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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GEORGE NAKASHIMA Rare tea cart
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIORare rolling tea cart, New Hope, PA, 1...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Conoid dining table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOConoid dining table, New Hope, PAWalnu...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Fine cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOFine cabinet, New Hope, PA, 1965Walnut...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Two Conoid chairs
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOTwo Conoid dining chairs, New Hope, PA...
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 Sliding Door cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990) NAKASHIMA STUDIO Sliding Door cabinet, New Hope, PA, ...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Double dresser
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIODouble dresser, New Hope, PA,1957Walnu...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Side table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOSide table, New Hope, PA, 1980WalnutUn...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA; WIDDICOMB Origins dresser
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)WIDDICOMBOrigins triple dresser (no. 212), Grand Rapid...
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; WIDDICOMB Origins dresser
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)WIDDICOMBOrigins triple dresser (no. 212), Grand Rapid...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Double Sliding Door cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIODouble Sliding Door cabinet, New Hope,...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Side table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOSide table, New Hope, PA, 1979WalnutSi...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Fine Conoid bench
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOFine Conoid bench, New Hope, PA, 1981W...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Six Conoid dining chairs
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOSix Conoid dining chairs, New Hope, PA...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Sliding Door cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990) NAKASHIMA STUDIO Sliding Door cabinet, New Hope, PA, ...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Double dresser
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIODouble dresser, New Hope, PA, 1956Waln...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Large Sliding Door cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOLarge Sliding Door cabinet, New Hope, ...
Jan 22, 2017
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Massive dining table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990) NAKASHIMA STUDIO Massive Frenchman's Cove dining tabl...
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 Double Sliding Door cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIODouble Sliding Door cabinet, New Hope,...
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 Minguren II coffee table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOMinguren II coffee table, New Hope, PA...
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 Massive dining table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990) NAKASHIMA STUDIO Massive Frenchman's Cove dining tabl...
Jan 22, 2017
Two George Nakashima Captain's Chairs
Description: Two George Nakashima Captain's Chairs Walnut New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1961-62 Sha...
Dec 15, 2016
Two George Nakashima Settees
Description: Two George Nakashima Settees Walnut New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1950s Each with oppo...
Dec 15, 2016
George Nakashima (1905-1990) Low Table
Description: George Nakashima (1905-1990) Low Table American black walnut New Hope, Pennsylvan...
Dec 15, 2016
Six George Nakashima Grass-seat Chairs
Description: Six George Nakashima Grass-seat Chairs American black walnut, natural fiber New H...
Dec 15, 2016
George Nakashima (1905-1990) Dining Table
Description: George Nakashima (1905-1990) Dining Table American black walnut New Hope, Pennsyl...
Dec 15, 2016
George Nakashima Dining Table
Description: George Nakashima Dining Table Walnut New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1961-62 Rectangular...
Dec 15, 2016
Four George Nakashima (1905-1990) Captain's Armchairs
Description: Four George Nakashima (1905-1990) Captain's Armchairs American black walnut New H...
Dec 15, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1957 American black walnut, woven sea-grass 22½ w x 19 d x 27¼ h in (57 x 48 x 69 cm). So...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1958 American black walnut, chrome-plated brass 83 w x 21 d x 31¾ h in (211 x 53 x 81 cm)...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1966 American black walnut, woven sea-grass 23 w x 20 d x 27½ h in (58 x 51 x 70 cm). Sol...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1959 American black walnut, hickory 18¾ w x 21 d x 36 h in (48 x 53 x 91 cm). Sold with a...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1957 American black walnut 36¼ w x 103 d x 27 h in (92 x 262 x 69 cm). This early Trestle...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1957 American black walnut 72 w x 40½ d x 28¾ h in (183 x 103 x 73 cm). Table features jo...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1986 maple burl, American black walnut 53½ w x 28 d x 15¼ h in (136 x 71 x 39 cm). George...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1977 American black walnut 60 w x 19¼ d x 25 h in (152 x 49 x 63 cm). Table features high...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1966 American black walnut 35 w x 34¾ d x 27¼ h in (89 x 88 x 69 cm). Signed with client ...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1958 American black walnut 44 w x 21½ d x 31¾ h in (112 x 55 x 81 cm). Cabinet features t...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1967 English walnut 37 w x 14 d x 12 h in (94 x 36 x 30 cm). Table features a single slab...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1959 American black walnut, East Indian rosewood 84 w x 46¾ d x 28¾ h in (213 x 119 x 73 ...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1958 cherry, plywood 75 w x 39 d x 10 h in (190 x 99 x 25 cm). Sold with a photocopy of t...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, c. 1975 French olive ash, hickory 14 w x 12½ d x 20 h in (36 x 32 x 51 cm). Sold with a l...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1959 English walnut 43 w x 32 d x 13 h in (109 x 81 x 33 cm). Single slab top featuring h...
Dec 08, 2016
George Nakashima
USA, 1977 redwood root burl, American black walnut 61¼ w x 53 d x 15¼ h in (156 x 135 x 39 cm)...
Nov 17, 2016
George Nakashima
SET OF EIGHT 'CONOID' DINING CHAIRS SET OF EIGHT 'CONOID' DINING CHAIRS SET OF EIGHT 'CONOID' DIN...
Nov 15, 2016
George Nakashima Dining Table
Description: American (New Hope, Pennsylvania), mid-20th century. A George Nakashima (1905-1990) ...
Oct 28, 2016
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Custom bridge table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOCustom turned-leg bridge table, New Ho...
Oct 18, 2016
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Fine Minguren coffee table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOFine Minguren coffee table, New Hope, ...
Oct 18, 2016
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Dining table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIODining table, New Hope, PA Walnut Unma...
Oct 16, 2016
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Cushion sofa
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOCushion sofa, New Hope, PA, 1950-52 Ch...
Oct 16, 2016
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Conoid dining table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOConoid dining table, New Hope, PA, 196...
Oct 16, 2016
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Sliding Door cabinet
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOSliding Door cabinet, New Hope, PA, 19...
Oct 16, 2016
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Minguren side table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOMinguren side table, New Hope, PA, 197...
Oct 16, 2016
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Lounge chair and side table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOLounge chair and side table, New Hope,...
Oct 16, 2016
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Pair of Greenrock stools
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOPair of Greenrock stools, New Hope, PA...
Oct 16, 2016
GEORGE NAKASHIMA Slab coffee table
Description: GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905 - 1990)NAKASHIMA STUDIOSlab coffee table, New Hope, PA, 1962 ...
Oct 16, 2016

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.