The Full Nelson. George Nelson’s Gate Leg Dining #4656 for Herman Miller.
George Nelson Dining Table #4656 for Herman Miller restored by TC Woodcrafters.
George Nelson’s gate leg dining table #4656 was designed for the Herman Miller Company in 1946. The table illustrated was recently restored by my friends at Tim and Anne Donn at TC Woodcrafters in Traverse City Michigan. Woodcrafters beautifully restored the finish and damages that occurred from normal use. The table was produced from 1947-1960 and is shown in American Walnut. It was also manufactured in South American Prima Vera solids and veneers. The underside of the table top is stamped with #17. It is unclear if this a factory “batch” number or the 17th table produced.
This type of table gate leg table converting from a console table to a dining table borrows from traditional designs as far back as the 17th century Jacobean period. The table stylistic departure from traditional furniture as well as Nelson’s design accentuating the joints function into a design detail is unique in American mass produced casegoods of this period. The top featuring large notched style rule joint “knuckle joint” creates a beautiful interlocking pattern across the width of the top. The more refined rule joint with hidden hinges would have been the only acceptable method traditionally used on high-quality furniture. Here Nelson makes a feature of the joint on both top and the gate leg supports. More research needs to be done to see if Nelson borrowed this technique from Danish cabinetmakers or this construction detail unique to his work. This type of exposed knuckle joint was later widely adopted on dining tables by American Craft Furniture makers in the 1970’s. The Nelson table #4656 is in the permanent collection of the Vitra Design Musem in Germany. Dimensions H. 29.5″, W. 18.5″ – 65″ D.40″
The dining table was one of Nelson’s very early designs for Herman Miller. He was appointed the company’s first Director of Design in 1945. Max Depree the president of Herman Miller sought out George Nelson after the death of the great American designer Gilbert Rohde in 1944. Note: click on images to enlarge.
Nelson Table fully open
Underside of top showing spring catches to hold the legs in place when the table is closed
Nelson Table with hinge detail along edge of leaf
Top stamped #17. Hinge knuckle detail for drop leaf. A wire rod runs the width of the table to act as a hinge pin. A wood block is glued in to fix it in place.
Gate leg joint detail on center pedestal
Detail of typical rule joint construction used on traditional furniture
Modern Ash Side Table
Modern ash side table or one night stand in solid White Ash. Designed for the right-hand side of the bed. Featuring two drawers above a single door. The grain was carefully planned to fall continuously across the drawer and door faces. The table conceived in the French modernist style of the 1940’s. The top is cantilevered on a hidden steel support. The title was fondly named for the uniform the John Widdicomb Furniture Company bowling league wore. The bowling shirts were emblazoned with a single French Provincial bedside table on the back. Somebody had a sense of humor and what a great group of artisans to have worked with. The table dimensions are 24″width x 16″ deep x 29″ height.
Please click on the image to enlarge.
Modern Ash Side Table
Iconic George Nelson and Irving Harper Marshmallow Sofa
George Nelson & Irving Harper Double Marshmallow Sofa for Herman Miller Circa. 1956. Photo: Wright Auctions Chicago. Sale date May 19, 2015
I am currently researching an early George Nelson Drop Leaf Dining Table for Herman Miller circa. 1946. My friends at T C Woodcrafters in Traverse City are currently restoring the table for a client. During my search, I came across this mind-blowing Wright Auction Design Masterworks sale May 19, 2015, featuring a rare double Marshmallow Sofa by George Nelson & Irving Harper with upholstery hues by Alexander Girard. The double sofa illustrated is 104″ w x 31″ d x 31h. The original designed in 1956 was scaled at 52″width. Only 186 were produced by Herman Miller and design was not a commercial success. The piece illustrated sold for and absolutely amazing price of $112,500 in the 2015 sale.
Mid-Century Modern Bookcase.
This Mid-Century modern bookcase is handmade in African Mahogany, American Walnut, and Teak. Dimensions 60″ width x 18″ depth x 107″ H. The sliding door panels are painted in English Farrow & Ball emulsion. The colours that were selected by the client feature India Yellow #66 and Blazer #212.
The design for the cabinet was inspired by three important mid-century designers. The staggered vertical shelf dividers are drawn from unique bookcases created by the French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand. The colored sliding door panels were inspired by sideboards designed by the Danish furniture designer Finn Juhl. The half round molding profiles with their sculptured mitered joints are reminiscent of T H Robsjohn Gibbings work for the Widdicomb Furniture Company in the early 1960’s. Dimensions: Height 108″ x Width 60″ x Depth 20″
Please click on the images to enlarge.
See more furniture photos on Chad Womack Design’s Pinterest Page
Finn Juhl Dining Table FJ44 c 1944. Sold at Phillips London April 27, 2016 for $98,500.00. Cabinet maker Niels Vodder. One of 12 made. Phillps describes the one sold as in Cuban Mahogany and painted. The other FJ44 description I found was in Teak and Formica. Two versions are shown. Really interesting piece and important Mid-Century Modern design.
Cabinet Featuring Integrated Desk
The cabinet featuring integrated desk was designed for my client who owns a wonderful mid-century modern house on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City, Michigan.
The cabinet features a painted bookcase with three adjustable shelves and a recessed pigeon hole unit for the desk. The solid cherry pigeon hole is fitted with a natural white maple partitions and illuminated with cobalt blue glass back panels. The cherry partners desk is fitted with a traditional map style drawer in African Wenge that functions as a “pencil drawer” on both sides of the top.
Please click on the images to enlarge.