On The Block: Wright’s Mass Modern Sale This Week


Wright is the outstanding Chicago-based auction house– specializing in all aspects Modernism and Modern design– with online catalogues that are not only scholarly lessons in who-made-what in the 20th Century, but a joy to peruse. Their annual late-summer sale is full of great stuff, iconic items that may have a ding or two, and we’ve chosen a few lots that speak to us. Scads of Eames, lots of Ed Wormley, and a plethora of designers you’ve never heard of. More details in the numbered lot links.

The range is amazing, plus they make online bidding so easy. We’re coveting the superb earthenware bowl above by Arts + Crafts pioneer Beatrice Wood. Made around 1965 at her studio in Ojai. The estimate on Lot 798 is $700-900.

Hang out, literally, in Lot 103, Eero Aarnio’s c.1968 Bubble Chair. The clear acrylic masterpiece, a symbol of 60s design innovation s expected to set you back $700-$900.

One of German designer Ingo Maurer’s most recognizable pendant fixtures, Flotation Device serenely channels the influence of Isamu Noguchi’s famed Akari paper lanterns, but with a very 80s vibe. Lot 551 Is expected to bring $500-$700.

A very smart pair of anonymous Danish wall lamps– the perfect choice to flank your bed? Crafted from carved oak with spun fiberglass shades, Lot 230 is expected to bring $300-$500.

Because trash always looks better when you toss it into a piece of sculpture, you won’t want to hide this enameled steel and cane wastepaper basket under your desk. Designed by Finn Juhl and Grethe Bang in 1955, it may not have the cachet of the teak versions, but Lot 145 is lovely, functional sculpture nonetheless. Estimated at $300-$500.

Christopher Wool’s paintings sell for astronomical amounts at auction (as in over $20M) but Lot 799  is estimated at a mere $1.000-$1.500. The auction’s sleeper lot, this compelling, 55 x 37-inch lithograph is from a 1993 edition of unknown size and it’s not known how many actually still exist– because they were given away for free. Seriously, we can see this going for 10x the estimate.

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