George Nakashima Grass Seat Walnut Chairs, circa 1950

Buyer Protection Guaranteed


Beautiful set of four original George Nakashima grass seat walnut chairs, dating from 1950. These chairs are 100% original and unrestored. They are in very nice original condition. Very sturdy. Comes with original paperwork from George Nakashima, dating from 1950. Very rare early set of original George Nakashima chairs.

Additional images on request.


    Wear consistent with age and use
    28 in. H x 22.5 in. W x 19 in. D
    71 cm H x 57 cm W x 48 cm D
    Seat Height
    17 in. (43 cm)
    Seller Location
    San Diego, CA
    Sold As
    Set of 4
    Reference Number

About George Nakashima (Designer)

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.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2010

Typical response time: 1 hour

Located in San Diego, CA

More from this Seller

Paul McCobb Occasional Lounge Chairs
Paul McCobb Occasional Lounge Chairs
Directional, Paul McCobb
Elegant modernist pair of occasional armchairs or side chairs with cane backs designed by Paul McCobb. This pair is larger than the similar "captain" dining chair. Restored.
Taos Adobe Chairs by Ben Wade
Taos Adobe Chairs by Ben Wade
Pair of rare hand crafted pine and leather chairs by Ben Wade. These are two of a very limited number of pieces made by Wade for a Taos, New Mexico adobe. They are very close in size bu...
Arne Hovmand-Olsen Pair of Teak Side Chairs
Arne Hovmand-Olsen Pair of Teak Side Chairs
Arne Hovmand Olsen
Pair of Danish Mid-Century Modern teak side chairs with original upholstery designed by Arne Hovmand-Olsen, circa 1950s.
1960s Verner Panton Cone Chairs, Denmark with Original Fabric
1960s Verner Panton Cone Chairs, Denmark with Orig...
Verner Panton
Great pair of vintage Verner Panton cone chairs, circa 1960s. This pair of chairs are in very nice original condition. They have the original blue woven fabric with normal wear from age...