Auctioneer Press Release Freeman's

Select Design Auction Features 11 Works by George Nakashima

Jun 04,2021 | 09:00 EDT By Freeman’s

PHILADELPHIA, PA— On Tuesday, June 8, Freeman’s presents a Select Design auction beginning at 11am, featuring 19 carefully selected lots of fine 20th century design pieces, including 11 works by George Nakashima, as well as pieces by Tiffany Studios, Samuel Yellin, and Michael Graves, among others.

Lot 5, George Nakashima Special "Minguren I" Coffee Table, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1979

Freeman’s is well-known for our presentation and sale of Nakashima furniture; in 2020 alone, we sold 67 works by the renowned New Hope furniture maker. Select Design underscores this reputation for our careful stewardship of Nakashima furniture. An auction highlight is an exceptional 1961 “conoid” desk, in which a characteristic asymmetrical design is rendered in English walnut, American black walnut, rosewood, and hickory (Lot 13; estimate: $60,000-80,000). Another example is a special “Minguren I” coffee table, featuring a striking oval table top made of Oregon myrtle and American black walnut—referencing his upbringing in the Pacific Northwest but constructed in his longtime Pennsylvania-based studio (Lot 5; estimate: $30,000-50,000). With an impressive concentration of these works, Select Design is an unmissable auction for serious collectors of Nakashima.

An exquisite wrought iron firescreen for R.T. Walder, made by Samuel Yellin in 1929, is another highlight of Select Design (Lot 19; estimate: $40,000-60,000). The screen’s construction and design stands apart from other known Yellin examples, notably the fairly delicate gauge of iron (not greater than ¼ inch throughout) and a striking silhouetting of the design in two dimensions. The U-shaped structure frames a zoomorphic design of twin dragon head terminals with flared nostrils, raised above a pair of four-claw feet. The screen’s whereabouts were unknown before it was rediscovered in Bucks County and subsequently brought to Freeman’s; its sale is a remarkable opportunity to collect work by this significant Philadelphia metalworker.

This select auction features a number of notable 20th century designs, including a five-piece “Tea and Coffee Piazza” set, designed by Michael Graves and commissioned and produced by Alessi (Lot 16; estimate: $15,000-25,000); a Tiffany Studios “Peacock” mirror, circa 1905 (Lot 14; estimate: $10,000-15,000); and furniture and statement pieces by Paul Evans, June Schwarcz, Vladimir Kagan, and Claude Conover.


Since 1805, Freeman’s has been part of the fabric of Philadelphia, helping generations of clients in the buying and selling of fine and decorative arts, jewelry, design, and more. We host many auctions throughout the year, including sales of single owner collections. Freeman’s, Philadelphia’s auction house. Sharing the world of art, design, and jewelry with you, wherever you are.

By Freeman's