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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Truth in advertising

Most people who frequent this blog will figure out in short order that I'm a big fan of Russel Wright. I admire him not only for his work, but also because he believed, as I do, that good design should be available to everyone. I have a collection of Iroquois Casual china that I use every day, as did its many owners before me. I even run it through the dishwasher, which they didn't do back in the 1950s, so I never cease to be amazed that it has lasted for 60 years without so much as a chip, crack or craze...and that its style is still as fresh and exciting as ever.

My most prized Russel Wright pieces are the carafe and the 4-quart casserole with pinch lid. Both usually sell for $200-300, but I watched and waited for years to find them at a more affordable price, and finally each one came up on eBay. I got the carafe first, for around $50, and I was elated about getting such a steal. A few months later, much to my delight, the casserole came up on eBay at about the same price. As luck would have it, I won the auction. Another score for me!!! The day the package arrived, I opened it...and both the lid and the bottom were flawless. I was in heaven. However, my ecstasy only lasted a few seconds, ending precisely at the same moment I bounced the lid off my stainless steel countertop (actually denting the edge of the countertop) and onto the slate floor, smashing it into a million tiny pieces. Yep, at least a million...maybe more. It took me a year, but I finally found a replacement lid. Unfortunately, I paid as much for the new lid as I originally did for both pieces, but at least my casserole bottom is no longer topless.

Although Russel Wright promoted Iroquois Casual by throwing it on the ground to demonstrate its durability...and it IS amazingly indestructible under normal conditions...let me assure you that it CAN break...and break your heart.

Iroquois Casual carafe in ripe apricot

The ill-fated but now rejuvenated Iroquois Casual 4-quart casserole in ripe apricot

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