George Nakashima - Design Evening Sale New York Tuesday, December 13, 2016 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    William Warden, New Hope, Pennsylvania
    Sollo Rago, Lambertville, NJ, "John Sollo and David Rago Present a 20th Century Modern Weekend," April 21, 2007, lot 506
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Phillips would like to thank Mira Nakashima and Soomi Hahn Amagasu for their assistance cataloguing the present lot.

  • 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 of an American Collector


Rare coffee table with special early variant Minguren base

English oak burl, English oak.
18 x 83 3/4 x 32 in. (45.7 x 212.7 x 81.3 cm)
Produced by Nakashima Studios, New Hope, Pennsylvania. Underside inscribed in black marker WARDEN. Together with a copy of the original order card.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Contact Specialist
Cordelia Lembo
Specialist, Head of Sale
+1 212 940 1265

Design Evening Sale

New York Auction 13 December 2016