George Nakashima Model 217 Walnut & Oak Coffee Table USA 1958
Rare George Nakashima Model 217 dated 11/58 Walnut & Oak Coffee Table manufactured by Widdicomb Furniture Company, USA. Branded “GEORGE NAKASHIMA” and “NAKASHIMA” twice, with the manufacturer’s label, the rectangular inset top over two drawers with with brass drawer pulls, raised by two tapered legs and A shaped leg to underside of drawers, a magnificent rare piece that will only increase in value in years to come.
Provenance: Phillips, New York, lot 244, 2nd December 2006
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.
Condition: in very good vintage condition with no weakness to the joints, no past or present woodworm, all drawers are clean with no odours or smells, the drawers open and close with ease.
Height 20.5” inches / 52cm
Width 54” inches / 137cm
Depth 18” inches / 45cm
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