The antique doll community is mourning the loss of its most ardent scholar and spokesman, William “Richard” Wright Jr., who died March 1.
Wright was well known on the antiques show circuit for his stunning displays of dolls, toys and 18th-, 19th- and early 20th-century antiques. He was a familiar face on the popular PBS series Antiques Roadshow for 11 years, for which he served as an expert appraiser of dolls and toys.
Wright, 62, died at his home in Chester Springs, Pa.
An entrepreneur all his life, he was proprietor of Richard Wright Antiques & Dolls, a shop filled with curiosities and fine antiques located in Birchrunville, Pa. This wasn’t Wright’s first business. He started his first shop in 1960 at the age 14, quickly developing a yeoman’s instinct for quality, history and craftsmanship. He was a pillar of the Chester County antiques community for 37 years, specializing in antique toys, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, glass, pottery, bronzes, furniture, and Victoriana.
He was a fixture on the antiques show circuit, exhibiting at shows such as Atlantique City and the Eastern National Antique Doll Show in Gaithersburg, Md. He was also scheduled to attend the National Doll Dealer’s Association Show and Sale April 4-5 in Los Angeles.
Richard Wright was a member of the Antique Appraisers Association, National Antique Doll Dealers Association, National Antique Dealers Association, and the United Federation of Doll Clubs.
Wright is survived by Glenn Stevens, his partner of 11 years. A memorial service will be held this spring. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Richard Wright’s name may be sent to Gamma Mu Foundation, 1975 E. Sunrise Blvd., Suite 624, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304.
Condolences may be made online at www.royersfordfuneralhome.com.