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Pair of Slab Coffee Tables by George Nakashima For Sale
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Pair of Slab Coffee Tables by George Nakashima

About

George Nakashima, two Slab coffee tables, American walnut, United States, 1960s Two slab coffee tables made of a solid board top. The coffee tables are designed by George Nakashima to express the character of a particular slab. The first table is a Slab I model. It features a top with one free edge, with expressive fissures and knot details. The base has a curvaceous through-tenon detail and one additional leg. The second table top is a Slab II model, features two free edges, knot details and an expressive grain. The base has a large curvaceous through-tenon detail and two additional legs. Provenance: Both tables come with copies of the original order cards. One of the coffee tables is signed with client's name. George Nakashima (1905-1990) was a Japanese architect who was born in the United States. Nakashima was a spiritual and philosophical designer and he felt bound by a sense of duty to his work. The basis of Nakashima's work was derived from his practice of Integral yoga. The primary goal of Nakashima's work was to live in harmony with nature rather than to destroy it for their own use. He took inspiration from the Shakers and Le Corbusier. His approach was always that of an artist, calling on creative energies from deep within. He therefore believed that architecture and design had nothing to do with 'styles' but instead with honesty of expression, truth in materials and good proportion resulting in a 'Fine plainness'. Above all, Nakashima wanted to embody a message to all modern societies that we must constantly remember the eternal in all that we do. He often said of his own work that he gave trees a second life. Literature - Nakashima, George. The Soul of a Tree. New York: Kodansa, 2011. - Nakashima, Mira. Nature Form & Spirit: The Life and Legacy of George Nakashima. HarryN. Arms, 2003, p. 151. Similar model.

Details

  • Period
    1960-1969
  • Materials and Techniques
    Walnut
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    Very good condition, patina to original finish. Light wear visible on surface.
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 13 in. x W 56.7 in. x D 29.14 in.H 33 cm x W 144 cm x D 74 cm
  • Seller Location
    Waalwijk, NL
  • Seller Reference Number
    45013016 & 45011300
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
    LU933117955432
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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

4.8 / 5

Established in 2007, Morentz has a team of approximately 55 restorers, upholsterers, interior advisers and art historians, making it a gallery, workshop and upholstery studio, all in one. Every day, a carefully selected array of 20th-century furniture arrives from all over the world at the firm’...

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Vetted
Diamond
Recognized
Associations: 20th Century Specialists
1stdibs seller since 2012
Typical response time: 3 hours
Located in Waalwijk, NL
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