Baby Clout - (Textile) Baby Diaper made from linen or cotton. Diapers were called Baby Clout from the 15th Century.
Baby Doll - (Doll) A Baby Doll is a doll that has a baby face.
Baccarat Glass - (Glass, French) Baccarat Glassware has been manufactured in Baccarat, France since 1765. Originally the firm produced soda glass for windows and industrial use. In 1816 it was acquired by a Belgian manufacturer of lead crystal; since then it has specialized in this type of glass, especially paperweights. Baccarat exhibited works in the important 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. Today the company produces tableware in both historical and modern designs.
Baccarat Paperweight - (Glass) Baccarat Paperweights have been produced in Baccarat, France since 1816. The technique that the Venusians and Bohemians developed of embedding millefiori canes into the crystal glass was taken over by the Baccarat factory in the 1840s and their lead crystal glass paperweights with millefiori designs surpass anything produced in that period from Bohemia or Venice. The technique of embedding cameo sulphides in paperweights, was raised to a fine art by Baccarat in the early 19th century, both of these techniques of making paperweights are still in use today.
Bachelor's Chest - (Furniture) A Bachelor's Chest is a small chest usually with three drawers.
Backgammon Boards - (Toys, Games) Backgammon Boards are usually more ornamental than chess boards. There are inlaid examples from the seventeenth century are sometimes to be encountered, usually in walnut and oak. Some gaming tables had Backgammon Boards incorporated in them.
Backless Binding - (Books) A type of book binding from the 15th and 16th century. All four edges were covered in gold gilt so that the book appeared to have no back spine.
Back-of-Book - (Stamps) This type of stamp is found on the back pages of a country catalogue album, there are not your regular issue stamps. The term back-of-book also known as B.O.B., is used for all categories of stamp found here.
Backplate - (Armor) plate armor protecting the back; worn as part of a cuirass
Backplate - (Clocks) A piece, or plate which forms the back of anything, or which covers the back
Backplate - (Furniture) A piece, or plate which forms the back of anything, or which covers the back
Back Rail - (Furniture) A brass rail from which a curtain was hung to prevent the wall from being splashed when food was served.
Back Splash - (Furniture) Is a board along the back of a case furniture piece. This concept comes from the back rail, which came from the Regency Period. (see Back Rail)
Backstaff - (Scientific Instrument) An instrument formerly used for taking the altitude of the heavenly bodies, but now superseded by the quadrant and sextant; -- so called because the observer turned his back to the body observed.
Backstamp - (Stamps) In earlier years a as a piece of mail traveled through various post offices a postmark would be stamped on the back of the envelope.
Backstamp - (Pottery, Porcelain, Ceramics) The mark on the bottom of a piece of ceramics or the back of a plate, indicating the company, pattern or origin.
Back Stool - (Furniture) A stool with a back in the late sixteenth and first half of the seventeenth century; but in the latter half of the seventeenth and throughout the eighteenth century the term was used to describe a single armless chair.
Backsword - (Weapons) A sword with only one cutting edge. A one-handed fencing stick; a singlestick
Bacon Dish - (Tableware, Silver) The Bacon dish was popular in the 18th century for serving bacon. It was either oblong or oval silver or silver plate with wooden handles.
Badelaire - (Weapons) A badelarie is a saber, it has a short but broad convex blade with a straight hilt, the pommel is usually ornamental and the quillons are flat with one curved toward the blade tip and the other curving back toward the pommel.
Badge - (Collectibles) A device or emblem worn as an insignia of rank, office, or membership in an organization. An emblem given as an award or honor. A characteristic mark.
Baff - (Floor Covering) a baff is the knots in a carpet
Bagh Nakh - (Weapons) A weapon from India, which attempts to imitate a set of tiger claws. The word bagh nahk in Indian means tiger claw. It can have from two to five curved blades attached to a bar, which have rings that slip onto the fingers, making ones had like a tiger paw.
Bag Sewing Table - (Furniture) The Bag Sewing Table became popular in the Federal Period, it is a table with a cloth bag that hung from the lowest drawer to hold sewing projects.
Baguette - (Jewelry) A gem cut in the form of a narrow rectangle. The form of such a gem.
Baguette - (Architecture) A narrow convex molding.
Bail - (Hardware, Furniture) A bail is the half loop handle on a drawer pull or a wire handle on a bucket.
Bail - (Term) The arched hooplike handle of a container, such as a pail. An arch or hoop, such as one of those used to support the top of a covered wagon. A hinged bar on a typewriter that holds the paper against the platen. The pivoting U-shaped part of a fishing reel that guides the line onto the spool during rewinding.
Bainbergs - (Armor) A bainbergs is a 16th century German piece of armor that covered the front of the legs, they were made from boiled leather or metal.
Bait Bag - (Native American) A bait bag was a bag that was used by Native Americans to carry bait for fishing.
Baize - (Textile) An often bright-green cotton or woolen material napped to imitate felt and used chiefly as a cover for gaming tables.
Bakelite - (Material, Plastic, Jewelry) Bakelite is a phenolic resin that was a revolutionary, non-flammable, early plastic. "The material of a thousand uses," as it was called, made a splash in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. Around the turn of the century, the Belgian born scientist Dr. Leo Baekeland, working as an independent chemist, came upon the compound quite by accident. He started developing a less flammable bowling alley floor shellac; bowling was becoming the latest rage in New York City. Dr. Baekeland soon realized that a resin that was both insoluble and infusible could have a much wider appeal when used as a molding compound. He obtained a patent and started the Bakelite Corporation around 1910. Phenolic resin could be produced in a multitude of colors, commonly black, yellow, brown, butterscotch, green and red.
Bakemono - (Oriental, Decoration) A figure of a goblin or other human form creature that was used on Oriental sculptures, decoration or figures.
Baker Rifle - (Weapons, Gun) Iron-ramrod-and-mallet muzzle-loader made by the London gunsmith Ezekiel Baker and used by the British Rifle Brigade in the Napoleonic Wars.
Baker's Rack - (Metal, Furniture) A Baker’s Rack is a ornate metal store fixture that was used to display bread and pastries in a bakery. They were very popular in Europe, especially France
Baku - (Orientalia, Japan) A Baku is a friendly monster that scares away nightmares. It resembles a beast with the trunk of an elephant.
Baku Rugs - (Floor Corvering) Of the Caucasian group, the favored patterns being geometrical, diamond-shaped medallions, cone shapes, eight-pointed stars; border of three to four stripes; sober colors, blue, brown, yellow, black; Ghiordiz knot; coarse weave.
Balanced Design - (Furniture, Term) When a piece of furniture has equal distribution of decoration or ornamentation it is said to have balanced design.
Balance Toy - (Toys) A balance toy has a weight either above or below the body of the toy that causes it to move.
Balance Wheel - (Clocks) Like the foliot an early form of controller for a clock with a verge escapement; usually a horizontal single-spoked wheel oscillating above a vertical verge.
Balance Wheel - (Toys) is a wheel that is attached to a toy like a horse and wagon that makes it easy to push the across a floor.
Baldric - (Weapons) A baldric is a belt type support for a weapon; it is worn over the shoulder.
Baleen - (Materials) Baleen is the plates found in the upper jaws of a whale that filters plankton. The material is horn-like and it is also called whalebone. It is a popular material to decorate with scrimshaw.
Balista - (Weapons) A ballista is a machine that is similar to the cross-bow in that it is made for throwing projectiles like stone balls and darts, instead of arrows.
Ball-and-Claw Foot - (Furniture) This termination of a leg in furniture probably derives from the Chinese dragon's claw grasping a ball. First found in English furniture early in the eighteenth century. Sometimes the claw is that of an eagle.
Ball-and-Ring - (Furniture, Turning) A ball-and-ring turning is series of alternating flattened ring disks and balls or beads, turned on a lathe.
Ball-and-Spindle - (Furniture, Turning) Turned spindle with a ball in the center and straight on either end.
Ball Foot - (Furniture) This ball-shaped termination of a leg in furniture was used in the seventeenth century mainly.
Ball Joint - (Dolls) A Ball joint is a joint on a doll that is shaped like a ball it is placed in between two convex joint of the doll at the shoulder, elbow, hip or knee making the joint movable when the elastic is strung throughout the doll.
Ballok Knife - (Weapons) A ballok is a knife carried by priest during the 1500s. The ballok was carried at the waist.
Balloon-Back Chair - (Furniture) Victorian, evolving on late Regency, usually straight-legged, swelling curved back nipped-in at waist level; mostly made in sets and in all materials, including papier mache, metal even.
Ballot-Box Marble - (Collectibles) The ballot-bow marble was a marble that was either white or black opaque glass. They generally have a pontil mark because they were hand blown. They were used in clubs and lodges for voting in members or on a specific topic to do with the club. If you were black balled it meant that you were not voted in.
Ballspenden - (Collectibles) see Dance Card
Ball Turned - (Furniture) A wooden member turned into a single or multiple ball forms.
Baluster - (Furniture, Decorative Arts) A small pillar, usually of pear- or vase-shape, which may be in a series to support the railing of a balustrade, or in sets as for the legs of a table. It can also be a form in vases.
Baluster - (Glass) A baluster is a turned vertical member or post that is shaped like and urn that is used to support a rail or balustrade.
Baluster Measure - (Pewter) A measure of wine with a flat hinged cover made of pewter.
Baluster Stem - (Glass, Silver, Woodenware, Pewter) Pear-shaped decoration on stemmed wooden, pewter, silver or glass vessel or candlestick. On drinking glass stems, the baluster, often inverted, was used in many combinations, with the knop throughout the eighteenth century.
Balustrade - (Furniture, Architecture) A balustrade is a continuous rail with supporting upright members or balusters. Furniture makers made this motif popular in the 1700s in England.
Balustroid - (Glass) The balustroid glass was popular in England form 1725 until about 1760. This vessel is a variety of the baluster glass with an longer stem.
Bamboo - (Oriental Symbolism) Emblem of longevity due to its durability, ability to withstand hard weather and evergreen qualities. Confucian symbol of eternal friendship. Together with the Pine and the Plum tree, it forms the “Three Friends of Winter”. The Bamboo leafs droop because its “inside” (heart) is empty, thus also a symbol of the virtue of modesty. When the wind blows the bamboo bends “in laughter”. Bamboo = to wish, Bamboo fireworks = wish for peace; bamboo + vase = wish for peace and quiet; bamboo + plum = man and wife; bamboo + plum + parents = married bliss; a bamboo twig = Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin). One of “Four Noble Plants”.
Bamboo - (Furniture) As made in the Chinese style from the middle of the eighteenth century, often with the legs turned to resemble bamboo.
Bamboo - (Pottery) Stoneware made by Wedgwood that, in color, had some resemblance to bamboo.
Bamboo Pipe - (Tobacciana Pacific Islands ) This type of Bamboo Pipe was made by several different Pacific Island Groups, all of them claiming this style as their own.
Bamboo Turning - (Furniture) A simple American Windsor turning based on nodes of bamboo. Dated beginning about 1790. Also called double bobbin.
Bandbox - (Collectibles) A bandbox is a box made of lightweight wood that is covered in paper. It was used for small item storage.
Banded Agate - (Glass, Pottery, Jewelry) Banded agate can be made from either glass or pottery. It is a piece that is made with bands of light and dark colors and then made into a piece of jewelry.
Banderolle - (Weapons) A bandrolle is a lance with a small streamer attached to the head.
Banding - (Furniture) Strip inlay contrasting in grain or color between the inlaid band and the background. The three basic types of banding are Straight Banding - is cut along the length of the grain; Cross Banding is cut across the grain; and Feather Banding is cut at an angle between the two (45 degree angle).
Band Kit - (Domestic) A band kit is a large barrel that was used for pickling and storing grains, they were also called bow kit and ben kit
Bandolier - (Weapons) A bandolier is a baldric or belt that held powder and shot. They generally had many pouches or containers attached to them.
Bandwurmglas - (Glass, German) This is a type of Stangenglas that was popular in Germany from the 1600s through the 1800s. Bandwurmglas means tapeworm glass in German. Bandwurmglas is decorated with a notched trail wound in a spiral around the body of the glass.
Bandy Leg - (Furniture) A bandy leg is an archaic name for a cabriole leg on a piece of furniture. A form of chair or table leg which appeared in England in the early eighteenth century. Popular on Queen Anne style furniture. The bandy leg swells out at the knee and is narrower at the ankle it is generally serpentine or s-shaped in form. Also called cabriole leg.
Banister-Back Chair - (Furniture) Chair-back of slender balusters.
Banjo Barometer - (Scientific Instrument) Barometer case shaped like a banjo.
Banjo Clock - (Clocks) Wall clock, the casing of banjo shape, invented c. 1800 by the American, Simon Willard.
Bank - (Collectibles, Ceramics, Metal, Glass) A bank is a container or place to save and store coins and money. The two types of banks are still banks and mechanical banks. Still banks have no moveable parts and Mechanical banks have parts that move. Bank can be made from many materials tin, lead, cast iron, pottery or glass. Many were given by insurance companies and banks for saving and are advertising collectibles. Cast iron banks have been reproduced, especially mechanical ones.
Banker - (Textiles) A banker is a tapestry that is used to cover a piece of furniture.
Bank Mixture - (Stamps) A bank mixture is an assortment of stamps, usually on paper, collected from the incoming mail of financial institutions or businesses available for sale.
Banko Ware – (Pottery Stoneware Japan) Named after a renowned late 18th-century Japanese potter, a type of Japanese pottery including Raku ware and Satsuma types (see Satsuma potteries) and decorative patterns taken from Ming Dynasty red and green porcelain. The work was copied in rustic Japan during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Bantam-Work - (Decoration) A form of japanning that dates from the seventeenth century; the design incised; the name derives from the Dutch trading settlement in the East Indies through which so much of Oriental lacquer passed on its way to Europe. According to Stalker & Parker. Bantam-work was almost obsolete by 1688 (the date of their Treatise on Japanning); but they were wrong and the best such work extant dates from the middle of the eighteenth century. (Also called 'Coromandel'.)
Bar - (Glass) A bar is a piece of glass that is made by fusing cane of glass of many different colors together and then slicing it into pieces make inlays or mosaic pieces.
Barbeau - (Porcelain, French) French for cornflower and applied to the cornflower pattern frequently employed at Sevres, Chantilly and elsewhere.
Barbotine - (Pottery, Ceramics) Potter's technique in slip decoration, the clay being squeezed through the fingers and worked in detail after being applied. This creates a three-dimensional effect to the applied decoration.
Barclay, James Edward - (Artist American 1846-1903) James Edward Barclay was a portrait and genre painter that lived in New York and traveled extensively in Europe.
Bardigllo - (Decoration) Bardigllo is a type of Italian marble, it is gray in color and has dark veins running throughout
Bargello - (Textiles, Needlework) Is a type of needlepoint that utilizes a repeating sequence of color and long and short stitches that forms a pattern on the canvas
Bargeman Jug - (Ceramics, Pottery) A bargeman’s jug is a particularly rare type of Toby jug.
Barilla - (Plant, Glass) is a plant that grows on the seashores in Spain, Italy and the Canary Islands. It was burned to make an impure alkali that was formally used to manufacture soap, soda and glass. The Latin name for barilla is salsola soda.
Barley-Twist Turning – (Furniture) Turned member that resembles a rope, with a groove spiraling along its length. It became popular in furniture in the 17th Century on legs and stretchers. Also called Barley-Sugar Turning or Twist Turning, this refers to its resemblance to a traditional candy.
Barometer - (Scientific Instrument) An instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure and, with luck, forecasting weather. The principle of the mercury barometer was discovered, reputedly by accident, by Torricelli c. 1643. By the 1660's experiments were being conducted in England to produce an instrument that would displace the inaccurate weather-glasses of the time. These experiments led to several types of barometer.
Barong - (Weapons) A barong is from the Moros Tribe from the Philippines and Borneo. It has a hilt that curves like a pistol shaped butt with no guard, the blade is about 16 to 20 inches long and 2.5 to 3 inches wide.
Baronial Furniture - (Furniture) Victorian Gothic, from 1830's, dark oak usually, or walnut; the chair, heavily carved, upholstered in velvet or tapestry, like a Jacobean throne. (Normally called 'Abbotsford'.)
Baroque - (Art, Furniture) Useful but overworked term to describe a style in art that is spirited, dynamic, dramatic, bold, sumptuous, ornate. The baroque originated in Italy and precedes the rococo, it was based on the classical style and its evolution consisted in the throwing off of classical models-it was a bid for freedom. The heyday of the baroque was from the end of the sixteenth century to the early part of the eighteenth century. In England the influence ranges from Carolean silver to the furniture designs of William Kent.
Barrel-Back Table - (Furniture) Barrel-back tables were first made in 1790 and were popular until 1870. It is a drop leaf table with a rounded centerboard, when the leaves are raised they join in the center making a flat surface. When closed they resemble a book spine and book covers. It is also called book-back table and bible-back table.
Barrel Helm - (Armor) A barrel Helm is a war helmet from the 13th century that was shaped like a barrel, it was worn over mail or a lighter helmet.
Bars - (Stamps) Bars are heavy lines used for canceling a stamps value after it is value is changed to a to a different value; part of surcharge which obliterates original value.
Basal Rim - (Glass) A basal rim is the ring or rim around the bottom of a concave base where the paperweight comes into contact with the table or supporting surface.
Basalt Ware - (Pottery, Ceramics, Stoneware) Basalt Ware is fine, smooth black stoneware perfected by Wedgwood in 1768. It is very popular for decorative vases, figures, medallions, plaques. Wedgwood improved on the black stoneware made by Elers. Basalt was copied by several makers. Most Basalt pieces are made in Classical forms with molded classical scenes. Basalt is made using sifted ball clay to which manganese and other minerals are added and firing it at an extremely high temperature. All black stoneware of this type is now called Basalt Ware regardless of the manufacturer.
Baseball Card - (Collectibles) Originally baseball cards were trade cards used to advertise a company or as a give away in tobacco products. Trade cards were available from 1850 onward. Sets appeared in Japan as early as 1898, in Cuba as early as 1909, and in Canada as early as 1912. By the 1950s gum was the favorite thing included with a baseball card.
Baselard - (Weapons) A baselard was the weapon of choice for people in the 1600s. It is a short dagger-like sword.
Base Metal - (Metal, Materials) Base metal is a white metal usually containing lead or zinc. It can be used as a base for plating with bronze, silver or gold, and is generally used in less expensive castings. It is also called spelter.
Basin - (Domestic, Ceramic) A basin is a ceramic bowl used to wash your face and hands. They sometimes came in complete sets with a matching pitcher and other toiletry pieces, such as a hair receiver, etc. A larger basin would be used to wash clothing.
Basinet - (Armor) A basinet is a light helmet used in the 1500s.
Basket-Hilted Sword - (Weapons) a basket-hilted sword is a type of sword used by the calvary in the 17th century. It was a wide sword with a handle shaped like a basket that covered the hand.
Basketry - (Native American) A basket that is hand-woven from some type of plant material, Native American baskets are extremely collectible. The designs varied by tribe, location and available materials to weave the baskets. There are other types of baskets that are also collectable and highly prized that were not made by Native Americans.
Bas Relief - (Decoration) Modeled or carved decoration in high relief.
Basse Taille - (Jewelry, Enamel) In a piece of basse taille jewelry the metal base is engraved with a design and then transparent enamel is then applied and fired. See Enamel.
Basso-Relievo - (Decoration) Modeled or carved decoration in high relief.
Bastng Spoon - (Domestic) A basting spoon is a large spoon or ladle that is used to baste or pour juice over a piece of meat, to keep it moist.
Bastardeau - (Weapons) A bastardeau is a type of knife that was used in the late 1500s, it was carried in a pocket on the sword sheath.
Batavian Ware - (Porcelain, Ceramics, Chinese) Batavian ware is a Chinese porcelain that dates from the early 18th century. Batavian ware has a brown background with the famille rose pattern.
Batch - (Glass) A batch is the name given to the mixture of raw materials that is heated to make glass.
Batchelder, Ernest - (Potter, Ceramics) Ernest Batchelder made decorative tiles from 1900 through 1916. His designs reflected the popular Arts and Crafts Movement of that era. His tiles are marked with a die stamp.
Batchelder Tiles - (Pottery, Ceramics, Tiles) Batchelder tiles are Arts and Crafts style tiles made by Ernest Batchelder from 1900 through 1916.
Bateman Family of London - (Silver) Silversmiths. Hester (1709-94) was active 1760-90 and is esteemed for being an early exponent of an austere, plain style, simple and functional. She had two sons who worked in the family business, Peter and Jonathan; then there was Ann, wife of Jonathan, and Ann's son William who was a silversmith of repute in early Victorian times.
Bateman, Hester - (Silver, England) (baptised 1708–1794) Hester Bateman was an English silversmith who became a leading silversmith and successfully ran her family business for thirty years following the death of her husband. She was succeeded in turn by her sons, grandson and great-grandson and the Bateman family silversmithing company lasted until the middle of the nineteenth century. Her mark appears on all of her pieces.
Bath Metal Toy - (Toy) A bath metal toy is a toy made from the combination of alloys zinc and copper.
Batik - (Textiles) Batik is a type of dyed fabric that originated in Indonesia and predates written records. Batik uses a hand applied wax-resist dyeing technique. Discoveries show it already existed in Egypt in the 4th century BC, where it was used to wrap mummies; linen was soaked in wax, and scratched using a sharp tool. In Asia, the technique was practiced in China during the T'ang dynasty (618-907), and in India and Japan during the Nara period (645-794). In Africa it was originally practiced by the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, Soninke and Wolof in Senegal.
Bat Printing - (Pottery, Porcelain, Ceramics, Decoration) Form of transfer printing used in the decoration of ceramics. In England the process dates from the 1770's. The name derives from the fact that the impression was transferred from a copper plate to the work by means of a 'bat' of gelatin.
Batsto - (Kitchen, Ironware, United States) Batsto is a village Set along the Batsto River, the village had the resources necessary to create ironware that supplied the Continental Army with munitions in 1776. They also made fine ironware skillets, fish pots and cook pots that were considered better than the ones imported from England.
Battam Ware - (Pottery, Porcelain, Ceramics)(maker's name) Of red or buff clay, imitating ancient Greek pieces; mid-nineteenth century. Thomas Battam may have evolved the formula for Parian ware when working for Copeland.
Batter Jug - (Kitchen) A batter jug is a pitcher with a spout used for pouring batter for griddle cakes onto a hot skillet.
Battersea - (Enamel, England) Painted enamel, the product of a factory set up about 1753 by Stephen Theodore Janssen at York House, Battersea, London. Janssen went bankrupt and the concern was offered for sale in 1756. Objects decorated in this manufacture had a copper base which was coated with tin enamel on which decorative detail was painted or, more usually, transfer-printed. Robert Hancock worked at this factory. Snuff boxes, watch cases, wine labels, are typical. Battersea are the most esteemed of English painted enamels.
Battery Works - (Metal) Battery work is a term used to describe a foundry where brass was made, molded or formed.
Battledore - (Glass) A battledore is a tool used by glassworkers to smooth the bottoms of vessels. It is a paddle made from wood and is square with a handle.
Battleship Tray - (Glass) Battleship trays were made in the 1890s, they are pressed glass boxes in the form of a battleship. Originally sold as novelties, two of the ships portrayed are the Wheeling and the Oregon.
Baudekin - (Textiles) Baudekin is a fabric that has a woof that is made from silk tread and the warp is made from gold thread.
Bauhaus School - (Design, Germany) Bauhaus School was a school in Weimar, Germany founded by Walter Gropius. Bauhaus School combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to arts and crafts style design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933 when it close due to pressure from Hitler. Bauhaus is German for House of Building or Building School.
Bauhaus School Pottery - (Pottery, Earthenware, Modern, Germany) The Bauhaus School Pottery was short-lived, but influential. In 1920, the Bauhaus took on master potter Max Krehan as a collaborator in setting up a pottery workshop. Krehan's initial class consisted of five students, who worked at his pottery in Dornburg, 30 kilometers away from the main school in Weimar. The ceramics students were more self-sufficient than the other craft workshops. This was partly due to the physical separation and to the ceramic tradition of self-sufficiency, like digging up one's own clay. Krehan taught the principles of pottery: throwing on the potter’s wheel, turning (trimming), glazing, and firing kilns. Gerhard Marcks, who was also involved in other aspects of the school, taught the history of ceramics and encouraged experimental ceramic design. In 1924, Otto Lindig took over the technical aspects of the Bauhaus pottery, while Theodor Bogler looked after the commercial side of things. Architect Walter Gropius, at the time director of the school, and himself a sometime ceramic designer encouraged machine-made ceramic mass production, although there was some resistance to this idea, from Gerhard Marcks, who believed that the Bauhaus should be an educational institution and not a 'factory'. None-the-less, the Bauhaus pottery studio provided designs for mass production in industry of ceramic containers and other items, particularly slip-cast forms designed by Lindig and Bogler. By 1925, the fate of the short-lived Bauhaus pottery workshop was sealed. The State of Thuringia, dominated by right wing parties and intolerant of Bauhaus ideas halved funding for the school and shortly after sacked Gropius. The Bauhaus moved to Dessau and the pottery workshop was disbanded, never opened again. By the early 1930s, Nazi Germany forced the liberal, forward thinking Bauhaus to close its doors altogether. Despite this, Bauhaus ceramic design has had a long-lasting effect on German and European ceramic design.
Bavarian China - (Ceramics, Porcelain, Germany) Bavarian china is any china that was made in the Bavarian area of Germany prior to World War II. Most of the china produced in Bavaria from 1880 - 1930 was made for export to the United States.
Bawo & Dotter Limoges - (Ceramics, Porcelain, America, France, Decorator, Importer) Bawo & Dotter was a New York City based company that was established in 1860 to import Fine Limoges china to the American public. In the 1870’s they opened a decorating studio in Limoges, named The Elite Works. From the 1870 until 1896, they bought other Limoges white ware and decorated it. In 1896, they began manufacturing their own porcelain white ware. Circa 1880 Mark in Red Overglaze Bottle Shape with Limoges Coat of Arms in the center plus the initials BD & L - Limoges underneath
Baxter Prints - (Art) Nineteenth-century color prints from wooden blocks for each oil color, the process being the invention of George Baxter (1804-67).
Baxter, Thomas - (Decorator, Porcelain, Ceramics, Artist) China painter active in the early years of the nineteenth century at Worcester particularly, and at Swansea. He excelled at flowers, feathers and shells, landscapes.
Bayonet - (Weapons) The bayonet as a broad-bladed dagger with wooden handle for sticking into a musket barrel can be very oldc. 1580, but at the end of the seventeenth century a Frenchman invented the modern bayonet which fitted into a tubular socket and not into the barrel.
Bayreuth - (Pottery, Ceramics) A faience factory was founded in this Bavarian town in the early years of the eighteenth century and continued in being until well into the nineteenth century (cream-colored wares in the English manner were made from the 1780's). The usual mark includes the name 'Bayreuth' which is often abbreviated.
Baywood - (Wood) Term sometimes applied to Honduras mahogany to distinguish it from other varieties. See Mahogany.
Bead - (Furniture) Small, plain quarter-round or half-round molding used as decoration on furniture; often called beading, particularly when in a sequence.
Beaded Poke - (Fashion Accessory, Purse) A beaded poke is a purse or bag that has a beaded decoration or has been covered in sewn on beads.
Beading - (Ceramics) - A drop or dot of glaze or enameling, that is applied on top of the flat glazed body to form a 3-dimentional effect like a bead.
Bead Molding - (Furniture) Carved Semi-spheres that abut. Molding that resembles a string of beads.
Bead and Reel Molding - (Furniture) Also called Astragal molding is the term when the beads are alternately rounded and oblong.
Bead Work - (Textiles) Purses, tea cozies, cushion and stool covers, banner screens, bell-pulls, mantel drapes, lamp shades, various items of female wearing apparel (including garters), caskets, baskets-these items and many more are to be found ornamented with beads. Few examples earlier than the eighteenth century survive.
Beaker - (Glass) Tall cup without handles, the sides tapering outwards from the base.
Bearing - (Armor, Heraldry) A bearing is a figure in a heraldic design, it can also be called a charge.
Bear Jar – (Glass) A bear jar is figural in the form of a bear it was made for holding bear grease in the 1800s.
Bear Jug - (Pottery, Ceramics, Glass) Brown bear jugs were hand made by the stoneware potters in Nottingham in the mid 18th century. These potteries operated in the town from the late 17th century to the end of the 18th century, when Nottingham was famous throughout the country for its lustrous brown pots. The bears head is removable and can be used fro a cup, and the bear is holding a dog. The bear jug was made at a time when society was comfortable with the blood sport of bear baiting as an entertainment. Bear baiting was popular in England from the Elizabethan period until it was banned in the 19th century. Bears must have been a familiar sight in Nottingham in the 18th century. Perhaps the first stoneware bear jug to be made, this was a commission from someone who went to watch bear baiting and wanted a souvenir and the idea caught on or perhaps the potters saw a sales opportunity.
Bears Signature - (Fine Art, Term) The term bears signature means that it bear the signature of an artist but might not have actually been made by that artist.
Beaten - (Metal) Beaten refers to molten brass being hammered into sheets or copper or other metals with designs hammered out. Also called hammered.
Beau Brummell - (Furniture) A Beau Brummell is a late 18th Century furniture form for a man dressing table, it was very elaborate with mirrors and pull out areas for shaving and fitted candle stands.
Beaufait (Buffet) - (Furniture) A term used in the eighteenth century for a recess for the storage and display of glass and ceramics. It is defined in the Cabinet Dictionary (1803) as a piece of furniture with covered doors in the lower portion and tiers of shelves above. But associated with food throughout the ages.
Beaufat Cupboard - (Furniture) A beaufat cupboard is a built in corner cupboard, however sometime they are portable furniture.
Beaufat Chair - (Furniture) A beaufat chair is a corner chair.
Beauvais - (Textiles) A centre of tapestry-weaving in France. A factory was founded there, reputedly with state aid, about 1665, and throughout the remainder of the seventeenth century and most of the eighteenth century produced tapestries that were the finest being made in France. Important figures associated with Beauvais were Behagle, Oudry, Boucher. Tapestry covers for furniture are a feature of the eighteenth and nineteenth century.
Bec-de-corbin - (Weapons) A bec-de-corbin is a 15th century war hammer.
Becket - (Furniture) A becket is a rope handle or grip used on early American furniture.
Bedouh - (Weapons) A bedouh is a talisman that is a square and it is divided into smaller squares with each containing a number or a letter. They are often found incised into Arabic swords.
Bed Pole - (Furniture Accessory) On a high bed it is hard to even out and smooth the sheets so a bed pole was used for this purpose. It is a long wooden pole.
Bedpost Clock - (Clocks) A bedpost clock is a type of clock common circa during the 1600s and 1700s. It was a wall clock made of brass that was fixed between two posts.
Bed Steps - (Furniture) Bed steps are a moveable set of steps used to climb into a very high bed.
Bed Warmer - (Household) A bed warmer was a pan with a lid fixed to the end of a long handle that was filled with hot coals and ran between the sheets under the covers to warm the bed before climbing in. The pan form can be round, oval or rectangular. Also called warming pan.
Beech - (Wood) A timber of light brown color, tough but easily worked. It takes stain well and was much used for stained, painted and gilded furniture. (First used about the middle of the seventeenth century.)
Beefeater Flagon - (Pewter) A Beefeater flagon is a pewter tankard that has a lid that resembles the hat worn by the Beefeater Guards at the Queens palace in London, England. This style of pewter tankard became popular in the 1600s.
Beehive Clock - (Clock) The beehive clock it a mantel clock whose form is of a beehive or gothic arch. It has a face above a glass door that is either frosted or reverse painted with a decorative design. They were popular around 1850 and later.
Beer Firkin - (Domestic) A Firkin is an old English unit of volume. The name is derived from the Middle Dutch word vierdekijn, which means fourth, a quarter of a full-size barrel.For beer and ale a firkin is equal to nine imperial gallons, seventy-two pints, or a quarter of a barrel (40.91481 liters). Casks in this size (themselves called firkins) are the most common container for cask ale. A firkin is equal to half a kilderkin.
Beetle - (Tools) A beetle is a tool used to split logs, it is made of iron and hit with a sledge hammer.
Beggar's Block - (Textiles) A beggar’s block is a pattern of quilt that is made from scraps of material that are obtained from other people. This type of quilt is put together with very little attention to design or continuity.
Belcher Chain - (Jewelry) A belcher chain is similar to the trace often the simplest style of chain. The links in a trace chain are typically uniform in breadth and thickness, and can be very delicate, especially in finer widths, a belcher chain link is wider than its thickness. Generally the links are round, but the shape of the link can vary.
Bellarmine - (Pottery, Porcelain, Ceramics) A pottery jug with narrow neck and large belly and a bearded mask on the neck. Made principally in Germany and Holland but also at Fulham (q.v.) in the second half of the seventeenth century.
Belleek - (Porcelain, Ceramics Factory, Ireland) The porcelain factory founded in 1857 at Beleek, Co. Fermanagh, Ireland, to exploit the possibilities of the local china clay and felspar. The felspar was of considerable purity and permitted a very thin and extremely translucent ware which, covered with a thick glaze, has a unique pearly sheen. The factory traded as D. McBirney & Co. The mark incorporates an Irish round tower, the harp and greyhound and three-leaved shamrock.
Belle Époque - (French, Style, Era) Belle Époque is an era of artistic and cultural refinement in a society, beginning in France in the early 20th century.
Bell Flower - (Decoration) The Bellflower motif American term for a conventional hanging flower bud of three or five petals used in repeated and diminishing pattern, similar to the husk motif. This decoration was first used by Baltimore cabinetmakers and became very popular in the Victorian Era.
Bellows - (House Wares) Engines 'to make wind' have been used since man has roamed the earth. The form has changed very little over the centuries matching shaped boards, a metal nozzle, extending leather sides this was the basic form in the early seventeenth century. Carved, inlaid, japanned, embroidered, much skill was spent on the decoration of hand bellows in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Standing bellows were more businesslike machines enclosed in a frame and worked by means of a lever or a wheel.
Bellows - (Musical Instrument) A mechanical device or apparatus for producing a strong current of air, as for sounding a pipe organ consisting of a flexible, air chamber valve that is contracted and expanded by pumping to force the air through a nozzle or the pleated windbag of an accordion.
Benelux - (Term) Benelux is the region of Europe comprising Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The name is formed from the beginning of each country's name, and was created for the Benelux Economic Union, but is now used in a more generic way.
Beneman, Jean Guillaume - (Furniture Maker) German-born French cabinetmaker active from 1785 to the end of the century. Commodes were a speciality. Employed by the Crown, he made a lot of furniture for Marie Antoinette.
Bentley, Thomas - (Pottery, Porcelain, Ceramics)(1730-80): Merchant and connoisseur who in 1769 entered into partnership with Josiah Wedgwood, a partnership which lasted till Bentley's death. See Wedgwood.
Bento - (Japanese) a tray usually lacquer for holding food, it may have a lid
Bentwood - (Furniture) Bentwood was invented in Austria. It is done by a steam-heating process by which wood could be bent or curved, introduced into England about 1850 and popular at once, especially for chairs. Birch wood used a lot, with cane backs and seats. It can be painted in colors or glossy black or stained to imitate mahogany.
Berain, Jean - (Decorator, Designer) French designer active in the second half of the seventeenth century. He must have been one of the first specialists in interior decoration, but was much more than that: he piloted public taste from the Baroque to the Rococo and his influence on the design of ceramics, furniture, tapestries, clothes and the fine arts in general was to go on making itself felt long after his death and in most of the countries of Europe.
Bergama Rugs - (Textiles) After Pergamus, whence parchment also came. Sturdy, squarish rugs, dark blue and white on red grounds, long pile, coarse weave (fifty to sixty-five Ghiordiz knots to the square inch); red end webs of Turcoman type, and one to four border stripes geometrically patterned.
Bergere - (Furniture) (French) A type of armchair first made in France circa 1725; it has a well-rounded back, comfortable padded arms and upholstered sides, sometimes wings as well. In England the word 'Berger' is often used to denote this kind of chair; but in fact there was a considerable revival in Victorian times when the bergJre was made with higher back and shorter legs than hitherto.
Berkey & Gay Furniture Company - (Furniture, Manufacturer, United States) The Berkey & Gay furniture company was started in 1866; it is a historic manufacturing plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Over the years that Berkey & Gay was in business, they used 3 different types of labels to mark their furniture. The first label was branded in the wood. The brand type label was replaced by a paper label around the year 1900. The brass label was used starting around 1920. It is not uncommon to find both brass and paper labels used at the same time.
Berlin Porcelain - (Pottery, Porcelain, Ceramics, German) A Berlin factory was founded in 1752 by one Wilhelm Kaspar Wegely who had the aid of Johann Benckgraff from Vienna and the approval of Frederick the Great. Hard-paste porcelain was made, mostly in the manner of Meissen. The factory closed in 1757. The mark is the letter 'w'. In 1761 another factory was established, this time by Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky; it was acquired in 1763 by Frederick and became known as the Konigliche Porzellanmanufaktur, by which name it was known until the First World War when the style changed to Staatliche Porzellanmanufaktur. The letter 'G' is the earliest mark (1761-3), then a sceptre until about 1830, after which the letters 'KPM' in conjunction with an orb or a Prussian eagle were used.
Beshir Rugs - (Textiles) Turcoman rugs in blue, yellow, red, brown, white; one- to three-stripe border; coarse weave, but these rugs are extremely durable.
Betumal - (Furniture) Pronounced “Beat-um-all”. Trade name for a telephone stand made by the H. T. Cushman Company in North Bennington, Indiana from 1910 until the 1950s. This telephone stand had a hinged stool that folded under the table when not in use. Other more advanced features, such as a built-in directory, could be added for an extra cost.
Bezel - (Clocks, Jewelry, Watches) A slope, a sloping face. The groove, flange, lip or ring that holds the glass of a watch or clock, or the stone of a jewel or ring in its setting.
Bianco Sopra Bianco - (Pottery, Ceramics)(Italian=white on white) Originally, white pigment decoration used on a white or bluish-white glaze by early Italian makers of maiolica. A popular decoration at Bristol and some other delftware centers during the eighteenth century, though the ground color was more likely to be blue or pale grey.
Bicolor - (Stamps) A bicolor stamp is a stamp printed or otherwise produced in two colors. Bicolor stamp were produced before 1950 when multicolor stamps came into use.
Bidet - (Household) Raised narrow bath that can be bestridden', invented in France early in the seventeenth century. Lavishly decorated examples were made; some carried humorous inscriptions.
Biedermeier - (Furniture, Decoration) A German style of decoration lasting from the Wars of Liberation (1815) to about 1848. In furniture the distinguishing feature is a preference for curved supports in tables, case-furniture and chairs (this curve extending to the chair back).
Bijouterie - (Jewelry, Box) Jewelry, trinkets. Also a small display case, with tapered legs and a framed, hinged, glass lid, for displaying small objects usually against a velvet lining.
Billet - (Metal, Household) The thumbpiece of a tankard lid; also a moulding consisting of short cylinders.
Billiard Table - (Furniture, Game) Billiards is mentioned as early as 1429 in France as an indoor recreation, and the billiard table as we know it, with top covered with cloth and having raised padded sides, was probably being made in France in the fifteenth century. By the middle of the sixteenth century the game was established in England, but the oldest surviving English billiard table (of oak) dates from the end of the seventeenth century.
Billies & Charlies - (Collectibles, Metal, Fake) A famous range of fakes-lead figures, medallions, etc.-made by two Londoners at the end of the nineteenth century and so popular with collectors that it is said the fakers are now faking the fakes of William and Charles.
Billingsley, William - (1760-1828) (Ceramics) Maker and decorator of porcelain, born at Derby and apprenticed there at the Derby factory as china painter, advancing to the position of head decorator by 1790, famed particularly for his flower painting. The first of his ventures in the manufacture of porcelain was at Pinxton, then he went to Mansfield and later to Torksey, Lincolnshire, and then to Worcester (about 1808), finally setting up on his own at Nantgarw in 1813, Swansea in 1814, back to Nantgarw 1817-20, then to Coalport, where he worked for John Rose who obtained his formula. He died in poverty in 1828. Billingsley seems the most attractive of all the English arcanists (those who had to work with him probably thought otherwise); he failed and failed and failed again; but the superb Nantgarw and early Swansea porcelain that remains to us is his monument.
Bilston - (Ceramics, England) Town in south Staffordshire where decorated enamelware was produced during the eighteenth century. Much of the painted enamelware attributed to Battersea was probably made at Bilston from 1750-1800. Bilston was a considerable pottery centre for most of the nineteenth century.
Biniou - (Musical Instrument, Scotland) Biniou means bagpipe in the Breton language. There are two kinds of Biniou found in the United Kingdom the biniou kozh ('kozh' means 'old' in Breton language) and the biniou braz ('braz' means 'great'). The 'biniou braz' is the same as the Great Highland Bagpipe, although sets are manufactured by Breton makers rather than imported from Scotland or elsewhere. This is largely because the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe is pitched slightly sharp of concert pitch, whereas Breton musicians maintain concert pitch in order to work more easily with other musicians. The 'biniou kozh' has a one-octave scale, and is very high-pitched; its lowest note is the same pitch as the highest on the Great Highland Bagpipe. It has a single drone two octaves below the tonic. Traditionally it is played in duet with the bombarde, a shawm that sounds an octave below the biniou chanter, for Breton folk dancing. The 'biniou braz' is the one heard as part of a bagad.
Biniou Form - (Pottery, Quimper) Biniou Form means made in the form of a bagpipe. Common form in Quimper Pottery.
Birch - (Wood) A wood that takes staining well and was much used in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century for painted, japanned and gilt furniture.
Bird - (Chinese Symbolism) Together with the butterfly a symbol for a young man approaching the woman he loves. Particular symbolic significance is attached to many birds, among these the following: crane, eagle, magpie, mandarin ducks, oriole, owl, pheasant, quail, raven, swallow, and the mythical phoenix. A white-headed bird symbolizes great age. Two white-headed birds on a peony equal riches and honor until the close of life. Paintings of birds and flowers can gain meaning from homophones of the objects depicted.
Bird Cage Clock - (Clock) A lantern clock, composed entirely of metal, the case being rectangular with a framing of turned angle pillars, the space between the pillars filled in by front and back plates and side doors.
Bird Call - (Ceramics, Metal) Whistle, often of pottery, in the form of a bird.
Bird's Eye - (Wood) A veneer patterned with spots.
Biscuit - (Ceramics) Porcelain, stoneware and pottery after the first baking and before the application of glaze.
Biscuit Jar - (Glass, Ceramics, Kitchen) A Biscuit Jar is a decorative canister of varying size used to hold tea biscuits. Usually had a glass or ceramic bottom with a metal or silver rim. lid and bale style handle.
Bisect - (Stamps) A bisect is a stamp cut in half which has been used to pay the postage at half the face value of the original stamp; each section of the bisect retains half of the original value. Bisects should be collected on the original cover with the postmark or cancellation covering the cut. There are no official bisect stamps from the United States. Bishop's Bottle - (Ceramics)
Bismuth - (Metal) A metal sometimes added to pewter, which it hardens.
Black Amethyst Glass - (Glass) Black Amethyst Glass is glass that appears to be black but when looked at through strong light or the sun it appears to be a dark amethyst purple color.
Blackamoor - (Decorative Arts) Muslims of Spain and North Africa in heraldry, a stylized Negro or Maure. Blackamoors are represented by sculptures and decorations of Negro figures.
Black-glazed Ware - (Pottery) Red earthenware body covered with a lustrous black glaze as made in the eighteenth century by Whieldon and other Staffordshire potters and at Jackfield, Salop. Such wares are sometimes called 'Jackfield' wares.
Black Work - (Needlework, Textile) Black silk embroidery on linen; Tudor; probably introduced into England from Spain and sometimes called 'Spanish Work'.
Blanc-de-Chine - (Porcelain China) Blanc-de-Chine is a French term generally used to refer to undecorated ivory white porcelain pieces made for export. Blanc-de-Chine wares are covered with a clear glaze. The finest of these were made by the Dehua are kilns in the Fujian province, during the 17th and 18th centuries. Many early European porcelain factories copied the style. They are usually not decorated. Common forms include crisply modeled Guanyin figures, joss stick holders, water droppers, westerners in Dutch hats, horn shaped cups, and bowls. The physical characteristics between the Dehua porcelains of the early and late dynasties are that they transmit light differently. Items from the Ming era have a pink translucency, items from the transitional period show a flesh colored to pale yellow tone, and items from the 19th century and later appear clear white. See also Te-hua porcelain.
Blobs - (Glass) Pimples of glass applied in molten state to glassware as decoration. Also known as mascaroons, prunts, seals.
Block Print – 1. (Art, Books) A design that is achieved by the use of a piece of wood or metal with an engraved image, inking the image and transferring by pressing it onto paper either with a press but usually by hand. If the block print has more than one color, the color is applied with a different image and block. 2. (Textiles) Designs applied to fabric by using blocks that have designs cut into them in relief.
Blue and White - (Ceramics) Pottery and porcelain painted in cobalt blue under the glaze. This form of decoration probably originated in the Near East and was first applied to porcelain by the Chinese in the fourteenth century.
Blue & White Transferware - (Ceramics) "The Font" is often referred to as "Girl at the Well" The Transferware Scene Depicts a Woman Wearing a Bonnet Pumping Water into a Bucket. Three potters made it, Thomas Rathbone, Woods & Challinor and Spode. Thomas Rathbone, Woods & Challinor designs dates to the mid 1800s. Spode reproduced their design after the 1850s.
Blue Dash Chargers - (Tableware) Tin-enamelled ware circular dishes with a border of blue dashes round the rim, made from the early seventeenth century to the middle of the eighteenth.
Blue Milk Glass - (Glass) Blue Milk Glass is an opaque pale, light blue glass. Also called Delphite Glass
Blunderbuss - (Weapons) A short musket of large bore flaring at the muzzle, probably first made in Holland in the 1620's. They were never intended to fire nails and odd bits of old iron, but were charged with powder, a wad, a measured quantity of balls or shot and then another wad; no doubt effective at close range, the main idea was to frighten by means of the broad flash.
Bobeche - (Silver, Glass, Lighting) A Bobeche is a collar on a candle socket that catches the candle drippings or the devise that hold suspended prisms on Candelabras, Chandeliers or Lusters.
Bocage - (Ceramics) The floral or foliage background to figures or groups. This type of porcelain became popular in the 18th century and 19th century.
Boccaro - (Ceramics) The term derives from the name given by the Portuguese to Mexican red pottery and is applied to several types of reddish stoneware, notably the Chinese wares of Yi-Hsing as imported into Europe in the seventeenth century.
Bog Oak - (Wood) Wood obtained from trees found submerged in peat bogs in Ireland.
Bohemian Glass - (Glass) Bohemian Glass was made in Bohemia from the Middle Ages. Enamelled glass dates from the latter half of the sixteenth century, superb cut-glass from c. 1700; Zwischengoldglaser or 'gold sandwich' glass was an eighteenth-century development. In the first half of the nineteenth century a great variety of excellent glass was made, cut and engraved, tinted glasses of many types, spun glass and millefiori, glass painted with transparent enamel colours, cased glass.
Bokhara Rugs - (Floor Covering) Turcoman rugs of which there are several types, notably the Royal Bokhara which usually has a red ground with blue and ivory patterns, the Tekke Bokhara, on which the distinguishing pattern is large and small octagons in blue or ivory on dark red or brown ground, the Katchli Bokhara, with the field divided into four by broad bands, the decorative motifs being Y-shaped and in blue on a dark red or brown ground.
Bolection - (Furniture) A molding projecting above the surface of the framework enclosing a panel.
Bolt - (Weapon) A bolt is a short, heavy arrow for a crossbow. They are also called a carreau or quarrel.
Bolt and Shutter Maintaining Power - (Clocks) The device that keeps the power of a clock running for a few minutes while the clock is being wound.
Bombe - (Furniture, French) French='blown-out'. Term applied to furniture with a swelling outline towards the base.
Bonbonnière / Bonbonnires - (Silver, Enamelware, Porcelain, Ceramics) a container for candy or sweetmeats, a small ornamental bowl or box, often elaborately shaped for candy. Bonbonnires can be made from gold, silver, enameled ware, or porcelain.
Bone China - (Ceramics, Porcelain) Hard porcelain rendered soft, or half soft, by an admixture of bone ash; the standard body in England from the end of the eighteenth century.
Bonheur-du joar - (Furniture) A small fitted writing table on tall slender legs; mid-Georgian.
Bonnet Scroll - (Architecture, Furniture) See Scroll Pediment. Also See Pediment for the many different types.
Bonnet Top - (Architecture, Furniture) A Bonnet Top was a distinctly American variant of the Scroll Pediment. See Scroll Pediment. Also See Pediment for the many different types.
Bookcase - (Furniture) The bookcase was not made in England to any extent until there was a reading public that demanded it. By the late seventeenth century bookcases were to be found in college libraries and in the homes of a few book-lovers such as Samuel Pepys. The breakfront, or wing, bookcase was an early Georgian contribution, and later there was a demand for a bookcase with the upper stage glazed. The dwarf bookcase, with two or three tiers of shelves, came in during the Regency period.
Book Rest - (Furniture) Portable book rest for the support of large volumes and manuscripts. They were lightly constructed and comprised a squarish frame with horizontal bars pivoting in the uprights, the top bar being attached to an adjustable strut which supported the whole at the required angle. Mahogany usually. Georgian.
Boomerang Table – (Furniture) A boomerang table is a table whose top is in the form of a boomerang, this is a type of mid-century modern table that was popular during the post-war era. Circa 1950s.
Boreman, Zachariah - (Ceramics, Porcelain Decorator) Porcelain painter who worked at Chelsea till its close and then went to Derby and towards the end of the eighteenth century worked in London as an outside decorator. Landscapes were his speciality.
Boss - (Furniture, Ornament) A Boss is an applied ornamental device, circular or oval in outline, usually attached to a veneer and often contrasting with its background. Deriving from a Gothic architectural devise placed at the crossing points of ceiling ribs. The Boss in Furniture often appears where moldings intersect.
Botanist Container – (Lithograph Tin) Botany was a popular hobby in the years before radio and television. People would collect specimens of bugs, leaves and flowers and add them to their collections or their own written identity botany books. This type of lithographed container was worn by the person to collect specimens while walking through the country side or forest.
Bottger, Johann Friedrich - (Ceramics, Porcelain) (1682-1719): Alchemist in the service of Augustus the Strong of Saxony. Unable to produce gold, Bottger was set to work on the porcelain problem and by 1708 he succeeded to the extent of producing white unglazed porcelain, evolving a satisfactory glaze in 1709, in which year he also announced the invention of a very hard red stoneware. The Meissen factory was set up in 1710 to manufacture these wares. See Meissen.
Boulle Work - (Furniture, Decoration) A process of inlay that derives from the Parisian ebeniste Andre Charles Boulle (1642-1732). This decoration of furniture is a form of marquetry in brass and tortoiseshell or horn, the patterns being cut out of the two materials (fixed together) in one operation. Earliest examples date from about 1680. Ormolu mounts usually go with Boulle furniture. Only a little furniture in the style was made in England, but French workshops produced large quantities of reproductions during the nineteenth century.
Boulton, Matthew - (Jewelry, Silver) Noted eighteenth-century producer of ormolu, silver, Sheffield plate, steel-cut jewellery. Boulton is the only English manufacturer of ormolu who can be seriously compared to the best French makers. He did work to the designs of Robert Adam.
Bourne & Son - (Ceramics, Stoneware) A firm noted for their stoneware; there were factories at Belper and Denby, Derbyshire; brown salt-glazed wares were a speciality from the beginning (c. 1812). The firm is still in existence.
Boutet, Nicolas Noel - (Weapons) Eighteenth-century French gun-maker, director of the Royal arms factory at Versailles, whose weapons were superbly ornamental.
Bow Porcelain Factory - (Ceramics, Porcelain) The usual date to which the foundation of the Bow porcelain factory is assigned is 1744 and the co-founders are named as Thomas Frye and Edward Heylin, but no porcelain is known to survive from this early period. From 1749 porcelain with bone-ash in the body was produced, often decorated in relief and showing Oriental influences. The early paste is soft, thick, heavy; the products of Bow are much less fine than those of Chelsea; but many figures are lively and their very lack of sophistication finds favor with collectors today. The first use of transfer-printed decoration is often attributed to Bow, but examples are rare. From 1760 onwards a decline set in, there is a greyness about the paste, decoration got out of hand and figures lack the liveliness that is an attribute of Bow at its best.
Bow Front - (Furniture) Convex or swell front on a piece of case furniture.
Bowie Knife - (Weapon) The original Bowie knife was like a butcher knife in profile, with a thin blade but no silver mounts. Early examples had a thick, heavy butcher-knife-like blade, with a straight back (top) and no clip point or hand guard. The blade varied in length from 8½ to 12½ inches and was sharpened on the true edge. Wooden handles were attached with silver pins and washers. Knives of the 1830s were one-piece ebony, checkered, and decorated with small silver nails. Blacksmiths fashioned most of the subsequent Bowie knives and added rudimentary cross guards to keep the hand from sliding onto the blade. Eventually, they lengthened the guards as protection from an opponent's blade, but the owner often found the extended guards clumsy and cut them off. The clip point, a curve on the top of the blade back of the point, became popular. The clip was often sharpened so that a backstroke would inflict a serious wound. Spear-point Bowie blades also were forged, dagger-shaped, with both edges sharpened. Blacksmith-made Bowies were generally plain and unsigned, had iron or brass mountings, and hardwood, bone, or horn handles. The knife was both a hunting knife and a tool. With it, one could clear a path, hack a sapling, dig a hole, or butcher game. Today the knife design is a blade with a concave arch (clip point) cut into the end of the blade, and a cross-guard to protect the hand.
Box Stretcher – (Furniture) A square or rectangular member or brace that horizontally connects the legs of a table, chair or cabinet.
Boxwood - (Wood) A hard wood of light yellow colour, with close, compact grain and fine, uniform texture; used in marquetry and inlay.
Bracket – (Furniture) An L-shaped piece of wood used in the angle, made by the top and back or the top and the leg of a piece of furniture.
Bracket Clock - (Clock) A portable clock, a mantel clock. Some such clocks were made with their own matching brackets but survivals are rare.
Bracket Cornice – (Furniture) Cornice supported by brackets.
Bradwell Wood - (Ceramics, Redware) Probable site in Staffordshire of the Elers' pottery factory where they made their red ware from c. 1693 to c. 1700.
Branch - (Lighting) Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century term for a chandelier.
Branch Veneer - (Fruniture, Wood) Veneer cut from the small branches of a tree.
Bras de Lumwe - (Lighting) French term for wall-light.
Brass - (Metal) Alloy of copper with tin, zinc or other base metal.
Brasses – (Furniture, Hardware) Handles, handle-plates and escutcheons on furniture.
Breakfast Table – (Furniture) A small table with hinged flap extensions supported on brackets; mid-Georgian onwards.
Breakfront – (Furniture) The front line of furniture as broken by projections and/or recesses.
Brewer, Allen F Jr - (Artist American 1921 – 1967) Allen F Brewer Jr was one of the world's foremost equine artists, Allen F. Brewer, Jr. had won the praise alike of critics, horsemen and the general public for his oils, watercolors and drawings. The critics rate his work highly in such technical factors as skilled composition, perspective, handling of light and shadow, and ability to suggest by external appearance the underlying structure of bone and muscle. Horsemen admire his art for his ability to reproduce an exact likeness of a particular horse.
Breweriana – (Collectibles, Advertising) Breweriana is a term that relates to collecting things related to beer and ale. Very wide ranges of materials are collected, cans, bottles, signs, lights, trays, and calendars.
Bric-a-Brac – (Term) Odds and Ends, or mismatched collection of items.
Bright-cut Engraving - (Silver) A particular form of engraving popular about 1790, in which the metal is removed by cutting tools used in a manner that leaves a beveled edge. This gives a jewel-like, faceted sparkle to the surface.
Bristol Glass - (Glass) Glass was made at Bristol in the late seventeenth century, and one manufacturer, Jacob Little (died 1752), is associated with opaque white glass. The famous 'enamel glass', made at other centers but never so superbly as at Bristol, is dense white, like porcelain, painted with enamels in imitation of china painting. 'Bristol-Blue', now a generic term for any dark blue translucent glass, should strictly be applied to the intense deep blue translucent glass, not necessarily made at Bristol, containing Saxon smalt, produced 1761-90.
Bristol Porcelain - (Ceramics, Porcelain) (1) Soft paste. The factory (originally a glass-house) founded about 1749 by Benjamin Lund and William Miller. Soaprock was used in the paste. Few examples survive, mostly service-ware, small items like sauce-boats. The marks 'Bristoll' and 'Bristoll 1750' are known. The factory transferred to Worcester in 1752 and wares which cannot be assigned with certainty to one or the other manufacture are designated 'Bristol/Worcester'. The term 'Lund's Bristol' is often used; so is 'Lowdin's Bristol' (William Lowdin was the original owner of the glass-house). (2) Hard paste. The Plymouth factory of William Cookworthy was transferred to Bristol in 1770. Cookworthy withdrew from the venture in 1773 and it was carried on by Richard Champion until closure in 1782, after which Cookworthy's patent passed to New Hall. Champion looked to Meissen and Sevres for his inspiration. Some figures were made, but tableware was the staple product. A wide range of porcelains were manufactured, ranging from lavish made-to-order services to 'cottage Bristol' of a humble kind. The cross in various crude shapes is the main mark, sometimes accompanied by a date or a number. The crossed swords of Meissen were used a lot.
Bristol Pottery - (Ceramics, Pottery) Delftware was made at Bristol from the mid-seventeenth century, first at Brislington and then at Temple Back and Redcliffe and other factories, until the late eighteenth century, from which period and for most of the nineteenth century various types of earthenware were made. The delftware is scarce and difficult to identify; the earthenware is similar to the general Staffordshire wares.
Britannia Metal - (Metal) An alloy, consisting of 90 per cent tin and 10 per cent antimony, which has a white silvery appearance, invented in the mid-eighteenth century. A cheaper alloy containing 94 per cent tin and 5 per cent antimony has a small addition of copper, which gives it a slightly yellow color.
Britannia Standard - (Silver) Adopted for silver in 1697 when, to stop silversmiths melting down the coinage, the standard of purity was raised to 11 oz. 10 dwt. pure silver to each pound troy. The old standard was resumed in 1720, but the Britannia or Higher standard was left optional.
Brocade - (Textile) Originally a textile fabric with the design worked in gold or silver thread; later, silks so decorated were called brocades. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries some furniture was upholstered with brocade covers.
Broken Pediment - (Furniture) In 18th Century case furniture, arched or triangular superstructure whose sloping top lines break off before meeting at the apex, leaving a gap. Usually with a carved finial in the center. Finial shapes can vary widely.
Broken Arch Pediment - (Architecture, Furniture) A Broken Arch Pediment is a pediment broken by means of omitting the apex, The lines of the arch break-off just before they meet at the apex, leaving a gap. A Broken Arch Pediment has a central place for a finial or a plate can be displayed there, and sometimes the space is just let empty. This was a favored device with cabinet-makers in the eighteenth century. Originally, they appeared in Roman Architecture but they were revived in Baroque Furniture and they became common in the early 18th Century. See Pediment for the many different types.
Broken Scroll Pediment - (Architecture, Furniture) See Scroll Pediment. Also See Pediment for the many different types.
Bronze - (Metal) An alloy of copper and tin in varying proportions but averaging nine parts of copper to one of tin. The ease with which it can be cast and worked have ensured its popularity since Neolithic times.
Broussa Rugs - (Floor Coverings) Silk rugs from or near city of Broussa; Turkish designs, brilliantly colored and with metallic threads. Ghior diz knot, 500-600 to square inch, make for fineness and a pile that does not break open when bent backwards. Nor do these rugs curl. Silk fringes.
Brown Bess Musket - (Weapon) 'Brown Bess' is the popular name of a series of flintlock muskets produced by or for the British Army from the Marlborough wars in the early 1700s to the Napoleonic wars in the early 1800s. A long-arm with short wooden stock, precursor of the modern infantry weapon, it weighed about ten pounds, and the length of the barrel was forty-six inches. It was equipped with the bridle lock and capable of firing 6 shots a minute but inaccurate beyond 80 yards. This musket was the British Army's principal firearm in the eighteenth century; the name possibly derives from the fact that the barrel was browned by pickling to reduce glare and rusting. The weapon borne by the First Foot Guards in the American conflict was officially referred to as the Short Land Service Musket (new pattern) 1768. NCOs carried shorter versions, called fusils.
Brown Pelican - (Bird) (Pelecanus occidentalis occidentalis) The "Eastern" Brown Pelican nest on small, isolated coastal islands where they are safe from predators such as raccoons and coyotes. When feeding, Pelicans soar in the air looking for fish near the surface of the water. When a fish is spotted, the Pelican goes into a dive, plunging 30 to 60 feet bill-first into the water. The impact of hitting the water would kill an ordinary bird, but the Pelican is equipped with air sacs just beneath the skin to cushion the blow. The loose skin on the underside of the bill extends to form a scoop net and has a capacity of 2.5 gallons. The Pelican drains the water from its pouch and tosses its head back to swallow the fish.
Brunswick Radio Corporation – (Radio, Collectibles) Brunswick Radio Corporation was located in New York, Chicago, and Toronto. Brunswick Radio Corporation was a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. The company was originally a Canadian Company called Brunswick-Balke-Collender founded in 1845. They manufactured billiard and bowling alley equipment and started making records in 1916 and radios in the 1920s. In April of 1930 they sold their Record and Radio Divisions to Warner Brothers Pictures. In 1995 Brunswick celebrated its 150th year in business.
Brussels Carpets - (Floor Coverings) Carpets woven as velvet, the looped thread cut to form a pile, but in wool and other coarse materials. This was the type of carpet made at Wilton and Kidderminster .
Bryce Brothers Company - (Glass, Manufacturer, U.S. Glass, American, EAPG) - This Company was founded in 1850 and located in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. They were specializing in hand blown stemware and stemware that was engraved, etched, cut, or decorated. Bryce Brothers also had a line of baskets, vases, and accessory pieces. Bryce Bros. Co. became a part of U.S. Glass Co. in 1891, known as Factory 'B'. During sometime in the 1880's, there are references that they were in Pittsburgh, PA.
Buckeye Pottery – (Ceramics, Pottery, United States) Buckeye Pottery was opened in Macomb Illinois in 1882 by Washington Pech. They made utilitarian type stoneware until around 1941 when the company was purchased by Haeger Inc. The Buckeye Pottery mark is a circle in a circle with The Buckeye Pottery Co. at the top and Macomb Ill. at the bottom. The center circle sometime had a number indicating the gallons that the container held.
Buen Retiro - (Ceramics, Porcelain, Spain) Porcelain factory transferred from Capo-diMonte, when Charles became King of Spain in 1759, to the grounds of the royal palace of Buen Retiro, near Madrid. Soft porcelain of good quality was made until the factory closed in 1808. The mark is the fleur-de-lys in various forms.
Bun Foot - (Furniture) A Bun Foot is a flattened or squatty version of the ball foot that dates from about 1660.
Bureau - (Furniture) A French term that appears in England in the late seventeenth century, but it has not been clearly distinguished from other terms such as secretary, scrutoire and escritoire used for writing desks or cabinets. By 1803 Sheraton could say (in his Cabinet Dictionary) that the term was 'applied to common desks with drawers under them'. In combination the word is used for Bureau-Bookcase, Bureau-Cabinet, Bureau Dressing-table, Bureau-Table; Bureau-Writing-table, Tallboy Bureau. A Bureau plat is not used of an English piece of furniture but refers to a writing-table with a flat top and drawers beneath as made in France from the beginning of the eighteenth century.
Burl or Burrs - (Wood, Furniture) Knotted wood taken from the outside of the trunk or the stump-of a tree, which shows a mottled figure, valued for veneering. A large rounded outgrowth on the trunk or branch of a tree. The wood cut from such an outgrowth, often used decoratively as a veneer.
Burmese Glass - (Glass) Burmese Glass is smooth but unpolished semi-opaque ware shading pink to yellow. Also called Queen's Burmese
Butterfly - (Oriental Symbolism) Considered in China as also a bird. Symbol of conjugal bliss, of joy and of summer. From its homophony with the Chinese word die meaning "the age of seventy or eighty", it is also an emblem of longevity. In Straits Chinese porcelain specifically, a pair of butterflies symbolizes the spirits of the ancestors. A butterfly or bird approaching a peony equals a young man and the woman he loves.
Butterfly Table - (Furniture) A table in which the supports for the drop tops are not the legs but hinged pieces of wood shaped like a butterfly's wing.
Butter Mold - (Woodenware, Kitchen, Primitive, Folk Art) In the last half of the 17th Century it became fashionable to decorate butter. Molds were carved out of wood and can be either round, square or rectangular. The press part of the mold was carved in high relief so it would leave a decoration in the butter. The most valuable of these molds have either birds, animals or other intricate designs.
Button Beaded Molding - (Furniture, Molding) Rows of Beaded Molding placed side by side.
Bustelli, Franz Anton - (Ceramics, Modeler, Germany (1723-63) Master modeler at the Nymphenburg porcelain factory from 1754 to 1763 and esteemed as the greatest artist working in porcelain in the eighteenth century. The master of the rococo style, he drew his strongest inspiration from the theatre, and figures deriving from the Italian comedy are his masterpieces.
Butler's Tray - (Furniture) A standing tray, often of the X-shaped folding type, 'a sideboard for the butler' made for most of the eighteenth century. A gallery round the top is quite common and some are oval in shape.
Buzz-Star - (Glass, Cut) Similar to the hobstar motif, and often just as attractive, the pinwheel requires fewer and less precise cuts. It became more popular late in the Brilliant Period probably as a cost-cutting measure for the cutting houses. (Also Called, Pinwheel and Buzz-Saw)