by Herman Miller
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Oak
Rare unit featuring a Nelson ball clock, storage cubby, and open rack plank on side. Please confirm item location (NY or NJ) with dealer.
Dimensions: H 2.75 in. Dm 19 in.
Dealer Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Materials & Techniques: Brass, Wood
George Nelson Clock for Howard Miller
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Brass, Wood
Beautiful brass and wood clock designed by George Nelson for the Howard Miller clock company.
George Nelson Swagleg Grandfather Clock
Dimensions: H 5 ft. 11 in. W 13.5 in. D 12 in.
Dealer Location: Cathedral City, CA
George Nelson Swagleg Grandfather Clock
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Manufactured by the Howard Miller clock Co. Model # 2256. Brass legs, walnut veneer, tufted velvet backdrop. This is a windup clock, key included.
Dimensions: H 31 in. Dm 12 in.
Dealer Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Materials & Techniques: Aluminum, Chrome, Lucite
Pendulum Clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Aluminum, Chrome, Lucite
Pendulum wall-mounted clock by George Nelson for Howard Miller made of aluminum, chrome and Lucite. The clock has been professionally serviced in 2016. The face of the clock is 12" in d...
Dimensions: H 3 in. Dm 13 in.
Dealer Location: Chicago, IL
Materials & Techniques: Brass, Wood
Vintage George Nelson White Ball Clock
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Brass, Wood
Vintage George Nelson white ball clock.
Dimensions: H 1.5 in. Dm 14.25 in.
Dealer Location: Brooklyn, NY
Materials & Techniques: Ceramic
George Nelson Meridian Wall Clock Rimini Blue Face...
Bitossi, Aldo Londi, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Ceramic
“Meridian” clock designed by George Nelson for the Howard Miller Clock Company. Face is made of “Rimini Blue” Italian ceramic designed by Aldo Londi for Bitossi, battery operated....
Dimensions: H 3 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: Culver City, CA
Materials & Techniques: Birch
Birchwood Wall Clock by George Nelson for Howard M...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Birch
This modernist wall clock is an original design by George Nelson for Howard Miller. Roman numerals and lined notches mark the round light birch wood face of the clock. From the black pl...
Dimensions: H 1 in. Dm 13 in.
Dealer Location: Newport Beach, CA
Materials & Techniques: Ceramic
Meridian Ceramic Clock by Raymor for Howard Miller...
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Ceramic
Designed by George Nelson and crafted in Italy by the Raymor company, this beautiful clock was made for the Meridian Clock Division of Howard Miller, Zeeland, Michigan. Original tags on...
Dimensions: H 2.75 in. Dm 13 in.
Dealer Location: Miami, FL
Materials & Techniques: Glass, Rosewood
Two Mid-Century Modern Howard Miller George Nelson...
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Glass, Rosewood
One round clock rosewood face with alum. Round circles for numbers and alum. Perimeter. Original electric clock mechanism. Measures: 13" dia. 2.75" deep. One square clock Italian gla...
Dimensions: H 4 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Materials & Techniques: Steel, Wood
Modernist Wall Clock by George Nelson
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Steel, Wood
A modernist wall clock having a figured birch body with Roman numerals and a black center with graphically contrasting white and red hands.
Dimensions: H 2 in. Dm 12 in.
Dealer Location: New York, NY
George Nelson Prototype Domino Clock
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Nelson office, designed by Irving Harper for Howard Miller. This is the only clock and was never produced. Purchased from Howard Miller Executive.  
George Nelson Wall Clock
Dimensions: H 3 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: San Francisco, CA
Materials & Techniques: Metal, Wood
George Nelson Wall Clock
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Clocks
Metal, Wood
George Nelson wall clock for Howard Miller Clock Company of Zeeland, Michigan. Plug powered. Label intact.
George Nelson Howard Miller Walnut Case Wall Clock
On Hold
Dimensions: H 36.25 in. W 17 in. D 4.75 in.
Dealer Location: Ferndale, MI
Materials & Techniques: Acrylic, Chrome, Walnut
George Nelson Howard Miller Walnut Case Wall Clock...
George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Acrylic, Chrome, Walnut
George Nelson Howard Miller walnut case wall clock . Key wind up keeps excellent time . Does not chime .
George Nelson Wall Clock
Dimensions: H 3 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: San Mateo, CA
Materials & Techniques: Birch, Metal
George Nelson Wall Clock
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Clocks
Birch, Metal
Wall clock designed by the George Nelson office for Howard Miller. This clock is electric and retains a partial original label on the back. The clock is made of birch and the markers ar...
Dimensions: D 2.5 in. Dm 14 in.
Dealer Location: New York, NY
Azure Ceramic 'Meridian' Clock for Raymor
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s Italian Clocks
A ceramic clock with a Bitossi Rimini Blue style design of impressed geometric forms and glazed in azure and light green. Ceramic body made in Italy, designed by George Nelson, clock c...
George Nelson Eye Clock
Dimensions: H 13.5 in. W 30.25 in. D 2.5 in.
Dealer Location: West Palm Beach, FL
George Nelson Eye Clock
George Nelson
20th Century American Clocks
George Nelson "Eye" Clock model # 2238,Herman Miller Original finish
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