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Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Aug 30, 2009 5:52:19 AM
midmodern1
Enthusiast
That entry from craigslist was probably taken from one of Ann Kerr's collectors guides. She authored several editions of the Russel Wrights Collectors Guide. She included the Modernmates line in her volumes because at that time no one knew who designed what. We (the Russel Wright collectors group) now know that all Conant Ball that was designed by him features his name in the stamp. The Conant Ball company did continue the production of the American Modern line without his name in the stamp. This line was produced after his contract had expired.
The MODERNMATES line was designed by Leslie Diamond. Advertising has been found for the Modermates line clearly attributing the designs to Diamond.
Conant Ball furniture was in production for many years. It seems that the interest in their furniture from collectors lie only in their MODERN designs. Hence the higher values seen here on Ebay. All other styles although high quality and well built just don't have much value.
Most long time Russel Wright collectors pretty much know now that if an item does not bear his name with a stamp or sticker, it's not his design.
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Message 21 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Nov 3, 2009 1:16:47 PM
sandysfancy-old
Enthusiast
wow, I am glad I found this thread. never knew he made any furniture. Thanks.
I have a bunch of his china.
Sandy's Fancy Pants Antiques and Collectibles
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Message 22 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Nov 21, 2009 1:05:56 PM
russellowell
Enthusiast
To find the answer to your question, search the russel wright papers at Syracrus University.
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Message 23 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Dec 31, 2009 5:07:30 PM
copelandspode2
Explorer
The B&S chair sounds like the 1950's - these were very high quality chairs, but without a photo I can't tell. My grandfather & father owned the company from 1900-1956. best regards, Martha
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Message 24 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 1, 2010 4:23:51 PM
sohappy_51
Explorer
Does anybody know about furniture that looks EXACTLY like the Conant Ball Modern Mates (or American Modern...?) except that it has black with the blonde? I have seen all black and all blonde pieces that are Conant Ball. I have a 3 drawer dresser that is blonde with black drawers. My mom bought it in 1952. So far, I haven't found any markings except the number 5201D 1224 that seems to be a Conant Ball #. But since i can't find anything online with the blonde and the black on one piece, I am wondering what I have???????
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Message 25 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 2, 2010 8:13:13 AM
scottlindberg
Enthusiast
Modernmates was available in a black lacquer finish -- either entirely or just the drawer fronts. They are difficult to find, though, as I believe that was a special order finish.
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Message 26 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 2, 2010 12:21:03 PM
sohappy_51
Explorer
Thanks. I thought it was Conant Ball. Yes, the chest is blonde with black laquered drawers. The drawers have circular brass handles that are also something that I can't find online. Do you know where I might find a picture or information on a piece like this? I have looked everywhere Ii know to look. Thanks again!
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Message 27 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 3, 2010 8:04:41 AM
scottlindberg
Enthusiast
It's pictured in an archival Conant Ball photo in Ann Kerr's 3rd edition "Collector's Encyclopedia of Russel Wright" on page 84. It might also be listed in Conant Ball catalogs & brochures, although I've never seen this finish actually pictured in a catalog before.

Kerr mistakenly attributed Modernmates as a Wright design. We now know the line was designed by Leslie Diamond.
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Message 28 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 3, 2010 11:50:29 AM
sohappy_51
Explorer
Yes, my research says Leslie Diamond is the designer of Modernmates. Thanks for the info. on where I might find a picture of this particular piece. I should mention that the # I gave in my first email is actually followed by a small 9 that is underlined. So the # on the back of the chest is 5201 1224(small underlined 9 right after the 4)... in case this makes any difference. I have taken the black drawers out, turned the piece over, and looked everywhere... and there are no markings except these numbers. No Conant Ball mark. Is this normal for a later piece such as mine? As far as being a special order finish, all I know is that my mom told me she bought it at the top int. design store in Tampa, that it came that way, and it was not expensive. One more question... it has the original finish which is in bad condition. I took it out of storage and am using it in my home. It needs to be refinished. I never plan to get rid of it so will it "damage" it to refinish it? Thanks
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Message 29 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 3, 2010 12:03:02 PM
scottlindberg
Enthusiast
Conant Ball was notoriously sloppy about marking their furniture, so I'm not surprised you're missing the brand on your dresser. It's not uncommon for the wrong mark to be used, even. I have several pieces of Modernmates in my personal collection that are marked with the incorrect brand.

Refinishing will likely significantly impact the resale value, especially with harder to find finishes such as yours. I'd only recommend refinishing if it is completely un-displayable.
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Message 30 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 3, 2010 12:17:46 PM
sohappy_51
Explorer
It's in pretty bad shape finish-wise. Also, there was post beetle (or something that wasn't termites) damage to the very bottom of the right side of the piece. That is not as big a problem as the look of the finish. Guess i could try restoration instead of refinishing. I would love to know the value of the piece although I don't plan to sell it. I would be happy to take some pictures and send them to get your input on what... or what not to do... to make it look better!
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Message 31 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 3, 2010 1:27:49 PM
scottlindberg
Enthusiast
No, coyteetrader. Russel Wright only designed a very limited amount of furniture for Conant Ball, all of which is marked with his name. The majority of their Maple (and other) furniture was NOT designed by Wright.
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Message 32 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 3, 2010 3:52:05 PM
sohappy_51
Explorer
FYI: your correction is for the first post in this thread. see page 1. for some reason, they put the original post at the top of each new page. very confusing! if you look at the posts at the end of page 2 you will see he/she knows that this is designed by leslie diamond. ;-)
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Message 33 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 6, 2010 6:11:50 AM
daisybooboo
Enthusiast
Hi,

I have an entire bedroom suite of Russel Wright, in the red maple, from Conant Ball, marked with his name and model numbers. It is in decent shape, but could use surface refinishing.

I have the double bed, one low dresser, one high dresser, one bedside table, one dressing table, one dressing table bench, and two rectangular mirrors.

Any idea of value in the current market? Also, would I be "wrecking" any future value by refinishing these?

Also, I'm interested in a DR set and LR - I really love the lines of these and how solid they feel, but can't find many online sources. Any recommendations?

Thanks, in advance, to this wonderful board that I've just discovered for any answers or opinions!
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Message 34 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 10, 2010 12:10:53 PM
sohappy_51
Explorer
i also need to do something about my badly damaged chest. i posted here and, as expected, was advised not to refinish unless it was undisplayable because it would negatively impact the value. mine is undisplayable so i am researching what to do. since i never plan to sell mine (because it is a family piece), i will do something. i haven't tried this yet, but here is a link to HW refinishing possibilities:

http://www.refinishwizard.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=1560

as far as finding the furniture you are looking for, i have found the best way is just to do a general search of conant ball. a lot comes up.

also,
if anybody finds a blonde, a black, or a blonde with black drawers... 3 drawer dresser/chest (32W x 30T x 18D) for sale... PLEASE let me know! everything i have seen is sold.
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Message 35 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 26, 2010 1:09:12 PM
itsfuntorun
Enthusiast
Those measurements sound like the Conant-Ball chest/dresser I have. I have a blonde set including double bed (headboard, footboard, siderails), 7-drawer desk, and 3-drawer chest/dresser. I also have a drop-sided dining table with legs that swing out to hold up the two end leaves and four matching chairs. These pieces are all from my parents' estate. I do not have room for them, so I am planning to have a garage sale from Thursday through Saturday (1/28--1/30) to sell many of my parents' furniture pieces and other items. (I also have a few Russel Wright Iroquois dinnerware pieces -- including a creamer which is really pretty.) I just cannot keep everything. The furniture is in storage at the moment and I would have to pull a lot of things out to get to it to measure it, but I'm pretty sure those are the chest measurements. I know it's not the wider chest that went with the set. I have no idea where you are located, but I live in Middle Georgia.
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Message 36 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jan 26, 2010 2:30:56 PM
itsfuntorun
Enthusiast
Hey, I found the measurements written on a piece of paper I used while packing all the furniture pieces into the U-Haul to bring them down here! The chest is 19D x 32L x 30H.
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Message 37 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Jul 18, 2010 2:07:25 PM
peggyd73
Enthusiast
I have a CONANT-BALL table (with 2 extensions), 4 chairs, credenza AND a full bedroom set of stacking/modular drawer & cabinet units all in the same style (we REALLY liked it Smiley Happy). There are 'bow ties' on the table top and chair backs inlaid into the wood. The chairs have a curved back, two have arms. The table is pedestal branching out to four 'legs' that curve up slightly - old world Modern/contemporary/Scandanavian... I'm estimating that we bought the furniture around 1975. I'd attach pictures if I saw an option to but I don't. Everything is still in use except the table & chairs which I'd like to sell but am trying to find out what they are worth. Any help is greatly appreciated!
Thank you!
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Message 38 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Oct 26, 2010 8:09:00 AM
leota
Rising Star
Do you have a site or sites for the student of Wright?
been looking around and it slips thru my fingers every time.
thanks,
leota
leota
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Message 39 of 63

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

Re: Russel Wright / Conant Ball Furniture

in reply to Oct 27, 2010 5:58:31 AM
scottlindberg
Enthusiast
There isn't a single website that provides thorough Russel Wright references. Here's where I'd recommend starting ...

The Russel Wright Listserv is a great resource, where collectors and researchers gather to talk about Wright and his work. It is an email discussion list, though, and not a website. All the most current scholarship is discussed there. Be sure to register to get your name on the list, so you get the emails.

http://listserv.aol.com/archives/russel-wright.html

There is also a companion Russel Wright Yahoo Group that the Listserv uses for images and files. Not much discussion happens through it, but it is a repository for research.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RusselWright/

If you want to look at pictures, the Russel Wright Flickr Pool is a great source. It's not scholarly, but interesting nonetheless.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/russelwright/

I also talk about Wright quite a bit on my site, Ars Longa. It's a mix of scholarship and musings. You can find Wright objects under the "designers" tab or by searching.

http://www.sllab.net/
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Message 40 of 63