October 8, 2008

Wow, Mark That To Market: Noguchi Baby Monitor At Wright20

noguchi_monitor_w20.jpg

If you have an extra one of those Zenith Radio Nurse and Guardian Ear sets designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1937 lying around, you might want to dust it off. A very fine-looking example just blew through the pre-sale estimate yesterday at Wright20, the Chicago-based design auction house. Instead of $3,000-5,000, the pioneering baby monitor with the sleek, sculptural form sold for a whopping $22,800.

Of course, you don't have one, hardly anybody who isn't a museum has one. Though Noguchi was American, his signature on the back of the monitor supposedly functioned like a big "smash me, I'm Jap!" sign after Pearl Harbor. Not sure if that's true or not, but these things really don't turn up that often.

Lot 157: Isamu Noguchi, Radio Nurse and Guardian Ear, Zenith Radio Co., sold Oct. 7, 2008 for $22,800 [wright20.com thanks to andy for the catch]

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