On March 16th Wright presents John Prip: American Metalsmith, an auction celebrating the life and work of one of the country’s most innovative workers in metal. Comprised of more than 100 works from the artist’s own collection, this sale features pieces made between the 1950s and the 1990s and ranges from flatware studies to sculpture and jewelry. From well-known designs for Reed & Barton to one-of-a-kind functional and decorative objects, the works in this sale exhibit technical precision, innovation and a mastery of material.

John Prip never constructs forms merely to be different, they evolve from observation, thought, experimentation and discovery. This gives to his work a unique personal and timeless quality.

Olaf Skoogfors

Lark flatware studies $3,000–5,000

Collages of flatware

The sale features more than 40 lots of jewelry designed by John Prip

prototype cigarette box $3,000–5,000

teapot $15,000–20,000

John Axel Prip

John Axel Prip was a silversmith that redefined the medium of both handcrafted and machine-fabricated metalworks. Born in New York in 1922, Prip moved with his Danish father and American mother to Denmark at the age of 10, where his father opened a silversmithing factory. As a teenager, Prip apprenticed at his father’s business. It was here that Prip learned the traditional and technical craft of his medium.

Prip returned to the United States in 1948. He accepted a job as a teacher at the School for the American Craftsman (now known as the School for American Crafts), which was a newly opened school in Alfred, New York dedicated to training highly skilled craftspeople. While teaching, Prip and fellow metalsmith Ronald Pearson, woodworker Tage Frid, and Bauhaus ceramist Frans Wildenhain founded a new gallery called Shop One to display their groundbreaking works of craft. 

A selection of carved rocks and rock boxes are among the sale's offerings

lidded box $4,000–6,000

Studies for Teapots

necklace $3,000–5,000

Soft organic forms can coexist with hard-edged ones.

John Prip

To commemorate this extraordinary auction, Wright has
published a special catalog featuring a selection of works.

John Prip: American Metalsmith

For more information about
this sale, please contact:

312 563 0020

Auction / Chicago
16 March 2017
12 pm central

Preview / Chicago
By appointment