The Noguchi coffee table
is a modern reproduction that we carry in our collection. This mid century modern furniture piece is timeless due to its iconic design and practicality.
The Noguchi table was an evolution of a rosewood and glass table Noguchi designed in 1939 for A. Conger Goodyear, president of the Museum of Modern Art. The design team at Herman Miller was so impressed by the table's use of Biomorphism that they recruited Noguchi to design a similar table with a freeform sculptural base and biomorphic glass top for use in both residential and office environments.
The 1947 Herman Miller catalog described the Noguchi coffee table as "sculpture-for-use" and "design for production". The base was carved from solid walnut, and consisted of two identical parts; when one part "is reversed and connected to the other by a pivot rod, a base appears which has a smoothly flowing form and an interest rarely found in furniture of any period." The shape of the two wooden supports produces a self-supporting and stable base, allowing the heavy plate glass top to be placed without the use of connectors.
Despite their status as modern classics, Noguchi tables are widely available and relatively affordable. This is at least partly due to the fact that they were in constant production from 1947 until 1973, returned to production in 1984, and have been produced ever since. In addition, the table is very durable, and few have been lost over the years. The base can be dinged and scratched but almost never cracks or breaks. The glass tops are prone to chipping along the edges and scratching on the upper surface, but are so large and heavy they rarely break. The table can support a great weight without damage. Earlier tables are easily distinguished by their ⅞" thick tops, but do not command much premium over the current lighter and easier to handle ¾" models.