Nakashima furniture, Yellin firescreen topped Freeman’s June 8 auction

George Nakashima 1961 conoid desk, which sold for $75,600

George Nakashima 1961 conoid desk, which sold for $75,600

PHILADELPHIA— Freeman’s is pleased to announce the results of its June 8 Select Design auction, confirming our pride of place in the presentation and sale of works by renowned New Hope-based furniture maker George Nakashima. All but one lot sold in the selective 19-lot auction; more than half of the lots were Nakashima works, and the auction commanded an impressive total of $458,000.

“All in all, this was a strong sale, making evident Freeman’s ability to sell masterworks of Pennsylvania art and design,” says Tim Andreadis, Head of Freeman’s 20th Century and Contemporary Design department. “The results clearly show Freeman’s ability to showcase works by George Nakashima, underscoring the depth of the Nakashima market both in the US and abroad. We were pleased to see many new and younger bidders participate in the sale, many seeking to acquire their first work by the Pennsylvania woodworker, and we are now welcoming consignments for our fall sale.”

George Nakashima 1979 long chair with arm, which sold for $47,250

George Nakashima 1979 long chair with arm, which sold for $47,250

Nakashima works were the definite highlight of the June 8 auction, and offered an important buying opportunity for both new and established collectors. A set of six “conoid” chairs from 1966 inspired a heated bidding war between buyers, pushing its sale price up to $30,240, nearly doubling its pre-sale high estimate. Several striking Nakashima designs commanded impressive prices: an exceptional 1961 conoid desk sold for $75,600; a 1979 long chair with arm achieved $47,250; and a 1987 fine Minguren III desk or table sold for $44,100.

Samuel Yellin 1929 wrought iron firescreen, which sold for $40,950

Samuel Yellin 1929 wrought iron firescreen, which sold for $40,950

In 2020 alone, Freeman’s sold 67 works by Nakashima. Select Design confirms clear market interest in Nakashima furniture, as well as Freeman’s strength in presenting it and achieving impressive sale prices for our consignors, a reputation in which we take pride.

Michael Graves’s Tea and Coffee Piazza set, which sold for $20,160

Michael Graves’s Tea and Coffee Piazza set, which sold for $20,160

Though Nakashima works commanded much attention, works by other Pennsylvania-based artists shone too: an unusual 1929 wrought iron firescreen by Samuel Yellin achieved $40,950, and Paul Evans’s custom circa-1968 sculpted bronze cabinet commanded $17,640, surpassing its pre-sale high estimate of $12,000. Additionally, Michael Graves’s stunning five-piece Tea and Coffee Piazza set, produced by Alessi, sold for $20,160 to an individual collector as a promised gift to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

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