Freeman’s October 8 Design auction is set to include some of the best works by New Hope, Pennsylvania architect-cum-woodworker George Nakashima to be seen on the market in over a decade. The sale is anchored by a large collection of over 20 pieces, assembled by Arnold and Corinne Roth who forged a relationship with George Nakashima in the early 1950s and purchased works for their Brooklyn, New York and then Livingston, New Jersey residences.
Notably, the collection includes a Conoid bench, one of the finest examples of the form, featuring an unusually large and spectacularly grained slab of American black walnut. The hickory spindles grow from the seat almost organically, serving Nakashima’s ultimate goal of allowing the wood to speak of its own past, revealed, but unhindered by the woodworker’s hand.
The Roth Collection includes other notable works, including a pair of Conoid Cushion Chairs, each with their cantilevered seats and elegant proportions. One of the more unusual and rarely seen lots, a pair of small bookcases with two shelves, the cases are dovetailed in Nakashima’s signature manner with feet reminiscent of those seen on larger case pieces he designed. The bookcases were not available in Nakashima’s studio catalogue but were special order. Collectors will also find chests of drawers, hanging shelves, side tables, dining sets, sofas, coffee tables and desks among the dozens of vintage Nakashima offerings this fall.