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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

Iconic Designs from George Nelson
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Coconut Lounge Chair
Coconut Lounge Chair
Ball Clock
Ball Clock
Thin Edge Group
Thin Edge Group
Platform Bench
Platform Bench
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Hanging Walnut Cabinet by George Nelson for Herman Miller
By George Nelson
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A custom ordered walnut hanging cabinet with two woven cane doors on brass hinges that flip up and rest on the top of the piece revealing double storage banks. From a National Histor...
Category

Mid-20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Rare George Nelson Model 4688 Club Lounge Chair
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Chicago, IL
Rare model 4688 easy chair by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Designed in 1946 this lounge chair was produced from 1946-1955 by Herman Miller. The chair has been restored and the le...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Fabric, Upholstery, Wood

Vitra Cone Clock in White & Black by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Vitra Eye Clock in Brass & Walnut by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Brass

Vitra Tripod Clock in Brass & Glass by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Brass

Vitra Miniature Coconut Chair in Black with Chrome Legs by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Plastic, Fiberglass

Vitra Flock of Butterflies Clock in Aluminum by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Aluminum

Vitra Diamond Clock in Walnut by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Brass

Vitra Miniature Marshmallow Sofa in White by George Nelson
By Vitra, George Nelson
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Steel

Vitra Wheel Clock in Walnut & Aluminum by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Aluminum

George Nelson Associates Cape Cod Firestarter
By Irving Harper, George Nelson
Located in Providence, RI
Cape cod fire starter, designed by Irving Harper for George Nelson Associates, circa 1950. Produced by the Howard Miller Clock Company. Cast Iron and stone. Measures 6 1/4" diameter ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Stone, Iron

George Nelson Cube Group Oak Frame Sofa
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in Las Vegas, NV
Midcentury George Nelson for Herman Miller cube group sofa. A midcentury Classic that has been modernized, sporting its original light oak frame paired with beautiful new, ivory Bouc...
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Bouclé, Oak

Vitra Ball Clock in Cherry Wood & Brass by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Asterisk Clock in Black by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Ball Clock in Black and Brass by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Ball Clock in Orange by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Petal Clock in Black & Brass by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Brass

Vitra Ball Clock in Red by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Zoo Timers Elihu the Elephant Wall Clock in Pink & Black by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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 ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Wood

Vitra Zoo Timers Fernando the Fish Wall Clock in Aqua and Green by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Wood

Vitra Ball Clock in Multicolor by George Nelson
By George Nelson, Vitra
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Turbine Clock in Brass & Aluminum by George Nelson
By Vitra, George Nelson
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Aluminum, Brass

Vitra Zoo Timers Omar the Owl Wall Clock in Navy and Black by George Nelson
By Vitra, George Nelson
Located in New York, NY
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 ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Wood

Vitra Ball Clock in Beech Wood by George Nelson
By Vitra, George Nelson
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Sunburst Clock in Black & Brass by George Nelson
By Vitra, George Nelson
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Sunflower Clock in Black Ash & Brass by George Nelson
By Vitra, George Nelson
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Spindle Clock in Solid Walnut & Aluminum by George Nelson
By Vitra, George Nelson
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Star Clock in Chrome & Brass by George Nelson
By Vitra, George Nelson
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Sunflower Clock in Birch Wood by George Nelson
By Vitra, George Nelson
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal

Vitra Popsicle Clock by George Nelson
By Vitra, George Nelson
Located in New York, NY
In 1947, the American designer George Nelson was commissioned to create a collection of clocks. Nelson analyzed how people used clocks and concluded that they read the time by discer...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal


George Nelson Action Oak Tambour Roll Top Desk for Herman Miller, circa 1964
By George Nelson, Herman Miller
Located in Longdon, Tewkesbury
George Nelson action oak Tambour roll top desk for Herman Miller, circa 1964 Rare George Nelson Action 1 Oak Tambour roll top desk by Herman Miller USA circa 1964, the desk with i...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Oak

George Nelson Rosewood Thin Edge Double Dresser
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Rosewood Thin Edge collection model 5221 eight-drawer dresser, designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Drawer fronts show off gorgeous figured rosewood selection, finished with ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Rosewood

George Nelson Chest for Herman Miller Model 5517 Commode Sideboard 1952
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Greven, DE
George Nelson vertical chest of drawers commode for Herman Miller model 5517 sideboard 1952 The solid wood Nelson miniature chest, inspired by Japanese design, provides lots of wonde...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal, Aluminum

Steel Frame Highboy Dresser by George Nelson
By George Nelson
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Steel frame highboy dresser by George Nelson for Herman Miller, 1950s. Black painted steel frame, white laminate top, and red painted drawers. Rare double-height possibly a custom or...
Category

1950s Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Steel

Steel Frame Desk by George Nelson
By George Nelson
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Steel frame desk by George Nelson for Herman Miller, 1950s. Black painted steel frame, white laminate top, and red painted drawers. Signed on inner drawer.
Category

1950s Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Steel

Steel Frame Nightstand by George Nelson
By George Nelson
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Steel frame nightstand by George Nelson for Herman Miller, 1950s. Black painted steel frame, white laminate top, and red painted drawer and shelf. Signed on inner drawer.
Category

1950s Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Steel

Primavera Cabinet by George Nelson
By George Nelson
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Primavera cabinet designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Mahogany cabinetry with zinc-plated X-pulls and hairpin legs.
Category

1960s Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Steel

George Nelson Pair of Lucite /Polished Aluminum Nimbus Pendants Nessen Studio
By George Nelson, Nessen Studio
Located in Miami, FL
Space Age modern pair of model NS808 nimbus or beehive pendants for Nessen Studio. Designed by Farid Iskander for George Nelson and Associates in 1969 and looking more like UFOs, the...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Aluminum

Red Lacquered Herman Miller Chest by George Nelson
By George Nelson
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Red lacquered Herman Miller chest by George Nelson.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Lacquer

George Nelson Bubble Light
By George Nelson
Located in San Francisco, CA
A Bubble light by George Nelson for The Howard Miller Company. Apple shaped with the original label on top. USA, circa 1950s.  
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Stainless Steel

George Nelson Multi-Color Credenza for Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Los Angeles, CA
One of the most iconic modern credenzas by the famous American designer, Goerge Nelson, in collaboration with Herman Miller during the 1950s. Known as the Model-EOG for Executive Off...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Aluminum

George Nelson for Herman Miller Walnut Dresser, Silver Plated Drawer Pulls, Rare
By George Nelson
Located in Bedford Hills, NY
Early production of George Nelson walnut lowboy dresser for Herman Miller, very rare silver plated drawer pulls. All original finish with beautiful patina.
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Silver

George Nelson for Herman Miller Walnut Dresser, Silver Plated Drawer Pulls, Rare
By George Nelson
Located in Bedford Hills, NY
Early production of George Nelson walnut highboy dresser for Herman Miller, very rare silver plated drawer pulls. All original finish with beautiful patina.
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Silver

Pair of 'Eyeshade' Wall Lights by George Nelson & Associates
By George Nelson, Koch & Lowy
Located in Waalwijk, NL
George Nelson for Koch & Lowy, pair of 'Eyeshade' wall lamps, steel, United States, 1975 A set of two sconces with a perforated, enameled, aluminum shade in green translucent end ...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Steel

George Nelson Walnut Chest / Dresser by Herman Miller
By George Nelson
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A beautiful medium toned walnut chest / dresser with great gaining to the overall piece making it an eyecatcher, four-drawer with silver large J pulls and chrome tubular legs. Retain...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Vintage George Nelson Wall Clock for Howard Miller, 1957
By Howard Miller, George Nelson
Located in JM Haarlem, NL
Rare original wall clock Number 2236. Design by George Nelson and Associates for Howard Miller Clock Company, Zeeland Michigan, 1957. Walnut dial with silk-screened pattern in gree...
Category

1950s American American Classical Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Brass

George Nelson Steel Frame Planter Bench for Herman Miller, 1960's
By George Nelson
Located in Bedford Hills, NY
George Nelson bench with stainless steel planter box, new tangerine linen upholstery.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal, Stainless Steel

Seldom Seen George Nelson "HIGH' Action Office Architects Desk, Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Buffalo, NY
Stunning George Nelson "HIGH' action office architects desk, Herman Miller circa 1964, beautiful oak tambour roll top, four resin and wood slide out pencil drawers, built in file sto...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Aluminum

Pair of George Nelson Cabinets for Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Palm Springs, CA
George Nelson cabinets each with four drawers with chrome pulls, rising on hairpin legs. One interior drawer with foil label. Chest of drawers were most likely painted black lacquer ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Aluminum

Herman Miller Slat Bench by George Nelson
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Lambertville, NJ
Iconic clean lined modern bench, designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller. This slat bench is constructed from natural solid maple and black lacquered wood base.
Category

Early 2000s North American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Maple

Nelson X-Leg Table/Desk by George Nelson for Herman Miller, Early
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Dallas, TX
Early production table/desk designed by George Nelson, 1955. This design is very versatile and can function as a desk, an additional work surface, or a dining table. The desk has the...
Category

Mid-20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Pair of Nightstands by George Nelson for Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pair of rare by George Nelson for Herman Miller Model 4617 nightstands, circa early 1950s. These Art Deco inspired pieces were part of Herman Miller’s Basic Cabinet Series. They feat...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Aluminum

X-Base Dining Table by George Nelson for Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Oklahoma City, OK
Simplistic design at its finest. Early X-base dining table with white Formica style top.  Designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Photographed with John Keal iron chai...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Steel

George Nelson for Herman Miller Desk
By George Nelson
Located in bari, IT
Minimal desk form the 1960s by George Nelson for Herman Miller. Walnut top and white lacquered iron feet.
Category

1960s Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Iron

Early George Nelson Coconut Lounge Chairs Rich Green Leather Herman Miller 1950s
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in National City, CA
For your consideration: a pair of first edition George Nelson coconut chairs by Herman Miller featuring a metal shell with chrome-plated legs. New upholstery in a cozy dark forest g...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Metal, Chrome

George Nelson Low Profile Credenza Sideboard for Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Miami, FL
REDUCED FROM $4,750....With sought after nickel hair-pin legs and C curl pulls, this George Nelson cabinet has a rare low profile in that the height is 29 1/2". Produced by Herman Mi...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Wood

1950s George Nelson Dresser Credenza for the Herman Miller Collection
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Miami, FL
George Nelson designed this walnut cabinet, dresser or credenza for Herman Miller as part of their Basic Cabinet Series, Mid-Century Modern classics. This one sometimes referred to a...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Walnut

George Nelson Dresser Credenza for the Herman Miller Collection, 1950s
By Herman Miller, George Nelson
Located in Miami, FL
George Nelson designed this walnut cabinet, dresser or credenza for Herman Miller as part of their basic cabinet series, Mid-Century Modern Classics. This one sometimes referred to a...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage George Nelson Furniture

Materials

Walnut