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A collection of 7 items that document George Nakashima's design of four furniture pieces in August 1955 for Louise Lux and Harry Sions, for their Philadelphia apartment, two with design features never previously executed by him. ***** The Sions were among the first in Philadelphia society to purchase Nakashima furniture. In 1955, Nakashima had established his studio in New Hope for less than 10 years and was still relatively little known with few patrons. The centerpiece of the collection is the George Nakashima design sketch, which shows the dining table, bench and 2 chests in the dining room of the apartment at 2101 Walnut Street with form and placement for the table, and measurements, form details and placement for the other units. *****
TWO ADDITIONAL ITEMS: retained by Louise Lux Sions, Item 8, clipping of the obituary for George Nakashima by Robert Benineasa in the Bucks County Courier Times and Item 9, a January 2000 price list for Nakashima New Hope Studio furniture with an introduction on stocked woods, the pamphlet in its stapled binding, sleeved in the mailing envelope with Lux's handwritten address, 6 pages with 12 parts - SKETCH: done on machine made paper with a handmade border; heading, George Nakashima-Woodworker-New Hope, Pennsylvania; dated August 8, 1955; inscribed, "specially designed units for Mr. & Mrs. Harry Sions; signed, Geo Nakashima, New Hope. The design with pen & ink alterations was approved shortly after September 2, 1955, as documented by Louise Lux-Sions' signed statement at the foot. It was for: a dining table, small slab bench with fitted foam rubber 'pillow', and two chests with sliding doors, the larger with adjustable tray drawers of two depths. "The larger, longer chest served as receptacle for all our china, silver and linens and the smaller, which rested at one end on the edge of the larger, served as a bar." [Lux-Sions letter] The smaller hanging chest has the Nakashima notation, "interesting support" and was the first in this style he built, the support design suggested by the Sions. Cited in the Philadelphia Inquirer [Dec. 2007], it was authenticated by the Nakashima Studio for Stephenson's. Auctioned January 1, 2008, it sold for $8,625.00. [Feb. 3, 2008 Auction Publicity] NAKASHIMA LETTER: 2 paragraphs-10 lines, in response to Lux-Sions' request for advice on resale of the furniture after the death of her husband. Nakashima states he has no connection to those who re-sell his furniture. Because of a pending TIME article on his furniture, he suggests it may be a propitious time to sell; "the resultant publicity may facilitate your disposing of these pieces". The June 21, 1982 article by Wolf von Eckardt, "Giving a Second Life to Trees", discusses Nakashima's work in the context of the flourishing modern artisanal American furniture movement he helped to seed. LOUISE LUX-SIONS LETTER COPY: The letter offers historical context, mentioning other early commissions for George Nakashima furniture from Philadelphia society patrons recommended by the Sions and notes the dining table design was the first by Nakashima to incorporate piano dowling. "The dining room table and two sliding door chests you made for us were always our delight. The dining table seated eight, with short drop leaves and piano dowling, which, I believe you said, was the first time you had done this and was at my suggestion." With handwritten notation on the table's 1982 auction price, 5 paragraphs-21 lines, typed, addressed to George Nakashima, dated June 10, 1982. PHOTOGRAPH PRINTS: Documentation on rear sides. Print I: with Lux's stamp, date stamped twice, March 1983. Print II: (2 in pen & ink), stamped Lux and with Chinese characters for her name. Print III: inscribed by Lux, "Nakashima chests, living room; pass-through to kitchen". Print IV: with Lux's stamp and later pen & ink sale estimate-$8000.00. CONDITION: Sketch: Good, mailing folds, some margin soiling and handling marks, rear with pencil calculation. / Nakashima Letter: Good, toning, mailing folds, handling marks, pen & ink notation by Lux. / Lux Letter Copy: Very Good, paper clip impress and scattered handling impresses. / Photographs: preserved in original heavy plastic sleeve. Nos. I, III, and IV: Near Fine, trace edge rubs. No. II: Fair, bleed-through from handwritten 2 at right top corner. / Obituary: Good, stapled, folded. / Pamphlet: Fine / Envelope: Very Good with slit. LOUISE LUX-SIONS [1913-2007]: Career journalist; with American Red Cross in China during WWII. Post-War, working as assistant to the editor at Holiday Magazine, she met and worked closely with her future husband. They married in 1947. Later, she became an editor at LIFE and Time-Life Books and contributed photographs to several books. During her retirement she wrote, "The Unsullied Dynasty and the K'ang-hsi Emperor", which is now a standard reference. ADDITIONAL IMAGES: by request. MY LISTINGS: 1) Click my name in bookseller field. 2) Click bookseller-payment information. 3) Click my name again. My exclusive listings can now be searched by catalog, keyword, etc. [Attributes: Signed Copy]
      [Bookseller: Steven Waldman]
Last Found On: 2015-07-07           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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