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Biography (A) - Encylopedia Of Antiques

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ABBEY, RICHARD (1720-1801): Liverpool potter, who, while working for Sadler and Green, designed the various "Arms" jugs which became famous. In 1790 he went into business for himself and established the pottery which afterwards became known as the Herculaneum Pottery (q.v. PART 2), the largest and most successful pottery in Liverpool.

ADAM, ROBERT (1728-1792): One of four brothers from Edinburgh, Scotland, ,John, Robert, James and William, all architects and interior decorators. Robert, who was the leading spirit, spent several years after leaving college in the study of architecture in Italy. Returning to England he applied classical design to his work there and in 1762 he was appointed architect to the King. A famous speculation of the four brothers, The Adelphi Terrace, caused them to be called "The Adel' phi," the Greek word for brothers. The influence exerted by them upon furniture came through their use of classic form from Greek and Roman styles and of exquisite painted furniture by Angelica Kauffmann, Cipriani, Pergolesi and other noted artists of the period. The changes in form and structure due to the inspiration of the brothers Adam were more radical, more sudden, and of wider prevalence than any that had hitherto taken place. Robert Adam designed furniture but was not himself a cabinet-maker. Besides furniture he included designs for carpets, lamps, wall lights, clocks, fire grates, etc. He covered the whole ground of house equipment.

ADAMS, NEHEMIAH (1769-1840): Cabinet-maker at Salem, Massachusetts. Tables and other pieces of furniture now in existence, attributed to him, are examples of excellent workmanship. Some of his furniture was shipped to southern states for sale there.

ADAMS, PYGAN (1712-1776): A merchant and one of the best of Connecticut silversmiths. He was, also, a captain in the militia and served as a representative to the General Assembly for several years.

ADAMS, WILLIAM (1745-1805): The Adams family was one of the earliest and one of the most prominent among the Staffordshire potters. John Adams, great-grandfather of the above William, built in 1657 the "Brick' House" works at Burslem, afterwards occupied by Josiah Wedgwood. William Adams built the Greengates factory in 1787 and continued there until his death. He was a favorite pupil of Wedgwood, and according to some authorities his blue jasper ware is rather finer than that of Wedgwood. His blue-printed ware and his cream stoneware were also of the best quality. He made blue jasper cameos and plaques for the Adam brothers to be used on furniture designed by them. He was not only a great potter but a successful one, too. He left a name that will always testify to his industry, talent and individuality. There were three other William Adams potters, contemporary with above and related to him; viz.: William Adams (1748-1831) of Brick-House and Cobridge Hall, a cousin; William Adams (1772-1829) of Stoke-on-Trent, also a cousin, and William Adams (1798-1865) of Greenfield (Tunstall), a son of the preceding William.

AFFLECK, THOMAS ( ? -1795): A cabinet-maker who came to Philadelphia in 1763 with Governor John Penn and during the years until his death is said to have labored almost continuously for the Penn family and their associates.

ALLIS, JOHN: Hatfield, Massachusetts. A maker of Hadley Chests.

ALLISON, MICHAEL: A New York cabinet-maker active from 1800 to 1845. Was a neighbor and contemporary of Duncan Phyfe.

AMELUNG, JOAN FREDERICK (1739-1798): Born in Bremen, Germany, and came to America in 1784. He was a glassmaker and he brought with him Several workmen and together they established the New Bremen (Maryland) Glass Works, later known as Amelung's Glass Works. The glass produced there was second to none in this country. Amelung remained at New Bremen for six years, after which he was identified with several other glass factories. For an account of his wanderings after leaving New Bremen consult Rex Absolutus in ANTIQUES, April, 1928.

APPLETON, WILLIAM (1765-1822): Cabinet-maker of Salem, Massachusetts.

ARKWRIGHT, SIR RICHARD (1732-1792): English cotton manufacturer and inventor, born at Preston, Lancashire. He devised the spinning frame, by means of which cotton was spun into thread, and it was put to practical use in Preston in 1768. For several years he struggled against opposition from hand labor to his machines, and his final success was due as much to his admirable system of management as to the improved machinery. He was also one of the first to use the steam engine, which made him independent of water power. He was knighted by George III in 1786.

ASH, GILBERT: New York chair-maker active from 1756 to 1770.

ASTBURY, JoHN (1678-1743): One of the great early English potters. Astbury is credited with the introduction of ground flint into the earthenware body about 1720, and he was constantly experimenting with methods by which to improve his product. The character of the Astbury ware (q.v. PART 2) is so individual that it is well nigh impossible for the collector to be mistaken in it.

AUSTIN, JOSIAH: Cabinet-maker of Salem, Massachusetts, and a partner of Elijah and Jacob Sanderson (q.v.).

AUSTIN, NATHANIEL (1741-1816): Pewterer of Boston and one of the most distinguished of American craftsmen whose name is found on pewter. He was also a silversmith.

AUSTIN, RICHARD (1773?-1817): Pewterer of Boston, listed in the directory as working at his trade from 1796 to 1813. He made use of the Massachusetts coat-of-arms mark on his ware, which is of excellent quality and rare.

AUSTIN, RICHARD (1774-1826): Chair-maker, Salem, Massachusetts.

AVERY, JOHN JR. (1732-1794): Clock-maker and silversmith of Preston, Connecticut, of inventive genius. He was self-taught.