Auction Goodies: The Collection of John R. Eckel, Jr.

Auction Goodies: The Collection of John R. Eckel, Jr.

Troy Seidman
Jun 27, 2011

Wright is a pioneering auction house in Chicago that has been instrumental in shaping the market for 20th century design. Tomorrow, they will offer the sleek and suave collection of the late John R. Eckel, Jr.…

Over the course of the last decade, until his untimely death in 2009, Eckel arranged a handsome collection of post-war design with an emphasis on designers (especially American) working with metal including Harry Bertoia, Paul Evans, James Prestini and Forrest Myers. There are also wonderful pieces by Dunbar/Edward Wormley, Phil Powell,Jean Prouve and Noguchi.

Eckel had a consistent and specific aesthetic with a penchant for masculine and sleek pieces complemented by very graphic colorful landscapes. It is unfortunate that Wright didn't include any in situ photos (which often accompany single-owner sales). It is also unclear whether Eckel worked with a designer or adviser. However his preferred sources for such material is clearly cataloged: Rago Auctions, Todd Merrill, Lost City Arts and not surprisingly, Wright.

It is not the first time I've written this here, but the best way to learn about 20th century design is through the secondary market; dealers, design fairs and auction houses. Check out the auction's online catalog or if you are in Chicago between June 21st and 27th see these pieces first-hand at the open-to-the-public preview.

Collection of the late John R. Eckel, Jr.

Images: Wright

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