Ekco Bakelite Radio Auctioned By Richard Winterton

A Bakelite radio from the 1940’s has recently sold for £750 at auction, (30th September, Richard Winterton of Lichfield).

The radio manufactured by British firm Ekco and introduced in 1945 is one of the most iconic of all radio designs, famous for the circular Art Deco case. Originally designed in the early 1930’s by the modernist architect Wells Coates (1895-1958), the Model A22 was the final variation on the circular cased cabinet theme. Such a case would not be possible in wood so the design took full advantage of the use of Bakelite plastic which could be moulded to form the shape. The speaker is in the centre and the indicator dial forms the circumference with the operation knobs below.

In the 1940’s you could choose between a jet black case with chrome fittings or as here a mottled brown version simulating walnut. Apparently, according to radio collectors, the black case was more popular then as now due to its aesthetic appeal, with the brown being the rarer model, (although ironically of lesser value). Other colours such as green could be ordered from Ekco and these are extremely rare and very valuable collectors’ items.

Mint circular Ekcos to not turn up at auction that often these days and a UK internet bidder seized the opportunity to fight off two telephone bidders to secure it at £750.

Elsewhere in the same sale, Lot 261 a gold tie pin gifted to a chauffeur by Edward Prince of Wales in 1923 sold for £420 and a collection of early cameras totalled over £3,000.

The next Collectors Sale is in December and entries are currently being invited. Contact Richard Winterton Auctioneers on 01543 251081 or email [email protected] for further information.


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