George Nakashima

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George Nakashima stands as a pivotal figure at the crossroads of American modernist styles and Japanese woodworking heritage. We offer a free appraisal for all Nakashima items consigned to our modern design auctions. 

George Nakashima Overview


Celebrated for his organically inspired designs, George Nakashima treated each piece of wood with profound respect, honoring its individual narrative and potential to transform under the artisan's touch. This approach produced furniture that was not just utilitarian but profoundly expressive, merging the realms of art and function. His famed live-edge tables, seating, and storage solutions stand out for their unadorned beauty, strength, and the balance they strike with the natural environment, embodying a serene dialogue between human craftsmanship and nature’s artistry.

Nakashima's legacy is deeply rooted in New Hope, Pennsylvania, where he established a studio that became a flourishing center for artisanship, involving his family and a collective of skilled craftsmen. The Nakashima Woodworker Complex, now recognised as a National Historic Landmark, remains active under the stewardship of his daughter, Mira Nakashima, ensuring the continuation of his craftsmanship and philosophy.

A remarkable highlight of Nakashima’s oeuvre is the "Peace Table," a project born out of his wartime internment experience and a lifelong pursuit of reconciliation and unity. These monumental tables, crafted from vast wood slabs, symbolize communal harmony and are envisioned as platforms for fostering peace and mutual understanding among diverse communities.

Nakashima's furniture-making philosophy was a reflection of his broader worldview, embracing the interconnectedness of existence and the beauty inherent in life's imperfections. This ethos, reminiscent of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, celebrates the ephemeral and the flawed, seeking beauty in the natural cycle of growth and decay.

George Nakashima’s creations continue to be coveted worldwide, not merely as items of furniture but as embodiments of philosophical and cultural discourse. His legacy prompts designers and artisans to engage deeply with their materials, embracing design as a spiritual act that nurtures connections between the creator, the object, and the world at large.

Nakashima’s body of work challenges conventional design paradigms, serving as a profound commentary on human existence, our bond with nature, and design's capacity to convey complex sentiments and ideas. His pieces stand as monuments to the elegance of simplicity, the value of mindful creation, and the timeless allure of designs that resonate with the essence of the natural world.


Modern Design Directory

Meet the Expert

James Spiridion

Auctioneer and valuer specialising in Modern Design. James has recently returned to the North West after spending the last few years as a valuer in Scotland, during that time James also featured on Paul Martin's Auction Showdown for Channel 5 as a 'Rival Auctioneer'.



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