George Nakashima - Design New York Tuesday, June 11, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Mr. and Mrs. Walter Schwab, Providence, Rhode Island

  • Literature

    George Nakashima, The Soul of a Tree, A Woodworker’s Reflections, Tokyo, 1981, p. 188 for a drawing of the “Minguren II” base
    Derek E. Ostergard, George Nakashima, Full Circle, exh. cat., American Craft Museum, New York, 1989, p. 163 for the chairs
    Mira Nakashima, Nature, Form & Spirit: The Life and Legacy of George Nakashima, New York, 2003, p. 210 for an example of a claro walnut board, and p. 239 for the similar 1986 "Altar for Peace"

  • Artist Biography

    George Nakashima

    American • 1905 - 1990

    Working out of his compound in rural New Hope, Pennsylvania, George Nakashima produced some of the most original and influential furniture designs of the post-war era. Nakashima aimed to give trees a second life, choosing solid wood over veneers and designing his furniture to highlight the inherent beauty of the wood, such as the form and grain. To this end, his tables often feature freeform edges, natural fissures and knot holes. Nakashima was an MIT-trained architect and traveled widely in his youth, gaining exposure to modernist design the world over.

    The signature style he developed was the distillation of extraordinary, diverse experiences, which led to the establishment of his furniture-making business in 1946. In particular, his practice of Integral Yoga, which he studied while working under the architect Antonin Raymond on the construction of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India, had a lasting impact on his philosophy as a designer.

    After returning to the U.S. in 1940, Nakashima's family was interned in an American concentration camp, a horrible ordeal that nevertheless introduced him to traditional Japanese joinery by way of a Nisei woodworker he met in the camp. He incorporated these techniques and also drew on American vernacular forms, such as the Windsor chair. These diverse influences have resulted in immense crossover appeal in the world of twentieth-century design collecting.

    View More Works


Custom "Sanso" table and set of ten low "Conoid" lounge chairs

Table: single-board claro walnut, American black walnut, seven East Indian rosewood butterfly keys; chairs: single-board American black walnut, hickory.
Table: 25 1/8 x 61 1/2 x 99 1/2 in. (63.8 x 156.2 x 252.7 cm);
Each chair: 33 1/4 x 21 3/4 x 23 3/4 in. (84.5 x 55.2 x 60.3 cm)

Underside of table signed in black marker with George Nakashima/Nov 12 1987, and Schwab. Underside of each chair signed in black marker with George Nakashima/Nov 12 1987. Together with the original drawing of the table as well as correspondence between George Nakashima and the original owner.

$160,000 - 220,000 

Contact Specialist
Meaghan Roddy
Head of Sale
+ 1 212 940 1266


New York 11 June 2013 11am