PHILADELPHIA, PA—Freeman’s, the prestigious Philadelphia auction house, presented a Select Design auction June 8 featuring 11 works by renowned furniture artist George Nakashima, as well as pieces by Tiffany Studios, Samuel Yellin, and Michael Graves.
Freeman’s is well-known for its sale of Nakashima furniture; in 2020 alone, it 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),” said Tim Andreadis, Head of Design for Freeman’s.
Another Nakashima piece featured is a “Minguren I” coffee table, that has an oval table top made of Oregon myrtle and American black walnut—referencing Nakashima’s 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,” said Andreadis.
Another piece featured in the auction was a 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.
This select auction featured 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 helped generations of clients in the buying and selling of fine and decorative arts, jewelry, design, and more.
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