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Episode 203 - 50's Redux
Russel Wright -- American Modern
Classic mid-century modern
Russel Wright was one of America’s most important designers in the 1930's, 40's and 50's. His dinner and service ware was known for its fluid shapes and earth tone colours like seafoam, granite gray and coral.

According to my friend Joan Sternthal, a collectibles expert, during the latter part of Wright’s career he introduced a line called Casual China, known better to some as “Casual Iroquois.” This line was known for its durability; it was also much more functional for every day use.

The colours for this line of china, as for the more formal American Modern line, were plucked from nature, colours like nutmeg, lettuce green and sherbet pink. What also distinguished some pieces from his other line were “pinches,” handles by which the pieces could be picked up.

Examples of Russel Wright’s works are part of many American museum design collections, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.

One definite way to tell if a piece is authentic is to take a look at the marking on the bottom. If it says Russel Wright and Steubenville (Ohio) you’ve got an original!

Courtesy: Joan Sternthal Antiques, Toronto, Ontario (416) 410-6501