George Nakashima valuations

Born in 1905 in Spokane, Washington, to Japanese immigrants, George Nakashima is an American woodworker and architect, who was a leading figure of the American craft movement and innovative 20th century furniture design. He was educated in architecture at the University of Washington and M.I.T.

After finishing his studies in 1931, Nakashima sold his car and bought an around-the-world steamship ticket. He traveled around in France, living the bohemian life in Paris for a year, India and Japan. In Japan, while working for Antonin Raymond -American architect who also collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright-, Nakashima journeyed through Japan in detail, learning Japanese architecture and designs. Throughout his travels, Nakashima absorbed both traditional and modern aspects of art, design and culture and melded them in his unique style.

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A 'WEPMAN' TABLE, SECOND HALF 20TH CENTURY GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905-1990)
George Nakashima hanging wall-cabinet
USA, 1958<br />American black walnut, Pandanus cloth<br />70.75 w &times; 14.5 d &times; 14.25 h ...
Jun 07, 2018
George Nakashima Conoid dining table
USA, 1969<br />American black walnut, rosewood<br />93 w &times; 46 d &times; 29 h in (236 &times...
Jun 07, 2018
George Nakashima Conoid coffee table
USA, 1972<br />English walnut, rosewood<br />46.75 w &times; 32.5 d &times; 13 h in (119 &times; ...
Jun 07, 2018
George Nakashima queen-size headboard
USA, 1969<br />American black walnut, rosewood<br />90.5 w &times; 3.5 d &times; 34 h in (230 &ti...
Jun 07, 2018
George Nakashima Trestle dining table
USA, 1959<br />American black walnut<br />110.75 w &times; 46 d &times; 29 h in (281 &times; 117 ...
Jun 07, 2018
George Nakashima nightstands, pair
USA, 1959<br />American black walnut<br />17 w &times; 17 d &times; 22 h in (43 &times; 43 &times...
Jun 07, 2018
George Nakashima Conoid coffee table
USA, 1969<br />American black walnut<br />33.75 w &times; 31.5 d &times; 13 h in (86 &times; 80 &...
Jun 07, 2018
George Nakashima table lamp
USA, 1979<br />American black walnut, rosewood, cherry, parchment<br />13.25 dia &times; 32 h in ...
Jun 07, 2018
George Nakashima Exceptional Free-Edge Sliding Door Cabinet
USA, c. 1965<br />American black walnut, Pandanus cloth<br />84 w &times; 21.75 d &times; 24 h in...
Jun 07, 2018
George Nakashima occasional table
USA, c. 1965<br />cherry, rosewood<br />41 w &times; 21.5 d &times; 20 h in (104 &times; 55 &time...
Mar 22, 2018
George Nakashima hanging wall cabinet
USA, 1965<br />American black walnut<br />72 w &times; 12 d &times; 14 h in (183 &times; 30 &time...
Mar 22, 2018
George Nakashima cabinet
USA, 1965<br />walnut<br />120 w &times; 22 d &times; 32 h in (305 &times; 56 &times; 81 cm) Cabi...
Mar 22, 2018
George Nakashima occasional table
USA, 1965<br />American black walnut, hickory<br />28.25 w &times; 28 d &times; 21.25 h in (72 &t...
Mar 22, 2018
George Nakashima New chairs, set of four
USA, c. 1965<br />American black walnut, hickory<br />18.5 w &times; 22 d &times; 36 h in (47 &ti...
Mar 22, 2018
George Nakashima Round Pedestal table
USA, c. 1965<br />American black walnut<br />36 dia &times; 28.5 h in (91 &times; 72 cm) <i>Georg...
Mar 22, 2018
George Nakashima Early coffee table
USA, 1951<br />cherry<br />53.75 w &times; 17 d &times; 16 h in (137 &times; 43 &times; 41 cm) Ta...
Mar 22, 2018
George Nakashima Minguren II coffee table
USA, 1988<br />American black walnut<br />42 w &times; 24 d &times; 15 h in (107 &times; 61 &time...
Dec 14, 2017
George Nakashima Slab Arm lounge chair
USA, c. 1960<br />American black walnut, hickory<br />30 w &times; 30 d &times; 33.5 h in (76 &ti...
Dec 14, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905-1990)
GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905-1990) A 'SLAB II' COFFEE TABLE, CIRCA 1975 English black walnut, East Indi...
Dec 14, 2017
George Nakashima Mira chairs, set of four
USA, 1960<br />American black walnut, stained hickory<br />20 w &times; 18 d &times; 27 h in (51 ...
Dec 14, 2017
George Nakashima Minguren I dining table
USA, 1985<br />American black walnut, rosewood<br />72 w &times; 44 d &times; 28.75 h in (183 &ti...
Nov 21, 2017
George Nakashima Conoid Dining Chairs, set of six
USA, 1967<br />American black walnut, hickory<br />20.75 w &times; 22.5 d &times; 35.5 h in (53 &...
Nov 21, 2017
George Nakashima Rare cabinet
USA, 1972<br />American black walnut, Pandanus cloth<br />98.75 w &times; 19 d &times; 30.25 h in...
Nov 21, 2017
George Nakashima New Chairs, pair
USA, 1973<br />American black walnut, hickory<br />25 w &times; 25 d &times; 39 h in (63 &times; ...
Oct 26, 2017
George Nakashima custom Frenchmans Cove desk
USA, 1973<br />American black walnut, rosewood<br />84 w &times; 41.5 d &times; 28.75 h in (213 &...
Oct 26, 2017
George Nakashima Drawer Front Chest
USA, 1972<br />American black walnut<br />36 w &times; 22 d &times; 38.75 h in (91 &times; 56 &ti...
Oct 26, 2017
George Nakashima Conoid dining chairs, set of eight
USA, 1972<br />American black walnut, hickory<br />20.75 w &times; 22 d &times; 35.5 h in (53 &ti...
Oct 26, 2017
George Nakashima Trestle dining table
USA, 1972<br />American black walnut, rosewood<br />84 w &times; 41.5 d &times; 28.5 h in (213 &t...
Oct 26, 2017
George Nakashima custom cabinet and shelf
USA, 1973<br />American black walnut<br />96 w &times; 22 d &times; 88.75 h in (244 &times; 56 &t...
Oct 26, 2017
George Nakashima Cross-leg desk
USA, 1959<br />American black walnut<br />90 w &times; 42.8 d &times; 28.5 h in (229 &times; 109 ...
Jun 08, 2017
George Nakashima Minguren I coffee table
USA, 1977<br />burled walnut, American black walnut<br />32.5 dia &times; 15 h in (83 &times; 38 ...
Jun 08, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905-1990)
GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905-1990) THREE 'CUSHION' ARMCHAIRS, CIRCA 1960 walnut, upholstery each 30 ½ i...
Jun 07, 2017
George Nakashima Kornblut cabinets from the Schlanger residence, pair
USA, 1980<br />American black walnut, walnut burl<br />18 w &times; 20.5 d &times; 22 h in (46 &t...
May 25, 2017
George Nakashima, 'Wepman' Table
Description: Walnut; unmarked., 12 x 15 1/2 x 22 in. Categories: 20th Century Design Condition: N...
Mar 24, 2017
George Nakashima, Lounge Chair
Description: Walnut, plywood; lacking wedges, marked 'Rabun Schurtz'., 30 1/2 x 24 x 31 in. Categ...
Mar 24, 2017
George Nakashima coffee table, model 200-66W
Widdicomb<br />USA, 1960<br />Carpathian elm, rosewood, walnut<br />66 w &times; 24 d &times; 12....
Mar 23, 2017
George Nakashima Slab coffee table
USA, 1961<br />American black walnut, rosewood<br />67.5 w &times; 36 d &times; 14 h in (171 &tim...
Mar 23, 2017
George Nakashima Grass-Seated chairs, pair
USA, c. 1965<br />American black walnut, woven sea-grass<br />24 w &times; 20 d &times; 27.5 h in...
Mar 23, 2017
George Nakashima Conoid desk
USA, 1964<br />American black walnut<br />75 w &times; 26.25 d &times; 28.25 h in (190 &times; 67...
Mar 23, 2017
George Nakashima Round Cluster Based dining table
USA, c. 1965<br />American black walnut<br />54 dia &times; 28.5 h in (137 &times; 72 cm) <i>Geor...
Mar 23, 2017
George Nakashima monumental wall shelves, set of three
USA, 1969<br />American black walnut<br />144 w &times; 14 d &times; 1.25 h in (366 &times; 36 &t...
Mar 23, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Sliding Door cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOSliding Door cabinet, New Hope, PA, be...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Fine coffee table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOFine Minguren I coffee table, New Hope...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Wohl side table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOWohl side table, New Hope, PA, 1975Bla...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Bench with back
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOBench with back, New Hope, PA, 1972Fig...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Custom double-sided desk
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOCustom wall-mounting double-sided desk...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Trestle dining table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOTrestle dining table, New Hope, PA, 19...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Rare tea cart
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIORare rolling tea cart, New Hope, PA, 1...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Bench with back
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOBench with back, New Hope, PA, 1972Fig...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Triple Sliding Door cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990) NAKASHIMA STUDIO Triple Sliding Door cabinet, New Hop...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Fine Minguren coffee table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOFine Minguren coffee table, New Hope, ...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Sliding Door cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOSliding Door cabinet, New Hope, PA, be...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Hanging Wall Shelf/Desk
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOHanging Wall Shelf/Desk, New Hope, PA,...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Custom double-sided desk
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOCustom wall-mounting double-sided desk...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Trestle dining table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOTrestle dining table, New Hope, PA, 19...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Conoid dining table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOConoid dining table, New Hope, PA, 196...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Wall-hanging cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOWall-hanging cabinet, New Hope, PA, 19...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Minguren II coffee table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOMinguren II coffee table, New Hope, PA...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Triple Sliding Door cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990) NAKASHIMA STUDIO Triple Sliding Door cabinet, New Hop...
Jan 22, 2017
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However, the turning point of his career came in a film-like moment. During the WWII, like many Asian Americans, Nakashima was exiled into an Internment Camp. Here, he met an old master of traditional Japanese carpentry and under his teaching, learned the secrets of traditional Japanese hand tools and joinery techniques. More importantly, he learned to approach the wood with discipline and patience, understanding it better and seeking perfection in each phase of his design. Nakashima had a special relationship with wood and the tree itself, visible in his memoir “The Soul of a Tree”.

He gave a second life to the trees with his signature woodworking design, using massive solid wood slabs with unfinished natural edges or multiple slabs connected with butterfly joints. He is known for his preference of walnut, ash and cherry and accepting materials that were rejected by other woodworkers for their imperfections.

Nakashima always included family members in his studio, most importantly his Harvard educated architect daughter Mira Nakashima, who took over his legacy. Today, Nakashima furniture is favored by both the collections of traditional institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution and Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as in the homes of Stephen Spielberg, Brad Pitt, Diane von Furstenberg and Steve Jobs.

What is George Nakashima known for?

Two of the most memorable pieces designed by George Nakashima are the Straight-Backed Chair for Knoll and the Widdicomb-Mueller Dining Table. Known for creating everyday functional objects instead of furniture with elaborate designs, Nakashima’s Straight-Backed Chair of 1946, which has unmistakable craftsmanship and sculptural lines, has inspired a lot of new designers. The Widdicomb-Mueller Dining Table is an extension dining table made out of his signature rare timbers. He used highly figured walnut, rosewood, laurel and Carpathian Elm timbers to build it. This table looks distinct because of its six tapered hexagonal legs and stretchers.

What auction houses (and galleries) have sold George Nakashima items?

George Nakashima’s furniture pieces are very popular among art and antique collectors. Some of his works, namely the Minguren II Low Table and the Walnut Hanging Cabinet, were on display at the Todd Merrill Studio in New York and the Hemisphere Gallery in London, respectively. Auction houses have a few lots of his famous pieces as well. Wright auctions Nakashima’s 1972 Rare Cabinet while Christie’s has sold some of his pieces which were named A Wall Cabinet, A Walnut Console, and An Important Long Chair.

What is the price range of George Nakashima items?

George Nakashima’s designs are highly regarded by critics and collectors. Whenever his pieces come out at an auction, it commands a price of anywhere from $25,000 to $300,000. The most expensive Nakashima furniture auctioned by Christie’s was the 1978 A Coffee Table, which was sold for $149,000. His works has reached auction houses around the world, particularly in Seoul and United Kingdom. 

Interesting info about George Nakashima

Many still can’t believe how a coffee table with rough edges was sold for 30% more than its estimated price. The Table Basse, which Nakashima built between 1950 and 1960, was sold for 97,000 euros or about $112,000. Auctioneers estimated its worth to be around 40,000 and 60,000 euros. But then, Nakashima’s imperfect intricacies are exactly what he is known for. He would take all the wood that other furniture makers would discard and use it to build interesting coffee tables. He would make the top smooth but leave the outer edges rugged, creating a very distinctive appeal.