Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)
Copper Urn (circa 1902)



Spherical copper “Open” urn in original red-brown patina, adorned on four sides with raised medallions with dimpled edges; bordered on top and bottom with elongated hexagonal and diamond shapes; supported on a base of four squared sections. This urn was executed by James A. Miller and Brother and modeled most likely by Kristian Scheider.

The “Open” version of this urn is the design in its final evolution. The earlier version of the urn had a stylized bow tie shape above and below the central medallion. In the “Open” version, Frank Lloyd Wright has removed the bow tie shape and left the top and bottom hexagons open and unadorned. There are 7 known examples of this version.



Height: 19 in (48.3 cm)

Diameter: 19 ¾ in (50.2 cm)



Christie's New York, June 1988

Sid Brown, 1988-1995

Tom Figge, Montecito, California, 1995-2010

This “Open” urn design was used in Wright’s greatest residential projects: Susan Lawrence Dana House (1902), Darwin Martin House (1905), Frederick Robie House (1908), and the Avery Coonley House (1908).



In 1902, a version of the “Open” model was exhibited for the first time at the Chicago Architectural Club.

Today, there are 4 versions of the “Open” urn in public collections:

    The Sara Lawrence Dana House Museum, Springfield, Illinois

    The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

    The Minneapolis Museum of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    The Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois



Grant Carpenter Manson, Frank Lloyd Wright to 1910: The First Golden Age, New York, 1958, p. 192 (similar model illustrated).

Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright: The Early Work, New York, 1968, p. 100 (similar model illustrated).

Robert Judson Clark, ed., The Arts and Crafts Movement in America 1876-1916, Princeton, 1972, p. 69 (similar model illustrated).

Sharon S. Darling, Chicago Metalsmiths, Chicago, 1977, p. 71 (similar model illustrated).

William Allin Storrer, The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog, Cambridge, 1978, p. 141 (similar model illustrated).

David A. Hanks, The Decorative Designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, New York, 1979, pp. 20, 35, 70-71 (similar model illustrated).

H. Allen Brooks, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School, New York, 1984, p. 46 (similar model illustrated).

Daniel Treiber, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paris, 1986, p. 24 (similar model illustrated).

Frank Lloyd Wright, Studies and Executed Buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, New York, 1986, p. 56 (similar model illustrated).

Tod M. Volpe and Beth Cathers, Treasures of the American Arts and Crafts Movement: 1890-1920, New York, 1988, p. 134 (similar model illustrated).

David A. Hanks, Frank Lloyd Wright: Preserving an Architectural Heritage, Decorative Designs from the Domino’s Pizza Collection, New York, 1989, p. 42 (similar model illustrated).

Shawn Brennan et al., Reflections: Arts & Crafts Metalwork in England and the United States, New York, 1990, frontispiece (similar model illustrated).

Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Frank Lloyd Wright Drawings: Masterworks from the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives, New York, 1990, p. 286 (similar model illustrated).

Dorothy Spencer, Total Design: Objects by Architects, San Francisco, 1991, p. 51 (similar model illustrated).

Barbara Mayer, In the Arts & Crafts Style, San Francisco, 1992, p. 36 (similar model illustrated).

William Allin Storer, Frank Lloyd Wright Companion, Chicago, 1993, p. 141 (similar model illustrated).

Thomas A. Heinz, Frank Lloyd Wright: Glass Art, New York, 1994, pp. 35 and 227 (similar model illustrated).

Thomas A. Heinz, Frank Lloyd Wright: Interiors and Furniture, New York, 1994, pp. 26 and 114-115 (similar model illustrated).

Donald Hoffman, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana House, Mineola, NY, 1996, pp. 74-75 (similar model illustrated).

Carla Lind, Lost Wright: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Vanished Masterpieces, New York, 1996, pp. 48 and 140 (similar model illustrated).

Alastair Duncan, Modernism: Modernist Design 1880-1940, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1998, p. 44 (similar model illustrated).

Diane Maddex, 50 Favorite Furnishings by Frank Lloyd Wright, New York, 1999, p. 103 (similar model illustrated).

Jennifer Komar Olivarez, Progressive Design in the Midwest: The Purell-Cutts House and the Prairie School Collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 2000, p. 88. (similar model illustrated).

Julie L. Sloan, Light Screens: The Completed Leaded-Glass Windows of Frank Lloyd Wright, New York, 2001, pp. 23 and 185 (similar model illustrated).

Julie L. Sloan, Light Screens: The Leaded Glass of Frank Lloyd Wright, New York, 2001, p. 43 (similar model illustrated).

Aaron Betsky, Three California Houses: The Homes of Max Palevsky, New York, 2002, pp. 134 and 136 (similar model illustrated).

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