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20th-century design

Wright auction Sept. 21 boasts many 20th-century design classics

20th-century design
Eero Saarinen, rare Womb chair and ottoman, Knoll International, 1946 / circa 1970, leather, chrome-plated steel. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Wright image


CHICAGO – On Thursday, Sept. 21, Wright will present the best of 20th century American Design at auction. This recurring sale features seminal designs by Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson & Associates, Alexander Girard and other mid-century designers who influenced the aesthetic of a nation with their innovative and idealistic forms. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Among the rare pieces in the sale is an Eero Saarinen Womb chair with ottoman (above) for Knoll International. Done in leather, the set has a $7,000-$9,000 estimate.

Saarinen also designed a Womb settee for Knoll. The example in the sale has red upholstery and measures 61 inches wide.


20th-century design
Eero Saarinen, Womb settee, Knoll Associates, 1950, upholstery, enameled steel, 61 in. wide x 36 1/2 in. deep x 34 1/2 in. high. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Wright image


A classic is the Charles and Ray Eames ESU 400-C, designed for Herman Miller in 1952. The stylish storage unit has the highest estimate in the sale at $7,000-$9,000.


20th-century design
Charles and Ray Eames, ESU 400-C, Herman Miller, 1952, birch plywood, lacquered Masonite, chrome-plated steel, fiberglass, birch, enameled steel, 47 in. wide x 17 in. deep x 58 in. high. Estimate: $7,000-$9,000. Wright image


There is also a String wall clock, model 2214B, designed by George Nelson & Associates and manufactured by the Howard Miller Clock Co. in 1954.


20th-century design
George Nelson & Associates, String wall clock, model 2214B, Howard Miller Clock Co., 1954,
enameled steel, maple, string, enameled aluminum. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Wright image


This focused sale of 113 lots captures the optimism of mid-century America and explores the role design played in shaping the future.


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