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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another mystery solved

Back in May, I posted about a trashcan I saw listed on eBay as a "Mid Century Atomic Mategot Style Tin Wire Trash Can Bin" and priced at $159. At the time, I didn't know who designed the trashcan, but I was able to determine with a reasonable degree of certainty that it wasn't designed by Mathieu Matégot, and his designs became the focus of that post. My daughter and SIL have an identical trashcan that they got free at an estate sale, and I also offered the opinion at the time that "free" was probably a more realistic price than $159, but now I'm not so sure about that.


wantcy.com


I was looking at my copy of Ann Kerr's Collector's Encyclopedia of Russel Wright for yesterday's post, and on page 4 of the Acknowlegements, there is was! The trashcan! Kerr had included this copy of a 1953 Richards Morgenthau/Raymor ad:


Richards Morgenthau/Raymor ad
Collector's Encyclopedia of Russel Wright  by Ann Kerr


The ad read, "These famous names and brands have identified Richards Morgenthau as America's outstanding distributor of contemporary gifts and decorative accessories." And right there, along with designs by Ben Seibel, Tony Paul, George Nelson, Paul McCobb and Russel Wright was a picture of the trashcan identified as having been designed by "Dick Galef" for Ravenware.


Close-up of the 1953 Richards Morgenthau/Raymor ad 


I just love a mystery with a totally unexpected ending. I bet my daughter and SIL will like this one too. And maybe now that they know what they have, they'll quit filling it with dirty diapers!

Update 8/12/11: Jonathan Goldstein had lunch with Richard Galef yesterday and learned some things I need to pass on to you. First of all, according to Galef,  he has never gone by "Dick," so why he was referred to as such in the Morgenthau/Raymor ad is yet another mystery. Also, this trash can, included in my original post, is a design by Galef for Ravenware, not by Mathieu Matégot, as it was incorrectly attributed.


architonic.com


We all know that, 50+ years after the fact, sellers and bloggers today are going to make mistakes in identifying pieces/designers and that the misinformation is then perpetuated by exposure on the Internet, which is why I post corrections as soon as new information comes to my attention. That poses a serious problem for today's collectors, for if even the ads and brochures that came out back then contain information that is less than factual, what will we do after there's no one left from that era to set us straight? 

12 comments:

  1. This is precisely why Johnathan (Goldstein) and I "got into it" upon first "meeting". None of us know it all. I'm always learning about new things and learning that some of the stuff I already "knew" was incorrect. I will occasionally give a c-list seller a "heads up" about an item they are selling when they've misidentified it but I always try to be sure they know that they can take my "advice" with a grain of salt cuz I might be full of sh*t!

    Humility - one of my favorite attributes.

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  2. LOL - don't you always cringe when you see someone using something vintage for something questionable? Many years ago when rustic antiques were all the rage my parents returned from a potluck dinner with her all in a huff - seems some unknowing housewife had served potatoes in a chamber pot! Dad had had some anyway and she wasn't pleased.

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  3. @DearHelenHartman: I'd have a hard time dipping a ladle into that particular piece of serveware too...LOL

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  4. @Mr.Modtomic: Speaking of Jonathan, he really got his bona fides as an expert in an article in Interior Design magazine this month.

    Check it out: the Interior Design article

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  5. And on the subject of mistakes...I saw a funny Craigslist ad a couple of days ago. The seller had listed the designer as "Gunni Mobelfabrik" instead of Gunni Omann. I wonder how many people have told her that "Mobelfabrik" means "furniture factory" in Danish?

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  6. BTW... It is now and will always be the poop can. There is no going back. ;)

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  7. lol..talking of chamber pots..i saw one listed on local craigs and had a tough time explaining it to another friend that its not worth the drive..lol..all she saw was enamel and an intact lid.

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  8. @joeegg007 (aka the SIL): I've seen some of the diapers that go in that can! Maybe we can work that into a company tagline..."Mid2Mod, where we're so hardcore MCM that even our hazardous waste gets designer treatment." :)

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  9. @Sudha: That's not something I'd consider worth a drive across town for either! :)

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  10. Funny thing Dana. Just the other day I was doing some basic information gathering on Richard Galef and his Ravenware line for Raymor. What I hadn't clued to was the fact, which you just so aptly illustrated here, that he was sometimes referred to as "Dick"... And I even have a scan of that Raymor ad!

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  11. @Jonathan: I ran across it completely by accident. In a million years, I would never have thought to look in Ann Kerr's Russel Wright book to find the answer to the trashcan question. Nothing I've found on the Internet refers to Galef as "Dick," so I can see how that escaped you too. Funny that we both had access to the ad though didn't know to look at it.

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  12. Had lunch with Richard Galef yesterday. He says that he was never referred to as "Dick".

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