Russel Wright “Theme Formal” pattern


Michelle Knows Antiques is a great way to find the value of your antiques. Submit your antique for appraisal on our easy to use form. Here is a recent appraisal from Michelle’s column in Discover Vintage America:

Q: Can you give me some information about my Russel Wright platter? The pattern is called “Theme Formal.” The mark says “Russel Wright, Yamato porcelain, designed in Japan.” The platter is a little over 15 inches long.

A: Russel Wright (1904-1976) was an American industrial designer. He designed domestic and industrial wares, such as dinnerware, glassware, furniture, aluminum goods and more. Several different companies made Wright’s dinnerware designs. The Yamato Porcelain Company of Tajimi made “Theme Formal”, Japan. These were one of the last two dinnerware patterns designed by Wright in 1964.

The lines were not well received at the “New York Gift Show” in 1965, buyers really did not like the style and design, and consequently not enough orders were placed to go into full production with the lines. A few pieces were sold but they were the prototypes. Some pieces of “Theme Formal” are in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum, but you don’t often see it in shops or shows.

The platter alone would sell for over $400.

Here is a beautiful website showing Russel Wright’s works in a beautiful setting.

note – All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about ½ or less of resale value.

Written by Michelle Staley

Michelle Staley has over 35 years of experience as an antique collector, picker and dealer. She has done hundreds of insurance and IRS appraisals in addition to just satisfying another collector or dealer’s curiosity concerning what an item is, does or its worth. Other experience includes her work as a forensics consultant and in archeological identification and dating.

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