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My Favorite Things

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Michael Henry Adams, historian and author


I like sea motifs a lot—I like to collect sea shells and things like that, and have two sets of candlesticks in the form of dolphins, one pair by Wedgwood. wedgwood.com

Demolition Depot has the most extraordinary architectural salvage: pieces of terra-cotta, model metal pieces and hardware from the Plaza Hotel, and beautiful mantelpieces, doorways, and chandeliers that came out of the great houses of Fifth Avenue. 216 E. 125th St., nr. Third Ave. 212-860-1138

The Morris-Jumel Mansion is the oldest surviving house in Manhattan. It’s the first time a two-story portico with columns—like on a Roman temple—appeared on an American house. 65 Jumel Terr., at 160th St. 212-923-8008

Frederick P. Victoria & Son makes custom furniture, but they also sell antiques. If you need to get anything repaired—I don’t care what it is—they know not only extraordinarily skilled craftspeople, but experts whom you can afford. 2107 Borden Ave., nr. 21st St., Long Island City; 718-392-9651


About ten years ago, I was giving a talk at Macy’s about my book Style and Grace: African Americans at Home in their china and glassware department. They had these glasses that were lavender with a sort of pinkish stem. They looked like some incredible goblets from the Italian Renaissance. I bought about two dozen. 151 W. 34th St., at Broadway 212-695-4400

I love Schumacher—it’s something I look for at flea markets, vintage stores, and fabric-remnant shops. Whenever you find Schumacher, you know it’s great quality. 979 Third Ave., nr. 58th St., Ste. 832; 212-415-3900

These incredible purple orchids I like to buy from Harlem Flo are one of my few guilty pleasures. They’re like giant purple butterflies. There’s no one who has such imaginative and colorful bouquets. 2276 Frederick Douglass Blvd., nr. 122nd St.; 212-316-3031


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