George Nakashima regarded cabinetry and woodwork as a noble art form – a view evidenced in the pieces he designed for Knoll. His Splay-Leg Coffee Table (1946) exhibits his gifted sense of grain, texture and balance. The veneered walnut or hickory top has a reverse slip-matched cathedral grain, which allows the table to be placed facing either way. Mortise and tenon joints and brass hardware secure the top to the angled solid walnut legs, creating a simple, heirloom-quality modern classic. Nakashima referred to himself as a “Japanese shaker,” expressing the belief that his designs should be treated as everyday functional objects, not precious possessions. The Shaker influence can be noted in his extraordinary skill at crafting wood, a material he approached with great reverence, saying, “A tree is our most intimate contact with nature.” A signature plate on the underside of the table attests to its authenticity. Manufactured by Knoll.