Sketch of Frenchman's Cove Table by George Nakashima
Slideshow by Luke Crafton | Posted 5.18.09
At the Hartford ROADSHOW in August 2008, furniture expert J. Michael Flanigan appraised a George Nakashima table belonging to Juliet L., of suburban Hartford, Connecticut. In 1967, Juliet and her husband, Ernest, toured Nakashima's studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania, with the famed furniture maker himself, who helped the couple personally select the boards he would use to design them a table.
For more than 40 years, Juliet and Ernest have kept the sketch Nakashima made for them of his design for the table. Called a Frenchman's cove table, the design calls for two book-matched laurel boards each 72 inches long and 20 inches wide to form the tabletop.
On the sheet of paper, below Nakashima's sketch of the table, there is his description of the order — "1 - 2 board Book matched Laurel Frenchman's Cove Table - Laurel Base" — and the agreed price of $630. The order is also signed and dated June 17, 1967.
Flanigan explained that after George Nakashima died in 1990, the market for his furniture declined a bit, but by the turn of the century it had begun to rebound. Saying today there is "nobody hotter in the furniture market today" than Nakashima, Flanigan estimated the current value of Juliet's table at $50,000 to $60,000.