"Adam style" furniture popular in the late 1760s

Terry Kovel
Caned arms, back and seat make this settee a little different. It was made in the 19th century in the "Adam taste." Neal Auction Co. in New Orleans sold it for $1,250.

The auction described the settee as "in the Adam taste," but an online search for the words won't explain what that means. When it says "Chippendale style" in a catalog, it means it is a reproduction made long after the original pieces designed and made by Thomas Chippendale in the 18th century. "Adam taste" is even more confusing.

There were two Adam brothers who died in the 1790s. Their work is now called the "style of the Brothers Adam" or "Adam style." It was popular in the late 1760s. The brothers designed the building, then designed and made all the furnishings, including fireplace mantels, fixtures, fittings, carpets and, of course, furniture. The look spread to Scotland and Russia, and inspired Federal style in the United States. The brothers admired and adapted the classical designs of Greece and Rome.

They wrote a book with their engraved designs, which made their ideas available to everyone. Pastel color combinations of green, blue, yellow, lilac, pink and terra-cotta were possible with new, affordable, lighter paint colors. The rooms had classical scenes on the walls along with swags, ribbons and plaques.

This settee in the style of the Brothers Adam is made in a simple shape of paint-decorated satinwood with a caned back, arms and seat. It sold for $1,250.
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Q: I have a Duesenberg name plate from my father's car. Do you know of anyone who may be interested in this item? I have pictures of the Duesenberg car my father owned, and I'm assuming the name plate was from the 1930s.
A: You can find collectors and dealers at car shows. The largest is the Antique Automobile Club of America's Fall Meet held in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It includes an antique car show, a race, a flea market and vendors of automotive parts, tools and collectibles. If you live near Hershey, it's worth it to go and see what Duesenberg items sell for. Dealers that sell automotive items also buy them.
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Q: As a young boy, my husband received a Popeye doorstop. He's had it since about 1939. It says "1929, King Feature SYN" on it. Can you tell us anything about it and its worth? It's certainly a keepsake!
A: Popeye first appeared in 1929 in a comic strip called "Thimble Theatre." The character and the comic strip were created by Elzie Crisler Segar and distributed by King Features Syndicate. Popeye became a hit with readers and is still a popular character. He has appeared in comic books, cartoons, a full-length movie featuring Robin Williams as Popeye, on a postage stamp and on toys and novelty items. The Popeye doorstop was made by Hubley Manufacturing Company, which was in business in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from 1894 to 1965. The date on your doorstop is the copyright date for the character, not the date it was made. Popeye collectibles are sought after and bring high prices. The value of your doorstop is about $2,000 if the paint is in good condition.
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Q: I have a dinner set with four place settings plus many serving pieces that are marked "Enoch Wedgwood England" with a unicorn. They also say "Kent," which I assume is the pattern name. Pieces are decorated with green flowers and multicolored flowers in the center. I'm told they are a "different Wedgwood," and I'm having trouble finding anything about a unicorn mark used by Wedgwood. Can you tell me how old my dishes are and what they might be worth?
A: Enoch Wedgwood (1813-1879) was a potter who became a partner in the firm of Podmore, Walker & Co., founded in 1834 in Tunstall, England. When Thomas Podmore died in 1860, Enoch inherited a large share of the business and it became Wedgwood & Co. In 1965, it was renamed Enoch Wedgwood (Tunstall) Ltd. It was this company that pictured a unicorn in its mark. Enoch was a distant cousin of Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) who founded the famous Josiah Wedgwood & Sons in 1759 in Stoke-on-Trent, England, commonly just called "Wedgwood." But their businesses were never related. Josiah Wedgwood's company was never called "Wedgwood & Company," and never used a unicorn in a mark. Enoch Wedgwood was taken over by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons in 1980 and renamed Unicorn Pottery. Your Kent dishes were made between 1965 and 1980, and together they are worth about $150 to $200.
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Q: My mother bought a Depression-era glass punch bowl set in the early 1930s. It has an extra-large punch bowl, undertray, ladle and 24 cups. The pattern is "Pinwheel & Star," and the maker is McKee. It was used only twice, and it's in perfect condition. What is its value?
A: According to most sources, the Pinwheel & Star pattern was made by L.E. Smith, not by McKee. Both companies were in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, and made Depression-era glass punch bowl sets. McKee started in 1903 and became part of Thatcher Glass Co. in 1951. L.E. Smith started in 1907 and is still in business, now as Smith Glass Co. The value of your set is about $300 to $400.
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Tip: Your collectibles will live best at the temperature and humidity that is comfortable for you -- not too hot, cold, wet or dry.
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Terry Kovel and Kim Kovel answer questions sent to the column. By sending a letter with a question and a picture, you give full permission for use in the column or any other Kovel forum. Names, addresses or email addresses will not be published. We cannot guarantee the return of photographs, but if a stamped envelope is included, we will try. The amount of mail makes personal answers or appraisals impossible. Write to Kovels, (Name of this newspaper), King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.
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Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions. 
Peters & Reed vase, brown, green, vines, column shape, 12 inches, $15.
Ginger jar, dark green body, 5 country scenes, gold trim, Gerold, West Germany, 10 inches, $25.
Shaving mug, cut-glass prism pattern, ray-cut base, sterling silver rim, Meriden, 3 1/4 inches, $180.
Bracket clock, Zenith Le Locle, 8-day, spring driven, floral painted highlights, gilt metal mounts, 11 inches, $210.
Side table, mixed woods, frieze drawer, shaped saber legs, Dutch marquetry, late 1700s, 29 x 23 x 23 inches, $375.
Tintype photograph, boys, girls, young woman, class, outdoor, building, tree, 12 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches, $390.
Whiskey bottle, cut glass, flat hob star plug stopper, notched handle, ray-cut base, W.C. Anderson, 9 1/2 inches, $420.
Stoneware, jar, Martaban, mask loop handles, oval body, dragon, clouds, iron stand, glazed, 35 x 42 inches, $440.
Nakara, vase, gilt metal handles and feet, pink, yellow, blue orchid glass, 14 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, $720.
Kid Samson toy, man, hammer, bell, replaced, tin lithograph, windup, B & R co., box, 9 x 5 x 3 1/4 inches, $825.
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