George Nakashima - Design: Online Auction New York Tuesday, February 7, 2023 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Sylvia and Leo Berck, Roslyn, New York, circa 1958
    Thence by descent to the present owners

  • Literature

    “The Glorification of Wood,” House Beautiful, October 1958, p. 174

  • 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.

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Property from a Long Island Estate


Lot offered with No Reserve

Cocktail table, model no. 258, from the "Origins" collection

Laurel with "Sundra" finish.
13 1/8 x 72 x 29 3/4 in. (33.3 x 182.9 x 75.6 cm)
Manufactured by Widdicomb-Mueller Corporation, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Underside ink stamped SUNDRA/10 / 58/258/GEORGE/NAKASHIMA/INSPECTED CABINET DEPT and with manufacturer's paper label printed WIDDICOMB/Grand Rapids.

$4,000 - 6,000 

Sold for $3,276

Contact Specialist

Benjamin Green
Associate Specialist
Associate Head of Sale
+1 917 207 9090

Design: Online Auction

Online Auction 7 - 14 February 2023