Early Two Sectional Walnut Settees by George Nakashima For Sale
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Early Two Sectional Walnut Settees by George Nakashima

About

Two single arm walnut settee in a rare sectional configuration, custom-made and gifted to a family friend, circa 1950s by George Nakashima in his New Hope Studio. The two settees can be used as an opposing pair, a L-shape configuration or a very long sofa of 96 inches when placed together, as shown in the photos. New foam and upholstery of a Knoll Luxe collection fabric. Accompany these lovely settees is an authentication letter by Mira Nakashima from Nakashima Studio and it stated the interesting history of these piece as well.

Details

  • Period
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
    Good
  • Condition Details
    Excellent original condition, patina and minor wear consistent with age, minor sun fading on the arm rest only adding a very charming vintage appearance.
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 30 in. x W 48 in. x D 34 in.H 76.2 cm x W 121.92 cm x D 86.36 cm
  • Seller Location
    North Miami, FL
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
    LU94506210493
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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

5 / 5
Vetted
Gold Seller
1stdibs seller since 2010
Located in North Miami, FL
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