Russel Wright worked as an industrial designer, a job created in the 20th century. In the 1920s, he worked in the theater, making sets and props. After 1929, he formed a company with his wife, Mary, also a designer, designing furniture, radios and useful household accessories made of spun aluminum, stainless steel, paper, wood, glass, plastic and ceramics.

Wright's most famous products are the modern dinnerwares created, beginning in 1938, for many china companies including Harker, Iroquois, Steubenville and Justin Tharaud. The "American Modern" pattern, introduced in 1939 by Steubenville Pottery, became America's bestselling set for more than 20 years.

Copies are made by Bauer Pottery today. Most collectors know about the dinnerware patterns, but few have discovered his now-more-expensive metal or wooden pieces.

A spun aluminum bowl sells for more than $10,000, a wooden "Oceana" bowl for about $2,000 and nickel-plated bookends shaped like horses, $2,700. Almost all of Wright's works are signed with his name.

Write to: The Kovels, c/o King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. The website is

current prices

Prices from shows nationwide:

Bobblehead Lucy, Peanuts cartoon character, red dress, black square base, 5 1/2 inches, $60.

Lone Ranger doll, wood, composition, paint, faux suede and buckskin, Dollcraft, 1930s, 21 inches, $180.

Poster, Buy War Bonds, Uncle Sam, soldiers, planes, frame, 25 by 41 inches, $280.

Bucket bench, mortised shelves, Lebanon County, Pa., 37 by 12 by 42 inches, $295.

Judaica spice tower, castle shape, central fortress, flag on steeple, hinged top, sterling, 7 by 2 1/4 inches, $495.

Lalique vase, frosted molded glass, high relief, satyrs, frolicking in vines, 1900s, 7 inches, $585.

Advertising sign, 7-Up, Get Real Action, 7-Up Your Thirst Away, light-up, round, 15 by 3 inches, $630.

Persian rug, Qashgai, red ground, geometric medallion, stylized flowers, animals, 6 feet 11 inches by 5 feet 3 inches, $715.

Silver plate server, Lazy Susan, warming tray, round base, four handles, cobalt glass liners, 13 by 28 inches, $860.

Mid-century pottery vase, lid, purple, red copper glaze, fish symbol, Br. Thomas Bezanson, 7 by 7 1/2 inches, $2,720.