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August 13, 2017 |

Archive for » August 13th, 2017«

This fall, decor’s deep, rich hues are bolder

Deeper, richer hues are often part of d←cor’s autumnal palette, but this year they’re bigger and bolder than usual.

“Color is a powerful communicator,” says Pottery Barn spokeswoman Monica Bhargava. “It can be a key point of inspiration that defines the mood and feel of a home.”

PPG’s color marketing manager Dee Schlotter sees a trend toward interiors “that embrace nocturnal shades” in homes, hotels and stores.

Deep hues are often incorporated through matte yet soft materials, she says.

IN THE MOOD

“I love dusky blues, plums, gray of all types, and surfaces that have a mysterious effect,” says Jamie Drake of New York-based Drake Anderson Interiors.

For the guest bedroom of one project, Drake/Anderson had Jonathan Kutzin of America Painting in Cresskill, N.J., create a strie effect with an iridescent blue top coat, evoking a moody retreat.

In another apartment, in Midtown Manhattan, Drake says his company used deep plum tones to anchor the high-altitude rooms, while another project employed dark navy walls in a cozy library. “Using a color this dark in a small space is a favorite tool to make the edges of a room ‘disappear’ and create a mysterious illusion of more space,” he says. (www.drakeanderson.com )

Some deep, dark colors evoke privacy, quietude and a feeling of being wrapped in warmth, designers say.

But brighter, saturated hues can be uplifting and electric; Sherwin-Williams’ two new collections are Affinity, inspired by craft and tribalism, and Connectivity, inspired by technology. (www.sherwinwilliams.com )

EMERALD CITY

Of the trending deepened hues, emerald green is especially dominant, Schlotter says. To her, “It represents luxury and emulates lush foliage.”

“Color palettes that range from darker shades like black and navy, to gold and coral, complement the depth of emerald green,” she continues, “while pale neutrals like white and light gray give it a crisp and trendy edge. A courageous color, emerald green also works well with a number of materials and textures.”

Emerald is showing up in upholstery. Furniture company Sauder has a little tub chair in the hue. CB2’s 50s-inspired Avec sofa comes in plush emerald velvet. (www.sauder.com; www. cb2.com )

COLOR IN THE KITCHEN

Italian company Bertazzoni, known for its high-end ranges in rich shades like burgundy, orange, yellow and red, just introduced a new hue called Azzurro. Blending cerulean, turq-uoise, sapphire and cyan, it’s a positive, energetic color. (www.us.bertazzoni.com )

Both Frigidaire and Kitchenaid have suites of appliances in black stainless steel.

And look for countertops and cabinetry in deeper tones, too. Cambria Quartz’s Bala Blue stone is the color of deep water. In a contemporary kitchen with sleek white cabinetry, Cardigan Red’s vibrant warmth would be a terrific foil. (www.cambriausa.com )

WALLS AND FLOORS

Intrepid decorators will love another aspect of this trend: dark walls.


+1 

This undated photo provided by PPG shows their color Black Flame on the wall and was named 2018 Color of the Year by PPG Paints. A statement-making black, infused with an undertone of the deepest navy, which evokes the privacy, hope and classic modernism that many consumers crave today. (PPG Paints via AP)

At Kip’s Bay Show House a couple of months ago in Manhattan, Susan Ferrier dressed a bedroom in deep forest green. Organic objets d’art accents made it feel like a luxe nature retreat. (www.mcalpinehouse.com )

Kevin Lichten and Joan Craig cloaked a downstairs bar in charcoal silk, trimmed with bronze, creating an intimate, sexy space.

LOOKING AHEAD

If you’re interested in dabbling in any of these colors, don’t worry about the trend being short-lived. PPG, Olympic Paints and Glidden announced their 2018 Color of the Year choices: Black Flame, Black Magic and Deep Onyx. And Schlotter reports that PPG’s color story for 2018 will be replete with deep, rich colors like smoky greens, purples and charred gray-blacks.

They’ve given the palette an intriguing name: “Brave”.

“These colors,” says Schlotter, “reflect consumers’ growing yearning for protection, strength and stability; to feel safe during uncertain times.”

Category: Kitchenaid  Tags: ,  Comments off

This fall, decor’s deep, rich hues are bolder

Deeper, richer hues are often part of d←cor’s autumnal palette, but this year they’re bigger and bolder than usual.

“Color is a powerful communicator,” says Pottery Barn spokeswoman Monica Bhargava. “It can be a key point of inspiration that defines the mood and feel of a home.”

PPG’s color marketing manager Dee Schlotter sees a trend toward interiors “that embrace nocturnal shades” in homes, hotels and stores.

Deep hues are often incorporated through matte yet soft materials, she says.

IN THE MOOD

“I love dusky blues, plums, gray of all types, and surfaces that have a mysterious effect,” says Jamie Drake of New York-based Drake Anderson Interiors.

For the guest bedroom of one project, Drake/Anderson had Jonathan Kutzin of America Painting in Cresskill, N.J., create a strie effect with an iridescent blue top coat, evoking a moody retreat.

In another apartment, in Midtown Manhattan, Drake says his company used deep plum tones to anchor the high-altitude rooms, while another project employed dark navy walls in a cozy library. “Using a color this dark in a small space is a favorite tool to make the edges of a room ‘disappear’ and create a mysterious illusion of more space,” he says. (www.drakeanderson.com )

Some deep, dark colors evoke privacy, quietude and a feeling of being wrapped in warmth, designers say.

But brighter, saturated hues can be uplifting and electric; Sherwin-Williams’ two new collections are Affinity, inspired by craft and tribalism, and Connectivity, inspired by technology. (www.sherwinwilliams.com )

EMERALD CITY

Of the trending deepened hues, emerald green is especially dominant, Schlotter says. To her, “It represents luxury and emulates lush foliage.”

“Color palettes that range from darker shades like black and navy, to gold and coral, complement the depth of emerald green,” she continues, “while pale neutrals like white and light gray give it a crisp and trendy edge. A courageous color, emerald green also works well with a number of materials and textures.”

Emerald is showing up in upholstery. Furniture company Sauder has a little tub chair in the hue. CB2’s 50s-inspired Avec sofa comes in plush emerald velvet. (www.sauder.com; www. cb2.com )

COLOR IN THE KITCHEN

Italian company Bertazzoni, known for its high-end ranges in rich shades like burgundy, orange, yellow and red, just introduced a new hue called Azzurro. Blending cerulean, turq-uoise, sapphire and cyan, it’s a positive, energetic color. (www.us.bertazzoni.com )

Both Frigidaire and Kitchenaid have suites of appliances in black stainless steel.

And look for countertops and cabinetry in deeper tones, too. Cambria Quartz’s Bala Blue stone is the color of deep water. In a contemporary kitchen with sleek white cabinetry, Cardigan Red’s vibrant warmth would be a terrific foil. (www.cambriausa.com )

WALLS AND FLOORS

Intrepid decorators will love another aspect of this trend: dark walls.


+1 

This undated photo provided by PPG shows their color Black Flame on the wall and was named 2018 Color of the Year by PPG Paints. A statement-making black, infused with an undertone of the deepest navy, which evokes the privacy, hope and classic modernism that many consumers crave today. (PPG Paints via AP)

At Kip’s Bay Show House a couple of months ago in Manhattan, Susan Ferrier dressed a bedroom in deep forest green. Organic objets d’art accents made it feel like a luxe nature retreat. (www.mcalpinehouse.com )

Kevin Lichten and Joan Craig cloaked a downstairs bar in charcoal silk, trimmed with bronze, creating an intimate, sexy space.

LOOKING AHEAD

If you’re interested in dabbling in any of these colors, don’t worry about the trend being short-lived. PPG, Olympic Paints and Glidden announced their 2018 Color of the Year choices: Black Flame, Black Magic and Deep Onyx. And Schlotter reports that PPG’s color story for 2018 will be replete with deep, rich colors like smoky greens, purples and charred gray-blacks.

They’ve given the palette an intriguing name: “Brave”.

“These colors,” says Schlotter, “reflect consumers’ growing yearning for protection, strength and stability; to feel safe during uncertain times.”

Category: Kitchenaid  Tags: ,  Comments off

Once long ago in China there was a pair of immortal twins, one bringing harmony and the other union,

Once long ago in China there was a pair of immortal twins, one bringing harmony and the other union, according to the legends.

So, artists made figurines showing the twin brothers, who were called “He-He.” They often were pictured and given to brides, because it was thought they brought a happy marriage.

A recent auction had a 53/8-inch figurine of He-He wearing green-and-black, flower-decorated robes. It is easy to recognize the brothers; one carries a lotus flower, and the other carries a box.

The auction figurine also had the traditional unglazed base. The twin boys modeled together as a group was estimated at $800 to $1,200, but no one bid high enough. Perhaps the bidders did not know the figures would lead to a happy marriage.

Q. My friend has her floor-model Enterprise coffee grinder for sale for $600 and I want to know how much it’s worth. Is she too high or too low on price? It’s in good shape.

A. Enterprise Manufacturing Co. was founded in Philadelphia in 1864. The company’s 1904 catalog of “patented hardware specialties” included kitchen utensils such as grinders and choppers, apple peelers, cheese knives, cherry pitters, graters, jelly presses, raisin seeders, sad irons and slaw cutters, as well as banks, bung-hole borers, faucets, flag holders, lawn sprinklers, tobacco cutters, traps and more. The company was sold to Silex in 1955. Enterprise’s floor-model coffee grinders were made in several sizes. Its value depends on condition and size. They usually sell for $500 to more than $1,000.

Q. I thought the very strange and modern Memphis furniture was made in the U.S. But I’m told the idea behind the Memphis group was created by Ettore Sottsass, an Italian.

A. Memphis is a design group that started in Italy in 1981. It is said that the name Memphis came from listening to Bob Dylan’s song, “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again.”

Sottsass, already a famous designer, joined others to make colorful mass-produced furnishings with plastik laminate. They made expensive limited editions of furniture, clocks, fabrics, glass, jewelry and ceramics inspired by many old styles. The group only lasted until 1988, and the brand was acquired by Ernesto Gismondi of Artemide, a lamp company.

The best known piece by Sottsass was not part of the Memphis group. It’s called “Valentine,” a pink Olivetti typewriter he designed for the company in the 1960s. The piece that made me realize I had very conservative taste was what I call the Memphis “boxing ring,” a fenced-off space in the center of a large room used as a conversation area for guests.

Q. Is there an easy way to date an unused postcard? I know the amount of the postage stamp has often changed and there are lists of the prices and dates. But when were photographs rather than color pictures used? When was it called a “postal card”?

A. Postcard collectors know and have listed the table of postage and postcard changes online, and they are in our book “Kovels’ Know Your Collectibles.”

A postal card is an early card called “pioneer” with no picture used from 1893 to 1898. A government-printed card had printed postage, a privately-printed card required a stamp and a divided-back card was used from 1907 to 1914. Photochrome cards were used after 1939.

Collectors call them photographs, although many are lithographs with a shiny finish. Real photo cards were used since 1900. If you want to sound like an expert, refer to them as RPPC. Used cards can be dated by the amount of the postage stamp; the postmark; a two-digit postal code, used after 1943; and a five-digit ZIP code, used after 1963.

Q. My father told me Rose China was the first china allowed to be manufactured by Noritake after World War II. I have 24 place settings, plus platters, serving casseroles, gravy boat, etc. They are marked on the back with a red rose and the words “Rose China” and “Made in Occupied Japan.” Does it have much value?

A. A porcelain factory was established in Noritake, Japan, in 1904. Dinnerware was made for export to the United States beginning in 1914. Porcelain was made for the Japanese market beginning in 1928. No china was exported during World War II.

Immediately after the war, material was hard to get, and the porcelain was not as high-quality as before the war. Noritake used the name “Rose China” on dinnerware made in 1946 and 1947 because it wasn’t up to the company’s high standards. China made in Japan and exported to the United States when American troops occupied the country from 1945 to 1952 was marked “Occupied Japan.” There are collectors who look for Occupied Japan china. A five-piece place setting of Rose China was offered for sale, at retail, for $70, a gravy boat for $36 and a covered vegetable dish for $65.

Tip

For your health and the well-being of your collection, do not smoke. The nicotine will stain fabrics, pictures and wood.

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, The Vindicator, King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

2017 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off

Milwaukee welcomes visitors with lake views, stellar food, never-ending brews

There’s always something to celebrate in Milwaukee. And I’m not just talking about the music, food and art festivals that fill the summer, or the azure views of Lake Michigan, or even the city’s beer-steeped history. I’m talking about the jovial bands of people walking the streets of downtown every time I visit – bachelorette parties (so many bachelorette parties!), bachelor parties, wedding parties, father-daughter dances. Really, any occasion is good there to pack the flask and break out the party gear.

I understand why they choose the Brew City. My husband and I love making weekend trips here from our home in Chicago. It’s small enough that it’s easy to get around and feels safe, but big enough that we discover a new neighborhood, quirky shop, restaurant or bar every visit. While the drinking-and-dining scene has long moved beyond its beer-and-brats reputation, you can still find plenty of that beer and those brats (including in craft and artisanal forms), along with frozen custard and squeaky cheese curds galore. (It’s the Dairy State for a reason.) Plus, it’s affordable (compared with Chicago prices) and there’s truth to that whole Midwestern kindness thing. Don’t put on airs and it’s likely that you will be welcomed with open arms.

Local Faves

When in Brew City, do as the Brew Citizens do and raise a pint. A quenching place to start is Pabst Milwaukee Brewery and Taproom, which is one of the newest craft breweries to open in the city and sits in an old Gothic Revival Church that also formerly served as a Pabst-owned bar and restaurant. “New” and “Pabst” sound contradictory, considering that the Pabst name has deep history in Milwaukee, dating to the 19th century. But it moved its brewing operations out of town in the 1990s. And the latest incarnation isn’t brewing hipster PBR (although you can buy that here), it’s creating small-batch beers with more depth and intrigue than the canned red-white-and-blue classic. For a DIY Pabst tour, take a stroll around the block and you’ll see Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, which walks visitors through the history of Pabst; you’ll pass the Brewhouse Inn Suites, a hotel built inside the old Pabst plant. About a mile from there, you might get a deeper feel for the family’s history with a visit to Pabst Mansion, where Frederick and his family lived.

For Frank Lloyd Wright, it wasn’t all Fallingwater and Taliesin. The Wisconsin-born architect believed that beautiful homes should be affordable at all income levels, and in the early 1900s he created a series of designs for small homes, known as American System-Built Homes, the pieces of which could be cut in advance and assembled on site to save on waste and cost. You can see six of them on West Burnham Street, and docents with the nonprofit organization Wright in Milwaukee lead tours of one of the homes. (The tours are offered on Fridays and Saturdays in the summer and early fall but become more sporadic as winter sets in.) Travel tip: One of the privately owned Wright-designed homes on the street is beautifully restored and available for overnight stays via VRBO.com.

Guidebook Musts

Is it meta that the buildings that house the Milwaukee Art Museum are works of art as well? My favorite is the white pavilion designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, which looks like a modernist bird, a cathedral or maybe a yacht depending on the time of day you see it and whether its wings – which are actually 72 steel fins that act as a sun screen – are open or closed. Save a couple of hours for exploring the museum’s wide-ranging collection, which includes dark portraits from Baroque Europe and brighter pop pieces such as one of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup paintings, as well as extensive Georgia O’Keeffe collection (she was from Wisconsin), swanky furniture by Herman Miller, vintage cameras – and continual natural art in the form of sparkling Lake Michigan views through the museum’s floor-to-ceiling windows.

The double-decker Milwaukee Boat Line Sightseeing Cruise toots along the Milwaukee River out to Lake Michigan, alerting bridge operators to raise ’em up and let it pass. During the 90-minute cruise, the guide regaled us with stories of Milwaukee’s industrial history while passing old brick tanneries, brick masonry factories, and cold storage warehouses; architectural history via the skyline and especially that winged Milwaukee Art Museum; and Great Lakes insights such as the fact that the five lakes hold about one-fifth of all the freshwater on Earth. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear some traces of lovable Midwestern aw-shucks earnestness. Our guide was talking about a lighthouse there that’s now powered by solar. “Which,” she said, “I think is pretty darn neat.”

Eat: Local Faves

Tubular meats – including some vegan versions – are the draw at Vanguard. Go global with the Guzman, which is seasoned Yucatan venison with pork fat, sour orange and achiote. Or keep it local, like I did, with a jalapeño cheddar bratwurst topped “Milwaukee-style,” slathered in cheese spread, shredded cheddar cheese and squeaky fried cheese curds. It’s nap-inducingly delicious. This isn’t your average corner bratwurst joint; it’s also a bustling craft cocktail bar, and specialty sausages come with beer/cocktail pairing suggestions.

Frozen custard isn’t the exception in the Dairy State. It’s the rule. Ask someone to name the best and you may spark an all-out war (which this recommendation also could lead to), but I stand firm in my love of the butter pecan frozen custard at Leon’s Frozen Custard – with its rich, creamy base and crisp, salty pecans – handed to you from a neon-covered walk-up joint that dates to 1942. This custard, alone, is worth the 90-minute drive from Chicago. As you are waiting in line (and you are likely to be waiting in line), you can watch as machines gurgle out reams of the frozen confection while staff in white caps and bow ties scoop it up to serve.

Eat: Guidebook Musts

My three Chicago companions and I were blown away by Braise, which creates its seasonal menus based on what’s available from Wisconsin farms using all parts, from “root to leaf” and “nose to tail.” Offerings change regularly, but what’s consistent is global influence, depth of flavor and alluring textures – such as the chickpea pancake made with summer squash and topped with salty whipped feta or the rich, steamed pork buns with chive vinaigrette and crushed, spicy peanuts. With a mix of shareable small and not-so-small plates, there’s an impressive variety for carnivores, vegetarians and pescetarians, as well as an eclectic craft cocktail menu. I had a rum cocktail with strawberry, banana and, oddly, asparagus cream that tasted much better than it sounds and is served in a skull mug with a toasted nose. Fun fact: Braise even created a service to act as a food hub so that other restaurants and customers can easily access produce, baked goods, meats and dairy items from the farms and artisans it works with.

Milwaukee is a town that loves brunch, and the European-style Cafe Benelux – named for Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg – draws crowds for its alfresco seating (rooftop and street-level patio) and eclectic offerings such as the pretzel Benedict (pretzel bread, ham, poached eggs and hollandaise), bananas Foster liege waffles and a savory waffle made with hash browns and topped with steak. Breakfast is also served nightly, as are mussels, frites and burgers. Save some time to read through the 50-page “bierbook,” which is updated seasonally and highlights unique craft beers from Belgium, Holland and the United States.

SHOP: Local Faves

If you’ve ever thought, “Where in the heck do I get an owl pellet to dissect?” Milwaukee has your answer. It’s American Science and Surplus, where you may also find dissection tools, including those waxy trays from middle school. This large, brightly lit suburban shop offers aisle after aisle of experiments, microscopes, telescopes, lab glasses, gyroscopes and just about anything a STEM-loving person could want or need. Plus, there is a solid selection of toys, tools, military items, motors and even the occasional hatching dinosaur-egg novelty. Because it’s a surplus store, you never quite know what you’re going to find, so you’ll probably have more fun if you go without a specific need in mind (and just hope to walk out with that owl pellet).

Fedoras, porkpies, cadet caps, cloches, derby hats, church hats, intricate fascinators – the specimens are stunning at two neighboring hat shops: The Hen House for her and Brass Rooster Hat Company for him. Major brands are available, as are custom creations made with equipment that dates to the 19th century. You don’t hear the words hatter and millinery much these days, but these two shops will make you appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a quality chapeau.

Sop: Guidebook Musts

Mod Gen – short for Modern General Store – had me at “arugula candle.” This gift shop, located amid blocks of boutiques in the reclaimed warehouses of the Historic Third Ward, is packed with gifts and trinkets – artfully displayed stationery, stickers, birdhouses, handmade soaps, hundreds of houseplants and a section dedicated to items made locally – that maybe you didn’t need but suddenly realize you can’t leave without. Like the hedgehog trivet that came home with me.

Follow the giant red neon sign that says “Milwaukee Public Market” and explore this gourmet/retail institution. There’s a seafood counter, restaurants, bakeries, purveyors of wine, cheese and sausage, kitchen accessories – and, one of my favorites, Brew City Brand Apparel, where T-shirts pay homage to insider Wisconsin tidbits. The “Call Me Old-Fashioned” shirt is a nod to the Badger State’s official cocktail, and the “Where’s the bubbler?” tee flexes a piece of when-in-Wisconsin vocabulary: bubbler means water fountain. (My mom is from Wisconsin, and now also happens to be the proud owner of a bubbler shirt.)

STAY: Local Fave

The smell from the wood-fire oven hits as I walk through the doors of Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, one Milwaukee’s newest, and immediately scores on the cozy front. (The complementary wine happy hours in the lobby’s living room area add to that, as do a fireplace and pool table.) The rooms here have a playful residential feel. And wait until you see the bathtubs: Yuge! Beyond the rooms, the whole hotel is a winner. The first-floor restaurant, Tre Rivali, is lucky to have chef Heather Terhune, who is a favorite of mine from her Chicago days working at Sable and makes pitch-perfect Mediterranean fare ranging from wood-grilled artichokes and pizza to handmade pastas and inspired seafood dishes. One of the best parts of being a guest: I didn’t have to stand in the 20-person-deep line to get up to the ninth-floor rooftop lounge, the Outsider (a.k.a. the it spot in town). I just hopped in the elevator using my key card, hit No. 9 and ducked through the tight crowd to take in the glimmering rooftop views.

Stay: Guidebook Must

Built in 1927, the art deco Hilton Milwaukee City Center is bedecked in marble and chandeliers. Its lobby seating nooks are a great place to hunker down in the opulence with a laptop. Featuring more than 700 rooms, the Hilton is the largest hotel in the city, which means you can often nab a comfortable room for a bargain. But I have to say, the primary reason I’m recommending the Hilton over other hotels (there are some great ones in Milwaukee) is the service. I once fell ill after a long, hot cycling trip and I needed to go to the emergency room. The hotel’s cheerful shuttle driver transported me to the hospital at 2 a.m. and picked me up and brought me home the next day. That’s the kind of treatment you don’t forget when traveling.

EXPLORE: Local Faves

It took all of 10 minutes walking up artsy S. Kinnickinnic Avenue – the main drag in the Bay View neighborhood – for my husband and I to nod and agree, “Yep, this is where we’d live if we moved here.” We wandered into Tip Top Atomic Shop eyeing the vintage clothing, peeked inside the historic Avalon Theater, considered a game at an old-school bowling alley and took in an array of tempting bars and restaurants (Sugar Maple, Odd Duck, Goodkind, Vanguard, Honeypie) as well as a solid mix of record shops, comic shops, tattoo parlors and tire stores along with places with words like co-op, collective and emporium in their names. It was a little bit hippie, a little bit hipster, and we’ll be back next time.

Explore: Guidebook Musts

The warehouse district, known as Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, has found new, trendy life. Now, the old brick buildings – which are included on the National Register of Historic Places – are filled with boutiques, galleries, art studios, restaurants, bars and other versions of visitor catnip. With hundreds of businesses in about 10 square blocks, there’s an urban density and energy that I haven’t yet felt elsewhere in Milwaukee. Bordered by the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, this neighborhood is an easy launching point for exploring the Riverwalk, attending the annual Summerfest (an enormous music festival that lasts 11 days and draws nearly 1 million people), hopping on a Bublr (the bike share program) or just taking in the sights of the old warehouse structures, some renovated, some a little spooky.

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Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

Youngstown news, Once long ago in China there was a pair of …

Once long ago in China there was a pair of immortal twins, one bringing harmony and the other union, according to the legends.

So, artists made figurines showing the twin brothers, who were called “He-He.” They often were pictured and given to brides, because it was thought they brought a happy marriage.

A recent auction had a 53/8-inch figurine of He-He wearing green-and-black, flower-decorated robes. It is easy to recognize the brothers; one carries a lotus flower, and the other carries a box.

The auction figurine also had the traditional unglazed base. The twin boys modeled together as a group was estimated at $800 to $1,200, but no one bid high enough. Perhaps the bidders did not know the figures would lead to a happy marriage.

Q. My friend has her floor-model Enterprise coffee grinder for sale for $600 and I want to know how much it’s worth. Is she too high or too low on price? It’s in good shape.

A. Enterprise Manufacturing Co. was founded in Philadelphia in 1864. The company’s 1904 catalog of “patented hardware specialties” included kitchen utensils such as grinders and choppers, apple peelers, cheese knives, cherry pitters, graters, jelly presses, raisin seeders, sad irons and slaw cutters, as well as banks, bung-hole borers, faucets, flag holders, lawn sprinklers, tobacco cutters, traps and more. The company was sold to Silex in 1955. Enterprise’s floor-model coffee grinders were made in several sizes. Its value depends on condition and size. They usually sell for $500 to more than $1,000.

Q. I thought the very strange and modern Memphis furniture was made in the U.S. But I’m told the idea behind the Memphis group was created by Ettore Sottsass, an Italian.

A. Memphis is a design group that started in Italy in 1981. It is said that the name Memphis came from listening to Bob Dylan’s song, “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again.”

Sottsass, already a famous designer, joined others to make colorful mass-produced furnishings with plastik laminate. They made expensive limited editions of furniture, clocks, fabrics, glass, jewelry and ceramics inspired by many old styles. The group only lasted until 1988, and the brand was acquired by Ernesto Gismondi of Artemide, a lamp company.

The best known piece by Sottsass was not part of the Memphis group. It’s called “Valentine,” a pink Olivetti typewriter he designed for the company in the 1960s. The piece that made me realize I had very conservative taste was what I call the Memphis “boxing ring,” a fenced-off space in the center of a large room used as a conversation area for guests.

Q. Is there an easy way to date an unused postcard? I know the amount of the postage stamp has often changed and there are lists of the prices and dates. But when were photographs rather than color pictures used? When was it called a “postal card”?

A. Postcard collectors know and have listed the table of postage and postcard changes online, and they are in our book “Kovels’ Know Your Collectibles.”

A postal card is an early card called “pioneer” with no picture used from 1893 to 1898. A government-printed card had printed postage, a privately-printed card required a stamp and a divided-back card was used from 1907 to 1914. Photochrome cards were used after 1939.

Collectors call them photographs, although many are lithographs with a shiny finish. Real photo cards were used since 1900. If you want to sound like an expert, refer to them as RPPC. Used cards can be dated by the amount of the postage stamp; the postmark; a two-digit postal code, used after 1943; and a five-digit ZIP code, used after 1963.

Q. My father told me Rose China was the first china allowed to be manufactured by Noritake after World War II. I have 24 place settings, plus platters, serving casseroles, gravy boat, etc. They are marked on the back with a red rose and the words “Rose China” and “Made in Occupied Japan.” Does it have much value?

A. A porcelain factory was established in Noritake, Japan, in 1904. Dinnerware was made for export to the United States beginning in 1914. Porcelain was made for the Japanese market beginning in 1928. No china was exported during World War II.

Immediately after the war, material was hard to get, and the porcelain was not as high-quality as before the war. Noritake used the name “Rose China” on dinnerware made in 1946 and 1947 because it wasn’t up to the company’s high standards. China made in Japan and exported to the United States when American troops occupied the country from 1945 to 1952 was marked “Occupied Japan.” There are collectors who look for Occupied Japan china. A five-piece place setting of Rose China was offered for sale, at retail, for $70, a gravy boat for $36 and a covered vegetable dish for $65.

Tip

For your health and the well-being of your collection, do not smoke. The nicotine will stain fabrics, pictures and wood.

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, The Vindicator, King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

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Stop the fireplace smell from invading your home



Q: How do I stop my wood-burning fireplace from smelling like smoke in humid weather? A faint smoke smell would be OK, but this is obnoxious. It seems worse when the air conditioner or even the washer and dryer are running. The smell wafts in from the chimney. We have a glass door installed, but it doesn’t help.

A: Chimney smells stink up indoor air when the air pressure is lower indoors than out. Especially in a house built to be fairly airtight, this can happen when a dryer or other exhaust fan runs or if there are leaks in heating and air-conditioning ducts. To equalize the pressure, air moves down the chimney, into your house. Summer conditions add to the problem because the outdoor air is hot and humid, therefore heavier than drier, cooler indoor air.

In theory, closing the damper on your fireplace should stop the airflow where the air picks up the smell. But fireplace dampers often don’t seal well. For a better seal, you could have a chimney sweep install a spring-loaded stainless-steel damper at the top of the flue. We called a company that estimated the job at $630.

Or, for $42.99 to $86.99, depending on the chimney width, you could install an inflatable device known as a Chimney Balloon, available at Amazon.com. It has mixed reviews, however, with some buyers reporting it punctures as easily as a water balloon. Filling a hefty plastic bag with insulation and stuffing that into the chimney opening at the base of the fireplace might work just as well and would cost less. Just be sure to remove it before you use the fireplace.

If closing off the chimney doesn’t stop the smell, call a heating and air-conditioning company to assess air balance in your home. It might help to pipe fresh air to combustion appliances, including the dryer if it is gas. Or you might benefit from a heat-recovery ventilator, which could introduce more fresh air in a way that it’s preheated or precooled so you don’t waste energy. Sealing leaks in heating and air-conditioning ducts or balancing the system by adding more openings might also be part of the solution.

Q: Our KitchenAid Superba garbage disposal was installed in January 2011. For the past few months, it has failed to grind up and flush vegetable matter that it previously had no problem with. The blades rotate, chopping up the waste, but the waste does not exit the unit. I called the manufacturer for guidance. I was told to fill the disposal with ice to help with grinding. That helped some, but much of the waste remained in the disposal. Any ideas about why?

A: This is a three-fourths-horsepower model that’s still sold. It has a five-year limited warranty that would cover a repair visit to your home — if it were still in effect. But the warranty expired about 1 1/2 years ago, a sign that it’s probably time to replace the unit. The current cost is $279 at Lowe’s and perhaps even less from other retailers.

If you’re reasonably handy, you could probably install a new unit yourself. KitchenAid provides installation instructions that appear straightforward. Lowe’s could install it for about $120, a spokesman said.

First, you might try repeating the ice trick a couple of times. Disposals sometimes work poorly because of a buildup of grease and other debris. Ice particles whip around in the mechanism and pick up the gunk, helping to clean it.

Also try another cleaning method that the manufacturer suggests in its care manual: With the unit off, place a stopper over the opening and fill the sink halfway with warm water. Mix one-fourth cup baking soda with water and dump it in. Turn on the disposal as you remove the stopper. If you’re lucky, the force of the water, plus the bubbling action and grease-cutting properties of baking soda, will help restore the unit’s performance, and eliminate any foul odors. After the sink drains, remove the sink baffle and clean it by hand or in the dishwasher. Replace it before you operate the disposal again.

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HUGE SALE

Guitar, wet suit, needlepoint chair project, diesel engine oil, clothing s/m, shoes, DVD’s lamps, vintage, jewelry, inflatable boat, pictures, kitchen, accessories too much to mention. 2545 SE Ryan st. Friday Saturday 9-2

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