Announcing..."As Luck Would Have It" -- the Website!

FINALLY! The "As Luck Would Have It" Website has launched! Now, in addition to the offerings at Home Store Manassas, my carefully edited collection of vintage treasures are available thru Be sure to check it out daily, as there are many more pieces of inventory to be posted. And tell ALL your friends, family, co-workers, strangers you meet in bars....Trust me, they'll thank you for it! At least I will...!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Perfectly Wright

I do so miss writing my Furniture Addict postings.  Alas, my accelerated acquisition activities, coupled with frenetic shuffling of furniture from Point A to Points B, C, D, n, have required every bit of energy I can muster.  While I have tons of addict-related events and treasure discoveries to relay to my Dear Readers (who must by now be doubting my dedication to this Blog), time and exhaustion have prohibited me from putting pen to paper, so to speak.

But today, I am taking a much needed (yet brief) respite from my vintage furnishings hunting and moving.  Sitting by the pool in beautiful Rehoboth Beach Delaware, surrounded by the July 4th vacationing hoi polloi, I am sufficiently rested to relay at least one episode of décor drama.

Recently, I was contacted by Barry, of Butch-and-Barry – a most interesting and fun couple to whom I was introduced years ago by Sig-O.  B&B, being inveterate collectors of some of the finest vintage home furnishings, have decorated their lovely Arlington Virginia townhome with an extremely well-edited collection of furniture, china, and objects d’artes.  So, I was quite intrigued when Barry called to ask if I might be interested in an extensive collection of – wait for it! – RUSSEL WRIGHT DINNERWARE!

Yes, Russel Wright!  Now, for those of you who, admittedly or not, are unfamiliar with the glories of Russel Wright, allow me a pedagogical moment.  Mr. Wright, along with his wife Mary, was among the earliest home décor lifestyle gurus.  While they also designed beautifully streamlined furniture, they are perhaps best known for their iconic American Modern ceramic tableware, whose definitive sleek and simple styling is nonetheless imbued with organic shapes – the perfect marriage of Form and Function. 

My first encounter with the design ingenuity of Russel Wright was during a trip to NYC more than eight years ago.  The not-so-sig-o of the time suggested a side-trip to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, which most fortuitously was featuring a Russel Wright restrospective.  I was immediately enamored with the gracefully simple curves and subtle yet bold colorations of the dinnerware designs, especially the pieces comprising the American Modern collection, produced by Steubenville Pottery 1939 to 1959.

Our friend Barry had become the caretaker of a beautiful batch of Russel Wright American Modern collected over many decades by his mother.  Desiring to pass the collection along to someone who might be interested in acquiring the set in its entirety, and being aware of the newly formed "As Luck Would Have It” vintage décor business endeavor, Barry most fortuitously thought of yours truly.

Once I enthusiastically agreed to consider Barry’s collection, he and Butch invited me to a home-cooked dinner.  But the first order of the evening was my introduction to Russel Wright.  Barry had painstakingly displayed the entire collection among two tables in their well-appointed basement.  And I was immediately awestruck by the bounty!  Having grouped the pieces by color – seafoam, coral, and granite – I couldn’t believe how many different items Barry’s mother had amassed.  Placed among the stacks of dinner plates, cups and saucers, and salad plates were some of the most iconic American Modern gems:  a water pitcher, salad bowl, coasters, chop plates, covered casserole…just to name a few!

I must admit, I had tried to prepare myself for this moment….In the days since Barry’s initial call, I had planned to make a well-informed business decision, based on careful consideration of  how this collection could factor into the As Luck Would Have It inventory; how I might best use this opportunity to acquire such a large collection, perhaps to launch ALWHI as a definitive source for Russell Wright’s American Modern.  I had planned to meticulously research the ‘net for competitive retail prices per item, and, at some later date, approach Barry with an offer based on sound business principles.

But, once I gazed upon the most beautiful and lovingly amassed collection of this most iconic mid-century tableware, all rational thought evaporated!  I simply HAD.TO.HAVE.IT!  And the most gracious Barry, undoubtedly sensing my extreme desire, accepted the offer that I had determined I was able to fund.  What a wonderfully mutually beneficial arrangement!  I acquired a stunning collection, and Barry had found someone who appreciated and desired the pieces in toto.

After sealing the deal with a handshake and a friendly hug, we commenced with the other pleasures of the evening -- a most jovial dinner of wine, pasta with homemade bolognese sauce, and   a sinfully tasty cherry pudding derived from an heirloom recipe, all within the context of storytelling and gossip sharing!

Who could ask for anything more!

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