George Nelson Ebonized Coffee Table by Herman Miller, circa 1950s

Buyer Protection Guaranteed


George Nelson ebonized wood coffee table (4652) was made by the Herman Miller Furniture Company Inc., circa 1950s. This coffee table is extendable and has two removable hard plastic bottom serving trays on both sides. The bottom of the trays are made to match the table so they can be flipped over to extend the table to 72" wide. This table retains it's original label. A sample of this iconic coffee table was gifted to The Newark Museum by Herman Miller Inc. in 1989.

Literature: The Herman Miller collection, 1952, pg. 63, see image 7.


  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use
  • Dimensions
    18 in. H x 36 in. W x 24 in. D
    46 cm H x 91 cm W x 61 cm D
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Number of Items
  • Reference Number

About George Nelson (Designer)

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

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2009

Typical response time: 1 hour

Located in New York, NY

  • 20th Century Specialists

More from this Seller

George Nelson Ebonized Platform Bench by Herman Miller, circa 1950s
George Nelson Ebonized Platform Bench by Herman Mi...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
George Nelson platform bench (No. 4692) was made by the Herman Miller Furniture Company Inc. circa 1950s. It was designed primarily for high and low storage cases. But it was also used ...
Fran Taubman Prototype Coffee Table, Multi-Colored Hammered Aluminum, 2012
Fran Taubman Prototype Coffee Table, Multi-Colored...
Fran Taubman
Aluminum, Glass, Paint
Fran Taubman's prototype coffee table is simply constructed by multi-colored hammered aluminum shapes arranged three-dimensionally with a glass top. Inspired by Dutch furniture designer...
Silas Seandel Volcano Bronze and Steel Coffee Table with Glass, 1977
Silas Seandel Volcano Bronze and Steel Coffee Tabl...
Silas Seandel
Bronze, Steel
Contemporary New York sculptor Silas Seandel's Volcano coffee table with glass top was made in 1977. The table consists of 7 alternating textured bronze and matte finished stainless ste...
Gary Gutterman Olympic Console, Mirror Polished Aluminum, circa 1970s
Gary Gutterman Olympic Console, Mirror Polished Al...
Gary Gutterman
Gary Gutterman Olympic console was made for Axuis Designs. The table has new tempered glass and it's base is made of polished aluminum with adjustable feet. This was a custom size and p...