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    George Nakashima Walnut Trestle Table & Sketch, ca. 1955

    Appraised Value:

    $30,000 - $36,000 (2009)

    Updated Value:

    $15,000 - $25,000 (2014)

    Appraised on: July 11, 2009

    Appraised in: Madison, Wisconsin

    Appraised by: Leigh Keno

    Category: Furniture

    Episode Info: The Boomer Years (#1834)
    Madison (#1408)

    Originally Aired: February 22, 2010

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 3 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Table, Sketch
    Material: Walnut, Rosewood, Paper
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $30,000 - $36,000 (2009)
    Updated Value: $15,000 - $25,000 (2014)

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    Appraisal Video: (3:00)


    Appraised By:

    Leigh Keno
    Folk Art, Furniture

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: My parents lived in Bucks County. That's where I was born and raised. And they were interested in George Nakashima's work, so they went and visited him at his workshop in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and talked about commissioning him to make a table. And they wanted a nice long table to fit a lot of people.

    APPRAISER: Right.

    GUEST: And so this is what George Nakashima...

    APPRAISER: Made for them.

    GUEST: ...came up with, yes.

    APPRAISER: In 1956?

    GUEST: '55 or '56. We ate every meal... we had no kitchen table.

    APPRAISER: Every mark, every scratch is a record of your family's interaction with it, right?

    GUEST: Absolutely.

    APPRAISER: George Nakashima, 1905 he was born. And he passed away in 1990. His daughter's still...Mira, right? Still makes beautiful things.

    APPRAISER: Yes. One of the things that he believed in is that a piece of wood should be used and scratched and nicked. Let a piece record the life around it. So that's what you've done. The wonderful thing is this drawing. It shows the two slabs up on top, and in the center of the picture, it says "Sap" in small letters. And you only have four butterfly joints in the picture. Now, he put a total of six rosewood butterfly joints, and that's really rare in a table.

    GUEST: Is it?

    APPRAISER: Yes. And he didn't put the sapwood on the inside; he put the sapwood on the outside. So he took these two bookmatch boards, flipped them, and on the edge, this is a sapwood, the area just under the bark. That's that beautiful, natural, light-colored wood.

    GUEST: When my father went into the workshops or the sheds where Nakashima kept his wood, he asked my father to pick the wood out for this table.

    APPRAISER: Oh, isn't that great?

    GUEST: He went and he said, "How about that piece of wood?" And George said, "No, not that one. Let's keep looking." So my dad picked another one out and he said, "No, not that one." Not that one. So my dad finally said, "George, why don't you just pick out a piece of wood?" So he did.

    APPRAISER: And so he picked it out. Now, when this table was made in 1956 or so, they were using a lot of hand tools in the shop. And towards the '70s and '80s, when the shop got bigger, they had to use more machine tools, big planers. But this is... it's nice that this is so early. Now, what happened in the Nakashima market is that in the early '90s, things were going for very little, a few thousand per item, and then-- you probably watched this-- in the late '90s, started going up.

    GUEST: Yes.

    APPRAISER: And that peaked in about 2006.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: So it means the market is flooded right now.

    GUEST: Yes, okay.

    APPRAISER: And this type of table, we would put an estimate, today, of about $25,000 to $30,000 at auction.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: Now, I could have said, easily, two years ago, a year and a half ago, $50,000 to $70,000, $50,000 to $60,000.

    GUEST: It's in the family for good.

    APPRAISER: To have the sketch, that adds potentially a good $5,000 or $6,000, at least, to the table.

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