Set of Eight New Style Chairs by George Nakashima

Price Upon Request


Walnut saddle seat having nine Hickory spindles.
Walnut top rail with tenon joinery.


    Excellent. Chairs purchased from original.
    36 in. H x 19 in. W x 17 in. D
    91 cm H x 48 cm W x 43 cm D
    Seat Height
    18 in. (46 cm)
    Seller Location
    Sea Cliff, NY
    Sold As
    Set of 8
    Reference Number

About George Nakashima (Maker)

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 2008

Typical response time: 5 hours

Located in Sea Cliff, NY

More from this Seller

Set of Eight Conoid Chairs by George Nakashima
Set of Eight Conoid Chairs by George Nakashima
George Nakashima
A great set of eight chairs made of Walnut with Hickory spindles.Shoe feet supporting canted Walnut legs. A beautiful selection of Walnut boards used in the seats. This set was well car...
Set of Six Walnut Conoid Chairs by George Nakashima
Set of Six Walnut Conoid Chairs by George Nakashim...
George Nakashima
A beautiful set of six walnut Conoid dining chairs. This walnut set was carefully selected by the original having matching grain patterns in all the seats.
A set of Six and Eight Grass Seat Chairs by George Nakashima
A set of Six and Eight Grass Seat Chairs by George...
George Nakashima
A beautiful example of this popular Dining chair by George Nakashima. Black Walnut seat frame and back rail supported by four tapered Black Walnut legs. Hand shaped Hickory spindles sup...
Set of ten George Nakashima Walnut" New " Chairs
Set of ten George Nakashima Walnut" New " Chairs
George Nakashima
A beautiful set of ten Walnut dinning chairs. This set has a beautiful aged and very even patina. The Hickory spindles have turned to a golden tint. These are the best example of this f...