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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Late to the debate

I either have the best timing in the world or the worst. Before I was even aware there was a raging debate about who designed Interplay for Iroquois, it ended.

According to Michael Pratt at modish, collectors argued for years about the possibility that either Russel Wright or Ben Seibel designed the line, but they could come to no consensus.

A few years ago, Pratt found a mention of Wright as the designer in a trade journal article on tableware settings. He had also found another reference stating that Wright had created a new bowl for the line. Still, collectors were skeptical.

Eventually, however, Pratt found an article in the September 6, 1952, New York Times entitled "Dinnerware Mixed, Plain and Patterned," which stated definitively that the dinnerware was designed by Russel Wright. The article went on to explain that the solid pieces were meant to be mixed and matched with the patterns.

As far as I can tell, the line was produced in solid white and colors called Charcoal and Golden Melon. Patterns were called Arabesque, Fleur de Lis and Woodvine (sometimes referred to by sellers as Leaves Berries)

Interplay coffee pot (left) in charcoal and white after dinner coffee pot (right)

Interplay coffee pot and after dinner coffee pot in Golden Melon
Interplay Fleur de Lis

Interplay Arabesque

Interplay Woodvine

An offshoot of the Interplay line is Carrera Modern, a string/drizzle pattern which utilizes most of the same shapes.

Carrera Modern ad


  1. Oooo, I love the seeing the original ads for vintage wares.

  2. @Tanya: I do too. It fascinates me to see the old prices and try to estimate the equivalent price today.

  3. Hey Dana. I've got a quick, but unrelated, question. Do you happen to have any experience restoring leather furniture? I've got a Knoll Pollock that I'm looking to buy, but the leather is in pretty bad shape. Not torn or anything, just has a lot of crease marks and other places where the dye has worn/scratched off.

  4. @Nick: We haven't had any pieces of leather furniture at the store that needed restoring, so I can't give you any firsthand information. However, I did see an old Ekornes lounge chair and ottoman that were done with upholstery spray that you buy at auto supply stores for leather car seats, and it looked amazingly good. I don't know how well it would hold up to daily use though.

    I have a turquoise vinyl chair that I would like to clean up, so I was doing some research the other day and found this site:

  5. Thanks Dana. I'll look into that auto upholstery spray. I'll document the process on the blog if everything turns out.

  6. @Nick: Great...I'd be interested to find out how it holds up with regular use. I think I could easily get away with it on my turquoise chair, since it's only an accent piece.

  7. Oops. Came home with 4 of them instead of one. One is upholstered in leather, the rest are cloth. All will need to be restored. Looks like I'm gonna get a crash course in leather and fabric dying.

  8. @Nick: Wow, you must have hit the jackpot. I can't wait to see what you do with them. My work is cut out for me tonight. I have to recover the seats on two Kofod-Larsen chairs. I'll post soon, depending on when I finish them.