GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905-1990)
GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905-1990)
GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905-1990)
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PROPERTY OF A BALTIMORE COLLECTOR
GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905-1990)

SET OF THREE 'AMOEBA' NESTING TABLES, 1979

Details
GEORGE NAKASHIMA (1905-1990)
Set of Three 'Amoeba' Nesting Tables, 1979
Each table with a highly figured, single-slab burl top.
French olive ash, English walnut
largest: 21 x 21 1⁄2 x 20 in. (53.3 x 54.6 x 50.8 cm)
each signed and dated George Nakashima Oct 1979
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner, 1979
Literature
D. Ostergard, George Nakashima Full Circle, New York, 1989, pp. 120-121, no. 4-6
The Soul of a Tree – George Nakashima, Toyama, 1993, pp. 62-63, no. 15-17
George Nakashima Woodworkers, catalog, New Hope, 2001, p. 7
M. Nakashima, Nature Form & Spirit: The Life and Legacy of Geroge Nakashima, New York, 2003, p. 93
George Nakashima Woodworker, catalog, Princeton, 2008, p. 24
Post lot text
This lot is accompanied by a copy of the original order card and a copy of the original drawing.

Brought to you by

Daphné Riou
Daphné Riou Vice President, Senior Specialist, Head of Americas

Lot Essay

George Nakashima was one of the most honored and revered furniture designers and woodworkers in American history. He challenged the prevailing codes of twentieth-century « modern » architecture by restoring the nobility of wood. More than mere material, Nakashima poetically described in his book The Soul of a Tree that each tree is a symbol of eternity and « lives and breathes. » Like a jeweler cutting diamonds, his commitment was to capture the spirit of the wood to shape the most iconic and pure designs with intense skills. What sets Nakashima apart is the spirituality of his work and the uniqueness and timelessness of the pieces that perfectly emphasize the beauty of proportion.

After architecture studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nakashima traveled to Europe, Japan, and India, where he perfected his craftsmanship skills and increased his knowledge of sophisticated woodworking methods. After the war, in 1945, he opened his first studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania, from where he produced objects that were both strikingly beautiful and useful, consistent with his desire for harmony. His partnership with Knoll Associates was a significant turning point in his career, making Nakashima's name renowned and appraised. Soon after, his designs became collection pieces and were sought after by celebrities such as Nelson Rockefeller, who commissioned the designer for more than 200 pieces for his house in New York.

The superb dining table and set of nesting table presented here, remarkable by their thick top and dramatic edges, were acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in 1979.

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