Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Russel Wright Flair Woodland Rose

Russel Wright Flair

Russel Wright Woodland Rose is probably THE rarest and hardest patterns for me to have found as a Russel Wright Melamine collector. Probably because the FLAIR line designed by Wright and made for Northern was one of the later developments in melmac history and too much was happening during this time.

russel wright plastic
Russel Wright Flair by Northern in Woodland Rose Pattern

Why Woodland Rose is Rare

Going into the 1960's with any melmac would soon prove to be a challenge as melmac was indeed, past it's hey-dey. Pricing on melamine would change meaning dish production was more costly.  You will have to read my history on Northern Melamine of Bostonto see why Northern and Wright were having major problems.  As fate would have it, adding one bad business decision to another, Northern decided to attempt to get itself out of debt by acquiring Watertown's dinnerware division on credit, which meant total dissolution within two years when they went belly up. Bye-Bye Northern, and bye bye to Flair.

Honestly,  most consumers liked the Ming Lace pattern which had real leaves in the melamine. Obviously the alternate patterns weren't produced in the quantities of Ming Lace or as desirable then, making them harder to find now. Add that to smaller production windows and that is why you get the equation less pieces produced = less pieces left today.

Russel Wright Melmac picture
Woodland Rose: You be the judge, is this a bad airbrush job?

Why It's Not Particularly Valuable Even Though It's Rare

I consider it rare but not valuable.  As for value, I personally would pay a lot for it but most collectors may not because:

a) It would be hard to find a complete set and collectors love to shoot for a complete set.
b) Ming Lace has real leaves in the plastic and is better design-wise.
c) Truth be told, it's not Wright's best work. (It pains me to say that.) With all due respect, it seems like a bad airbrush design or bad watercolor design gone wrong.

The value would only be in the patterned pieces and not the pink solids, as these pinks are floating around all over. As a "Russel Wright or Bust" melmac junkie, I really want a set of this for my collection, (if you have some pieces email me) but I can't take it with me when I go and so I will be happy looking at this collection which belongs to Melissa.  Thanks for letting me use these cool photos for my site.  The only piece I personally found was a bread dish, which I gave to Dennis Teepe, which he has under lock and key, where I'm sure it will remain forever, or until, his wife gives it to the local thrift.

See all Russel Wright Flair on my FLAIR page!


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