George Nelson Furniture

George Nelson (USA, 1908-1986)

Architect, designer, and writer, George Nelson was a central figure in the mid-century American modernist design movement; and his thoughts influenced not only the furniture we live with, but also how we live.

     Nelson came to design via journalism and literature. Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Yale in 1931, he won the Prix de Rome fellowship, and spent his time in Europe writing magazine articles that helped bring stateside recognition to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Gio Ponti, Le Corbusier and other canonical modernist architects. In the 1940s, Nelson wrote texts that suggested such now-commonplace ideas as open-plan houses, storage walls and family rooms. D.J. Depree, the owner of the furniture maker Herman Miller Inc., was so impressed by Nelson that in 1944 — following the sudden death of Gilbert Rohde, who had introduced the firm to modern design in the 1930s — he invited Nelson to join the company as its design director.

     There Nelson’s curatorial design talents came to the fore. To Herman Miller he brought such eminent creators as Charles and Ray Eames, Isamu Noguchi, and the textile and furniture designer Alexander Girard. Thanks to a clever contract, at the same time as he directed Herman Miller he formed a New York design company, George Nelson & Associates, that sold furniture designs to the Michigan firm, as well as its competitor, the Howard Miller Clock Company. Nelson’s New York team of designers (who were rarely individually credited) would create such iconic pieces as the “Marshmallow” sofa, the “Coconut” chair, the “Ball” clock, the “Bubble” lamp series and the many cabinets and beds that comprise the sleek “Thin-Edge” line.

     For dedicated collectors, as well as for interior designers who look beyond “the look,” there is a “cool-factor” inherent to vintage pieces from George Nelson and others. Nelson was in on it from the start, and it’s valuable to have a piece that was there with him. But still, as is evident from the offerings from dealers on these pages, in any of the designs, in any iteration whose manufacture Nelson oversaw and encouraged, there are shining elements of lightness, elegance, sophistication —and a little bit of swagger. George Nelson felt confident in his ideas about design and didn’t mind letting the world know.

Read more about George Nelson in Introspective Magazine

Herman Miller George Nelson Basic Cabinet Series, 1952 Dresser Chest of Drawers
Herman Miller George Nelson Basic Cabinet Serie...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dressers
Steel, Walnut
Rare George Nelson designed classic for Herman Miller, circa 1952. Features the original, coveted squiggly hardware. One of three case pieces of this set that we are selling this wee...
Herman Miller George Nelson Five Drawer Dresser Chest Drawers Basic Series 1952
Herman Miller George Nelson Five Drawer Dresser...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Steel, Walnut
Rare George Nelson designed classic for Herman Miller circa 1952. Features the original, coveted squiggly hardware. One of three case pieces of this set that we are selling this week...
Herman Miller George Nelson Designed Dresser Chest of Drawers Basic Series, 1952
Herman Miller George Nelson Designed Dresser Ch...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Steel, Walnut
Rare George Nelson designed classic for Herman Miller, circa 1952. Features the original, coveted squiggly hardware. One of three case pieces of this set that we are selling this wee...
George Nelson Thin Edge Eames Stereo Cabinet Credenza
George Nelson Thin Edge Eames Stereo Cabinet Cr...
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Designer: George Nelson / Eames Manufacture: Herman Miller Period/style: Mid-Century Modern Country: US Date: 1950s This incredibly rare piece has been carefully refinished...
Large George Nelson Slat Bench for Herman Miller
Large George Nelson Slat Bench for Herman Miller
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Benches
Designer: George Nelson Manufacture: Herman Miller Period/style: Mid-Century Modern Country: USA Date: 1950s.     
George Nelson Walnut Basic Cabinet Group Dressers
George Nelson Walnut Basic Cabinet Group Dressers
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dressers
Walnut
George Nelson's classic casegood design, the "Basic Cabinet Series" was offered in a range of sizes and configurations with a selection of pulls and leg options. These three cabinets...
George Nelson Side Table Herman Miller
George Nelson Side Table Herman Miller
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Aluminum, Wood
A classic and timeless table design by George Nelson for Herman Miller.
George Nelson Maple and Chrome Platform Bench Made for Herman Miller
George Nelson Maple and Chrome Platform Bench M...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Benches
Chrome, Maple
A fine example of a spare form maple platform bench with chrome legs, first designed in 1946 by George Nelson for Herman Miller, has become one of the great icons for Mid-Century Mod...
Sideboard or Credenza by George Nelson for Herman Miller
Sideboard or Credenza by George Nelson for Herm...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Aluminum, Steel, Lacquer
George Nelson, Herman Miller, USA, circa 1949-1952 Black lacquer, birch, aluminum, steel Measures: 56.25" wide, 18.5" deep and 32.25" tall. Condition is like new. Entirely rest...
George Nelson  Home Desk  for Herman Miller
George Nelson Home Desk for Herman Miller
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1940s American Modern Desks and Writing Tables
Steel, Leather, Walnut
Walnut with original custom white leather writing surface and sliding floating doors, small drawers in maple. Storage and drop down typing table with original perforated aluminum fil...
Rare George Nelson Walnut Dining Table
Rare George Nelson Walnut Dining Table
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
Walnut
This is an extremely rare and beautiful dining table by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Fully restored and in excellent condition. There are two self-storing leaves which are concea...
Model 5451 Pedestal Side Table by George Nelson for Herman Miller
Model 5451 Pedestal Side Table by George Nelson...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Steel
Model 5452 pedestal side table by George Nelson for Herman Miller featuring the iconic slopped top and root like 4 foot base.
Model 5452 Pedestal Coffee Table by George Nels...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Coffee and Cocktail Tables
Steel, Composition
Model 5452 pedestal coffee table by George Nelson for Herman Miller featuring the iconic slopped top and root like 4-foot base.
Mid-Century Modern Herman Miller George Nelson ...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Bookcases
Glass, Walnut
Walnut George Nelson bookcase with sliding glass doors and top and bottom. Piece comes with top and bottom for ease of movement, circa 1950s.
George Nelson Slat Bench or Coffee Table
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Benches
George Nelson slat bench with absolutely incredible vintage patina. We estimate this to be from the 1950s. From a cape cod estate.
Vintage 1949 Mid-Century Modern Custom L-Shaped...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Desks
Aluminum, Walnut, Plywood
This remarkable piece is a one-off desk/wardrobe/bar/bookcase/storage cabinet custom-designed by George Nelson in 1949 to match his Basic Cabinet Series (BCS) for Herman Miller. The ...
Miniature Chest, Model No. 5211 by George Nelson
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Rosewood, Walnut
Miniature chest, Model No. 5211, in walnut and rosewood with painted door. Designed by George Nelson and produced by Herman Miller, USA, circa 1955.
Mid-Century Modern Vintage Large Slat Bench Geo...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Benches
Maple
For your consideration is an incredible, original, slat bench, made of maple and black lacquered maple, by George Nelson for Herman Miller, circa the 1950s.This is the original vinta...
Exceptional Rare Custom Rosewood Executive Cred...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Steel, Chrome, Rosewood, Lacquer
George Nelson, Herman Miller custom piece circa 1974 Rosewood top with black lacquer frame Rosewood, walnut, chrome, steel Measure: 26.75 tall by 18.5 deep and 74.15 inches wide....
George Nelson for Herman Miller Ebony Extra Lar...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Benches
George Nelson for Herman Miller ebony long slat bench.
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Black & Brass with Bla...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Zoo Timers Omar the Owl Wall Clock in Nav...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. As a truly multi-talented designer, George Nelson was also successful as a graphic designer. His Zoo Timers – animals ...
Vitra Asterisk Wall Clock in Black by George Ne...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Multicolor Wood with B...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Beech Wood & White wit...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Orange with Black Hand...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Red and White with Bla...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Zoo Timers Elihu the Elephant Wall Clock ...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. As a truly multi-talented designer, George Nelson was also successful as a graphic designer. His Zoo Timers – animals ...
Vitra Zoo Timers Fernando the Fish Wall Clock i...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. As a truly multi-talented designer, George Nelson was also successful as a graphic designer. His Zoo Timers, animals d...
Vitra Sunflower Wall Clock in Birch Wood by Geo...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Eye Wall Clock in Brass and Walnut with O...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Wood, Brass
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Star Wall Clock in Chrome and Brass by Ge...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Sunflower Wall Clock in Black Ash and Bra...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Miniature Coconut Chair in Black with Chr...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Models and Miniatures
Plastic, Fiberglass
These items are currently only available in the United States. For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design fro...
Vitra Miniature Marshmallow Sofa in White by Ge...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Sofas
Steel
These items are currently only available in the United States. For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design fro...
Vitra Turbine Wall Clock in Brass & Aluminum by...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Aluminum, Brass
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Ball Wall Clock in Wood and Brass with Bl...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Flock of Butterflies Wall Clock in Alumin...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Wood, Aluminum
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Wheel Wall Clock in Wood & Aluminum by Ge...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Aluminum, Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Cone Desk Clock in White & Black with Ora...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Table Clocks and Desk Clocks
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Tripod Desk Clock in Brass & Glass by Geo...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Table Clocks and Desk Clocks
Brass, Glass
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Diamond Desk Clock in Wood and Brass by G...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Table Clocks and Desk Clocks
Brass, Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Petal Wall Clock in Black & Brass by Geor...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Brass, Wood
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Spindle Wall Clock in Solid Walnut & Alum...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
Vitra Sunburst Wall Clock in Black by George Ne...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life, circa 1950. Every...
Vitra Sunburst Multicolor Wall Clock by George ...
George Nelson, Vitra
21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern Wall Clocks
Metal
These items are currently only available in the United States. Belief in progress and growing economic prosperity were central aspects of the American way of life around 1950. Every...
George Nelson "Omni" Wall Unit
George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Shelves and Wall Cabinets
This large-scale modular wall unit by George Nelson features unique shelving, spacious storage cabinets, built in light fixtures, and a long work table area. The stylish design of th...
Herman Miller George Nelson Action Office Series
George Nelson
Vintage 1960s North American Mid-Century Modern Desks
Herman Miller George Nelson George Nelson (1908-1986) was an important modernist whose work cut across the fields of interior, industrial and exhibition design. Nelson studied ...
Mid-Century George Nelson for Herman Miller Ste...
George Nelson
Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Side Tables
Enamel, Steel, Lacquer
Mid-Century Herman Miller Steelframe collection from George Nelson from our childhood bedroom! Steelcase quality; sliding doors , steel frame, black lacquer top, white pull out drawe...
George Nelson Walnut Secretary Butler's Chest
George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Secretaires
Wrought Iron, Walnut
Mid-Century Modern, walnut secretary cabinet, butler's chest by George Nelson features elegant, wrought iron legs with cupcake pulls. The top of the cabinet folds down for a desk hei...
George Nelson Thin Edge Jewelry Chest Model 521...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Cabinets
Aluminum, Porcelain, Teak
Early, original George Nelson teak wood thin-edge Jewelry chest model number 5211 for Herman Miller. Signed inside top drawer with original silver Herman Miller Medallion. The cas...
George Nelson Cast Iron Fire Starter
Howard Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Fireplace Tools and Chimney Pots
Iron
Mid-Century Modern, cast iron, fire starter by George Nelson for Howard Miller.
Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Thin Edge Teak...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Dressers
Teak
Beautiful design by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Five-drawer teak chest on aluminium legs with black enameled pulls. Has drawer separate compartment dividers which can be taken out.
Mid Century George Nelson Slat Bench for Herman...
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Benches
Oak
Beautiful golden oak slat bench designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Early production, 1950s.
Early George Nelson Slat Bench or Coffee Table
George Nelson
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Benches
Another fine example of an early slat bench by George Nelson. This one I believe is birch and is also from the late 1940s. It is 72.25" long x 18.5" deep and 14" high. In its origina...
Early George Nelson Slat Bench
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Benches
Wood
Early George Nelson slat bench. Nicely aged with warm color, it is 72" long x 18.75" deep x 14" high. The legs have rounded edges and this particular bench may have been the base for...
Mid-Century Modern George Nelson for Herman Mil...
Herman Miller, George Nelson
Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Sets
Wood
Offered is a gorgeous drop-leaf table designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller. This is a great Mid Century table that has the look. Features a dark walnut finish and gate legs. I...
George Nelson for Herman Miller Credenza
George Nelson
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Credenzas
Chrome, Walnut, Laminate
Handsome George Nelson credenza designed in 1952 for Herman Miller. Walnut, stainless steel and black laminate.
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