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|Glossary of Antique terms A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z
|Kabistan Rugs - (Floor Covering) Caucasian, of fine weave, making use of the Ghiordiz knot; the wool pile is soft and silky. Designs are usually geometrical, cones, stars, the basic colors being blue and red supported by green, brown and ivory.
Kakiemon - (Ceramics, Porcelain, Japan) A style of decoration that derives from Japanese porcelain-vigorous designs of animals and flowers in bright colors with that asymmetry particular to Japanese art. The Japanese wares were first imported into Europe from the East by the Dutch in the seventeenth century. The style was much copied by the early European porcelain factories, including such English factories as Chelsea and Worcester. The name comes from a Japanese family of potters who worked at Arita.
Kaku Mark – (Ceramics, Japanese) Square Type Mark
Kaendler, Johann Joachim - (Ceramics, Porcelain, Germany) (1706-75) Porcelain modeler, the foremost such craftsman in the history of European ceramics, appointed chief modeler of the Meissen porcelain factory in 1731, which position he held until his death in 1775. Kaendler may be said to have invented the porcelain 'figure' as far as the West is concerned.
Kanji Characters – (Japanese) The kanji characters that the Japanese use amount to about 3-4,000 kanji characters in everyday writing but there may be over 20-30,000 kanji characters in all (nobody really knows for sure). In addition, some of the kanji are archaic and out of use - others are just used in certain circumstances (like poetry). The majority of kanji characters have more than one meaning - in fact, most have several. Translating a calligraphy scroll is an extremely inexact science and there is much "educated" or not so educated guesswork that goes into it - making it an area of endeavor in itself. Add to this that the calligrapher/poet is playing on these double meanings to satisfy his motives (purposely cryptic, poetry, originality etc)
Kaolin - (Ceramics, Porcelain, Material) China clay. See Porcelain.
Karabagh Runner - (Floor Covering) A Karabagh runner is a long narrow rug from South Caucasus, with an overall Persian herati design and narrow band borders.
Karaja Rugs - (Floor Covering) Persian, of coarse weave and using the Ghiordiz knot, the wool pile being long and lustrous. Blue and red are the basic colours, supported by brown, yellow and white, the favoured decoration being close floral patterns.
Kashan Rugs - (Floor Covering) Persian, of very fine weave, Senna knot, thick, short wool pile. Curved medallions are the usual main design, the floral borders being in red, brown and dark blue with supporting colors. Design of Kashans is particularly graceful; silk examples are to be found. Durability is notable.
Kauffman, Angelica - (Furniture, Decoration) (1741-1807) Swiss painter of Chur and decorative artist who came to London from Venice in 1766. In 1769 she was elected a member of the Royal Academy. She was employed by the brothers Adam to supply decorative paintings, and many painted medallions on contemporary furniture are copied from engravings after her work. She left England in 1782.
Kazak Rugs - (Floor Covering) Caucasian, of coarse weave, Ghiordiz knot, coarse wool pile. Characteristic are the brilliant colours-red, green and yellow supported by blue, brown and white-and large bold patterns of many varieties. The border may have from three to five stripes. Very durable and strong.
Kent, William - (Painter, Architect, Furniture, Designer, Landscape, England) (1686-1748) William Kent was probably the first English specialist in interior decoration. As a young man he went to Italy to study painting, returning to England in 1719. His first big opportunity came in the early 1720's when he did paintings and decorative work at Kensington Palace. He held a unique position in English art and architecture for the first twenty years of George II's reign. Some examples of his furniture are included in Vardy's Designs of Inigo Jones and Kent (1744).
Kelsterbach - (Ceramics, Porcelain, Germany) German hard-paste porcelain factory founded in 1761 with the aid of C. D. Busch who had been at Meissen. Wares of quality were produced until 1768, at which date the factory seems to have ceased production. But in 1789 new staff took over and produced inferior wares until 1802. 'HD', sometimes crowned, is the occasionally encountered mark. Wm. B. Kerr & Co. - (Silversmith, Goldsmith, American) Originally Kerr & Thiery The Wm. B. Kerr & Co. was established by William B. Kerr in Newark, New Jersey in 1855. They used the trademark of a Medieval Axe from 1855 until 1892. In 1892, they started using a fleur-de-lis trademark this mark was used until the company was purchased by the Gorham Corporation in 1906. It was then moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1927. They made flatware, hollowware, jewelry, cigarette cases, women’s bags, vanity, and dresser ware.
Keshir Rugs - (Floor Covering) A country type of rug from Kir-Shehr, patterned with flowers and geometric forms in red and green and other supporting colours, the light green being predominant and characteristic. Wide borders have a yellow stripe usually. Coarse weft and only thirty to ninety knots to square inch.
Key Bed - (Musical Instruments, Piano) The wooden panel that supports both the action and the keyboard. On older and some costly modern pianos, this is made from solid hardwood. On less expensive pianos made today, this made from particleboard.
Keys - (Musical Instruments, Piano) Older pianos have ebony wood for the minor keys and ivory major keys. If you want ivory keys rather than plastic, you must buy an older (pre-WWII). Ivory can have a tendency to discolor unevenly, but the feel is unsurpassed and serious consideration should be made before replacing original ivory keys with plastic.
Khorossan Carpet - (Floor Covering) Northeast Persia, first half 20th century, with an overall herati design on a midnight blue field, within polychrome narrow band borders, 16 feet x 14 feet.
Kick - (Glass, Bottle) The cone, as found in most modern wine bottles, drawn up inside many old glass vessels.
Kidderminster Rugs - (Floor Covering) Kidderminster was probably the first rug-making centre in England, a factory being founded as early as 1735; by c. 1750 the first loom for making Brussels carpets was set up and the industry grew to become very prosperous.
Kidney Table - (Furniture) Table with top shaped like a kidney; late eighteenth century.
Kingwood - (Wood) Brazilian wood of a rich violet-brown shading into black and showing distinct streaky markings, not unlike Rosewood. It was much used in parquetry and veneer in the late years of the seventeenth century, and again for cross-banding in the second half of the eighteenth century. Also known as Princewood-an earlier term.
Kirikane - (Japanese Lacquer) "Cut Foil". Cut pieces of gold or silver leaf that are sprinkled or set into a design or ground.
Kirman Rugs - (Floor Covering) Persian, closely woven, Senna knot, short wool pile; colors are soft-white, pink, grey-and floral and bird patterns are typical.
Kloster-Veilsdorf - (Ceramics, Porcelain, Germany) This German (Thuringian) hard-paste porcelain factory founded in 1760. A monogrammatic 'cv' in various forms is the mark.
Koka Ryokuyo - (Japanese Lacquer) "Red flowers green leaves". Carved lacquer in which layers of green lacquer are applied over layers of red lacquer. By varying the depth of the carving, the artist incorporates both red and green into the design.
K’Ossu - (Textile, Chinese, Tapestry) A K’Ossu is a woven Chinese textile that can be made into a tapestry panel or robes.
Knapp Dowel Joints - (Furniture) Handmade dovetail joints slowed the process of making furniture down considerably and most cabinetmakers had trouble keeping up with the demand for furniture. In the age of technology many inventors were hard at work on the problem. In the 1860s and most concentrated on trying to duplicate the hand made dovetail using a machine. Mr. Charles B. Knapp of Waterloo, Wisconsin did some creative thinking and solved the problem not by duplicating the dovetail joint but by inventing another type of joint entirely. The Knapp Joint was as strong as the dovetail and could be made by machinery. The joint he came up with has several colloquial names - scallop and dowel, pin and scallop, half moon - and all described the new joint which looks like a peg in a half circle on the side of a drawer. Charles B. Knapp patented his first joint making machine in 1867. In 1870, he sold the rights to an improved version of the patented machine to a group of investors who formed the Knapp Dovetailing Company in Northampton, Massachusetts. Finding this type of joint on a drawer makes it very easy to date the piece of furniture. The Knapp Joint was in use from 1870 until 1900. The Colonial Revival, the fact that the machines were hard to maintain and the invention of a machine that could duplicate dovetail joint made the Knapp Joint obsolete by 1900.
Knee - (Furniture) The broad upper part of a cabriole leg.
Knee-hole - (Furniture) Writing tables, desks and dressing tables with recessed centers to accommodate the knees of the sitter date from the early eighteenth century. By the second half of the eighteenth century the Library table with matching pedestals containing drawers at each end had evolved from the Knee-hole table into the Knee-hole desk.
Knibbs, The - (Clocks, England) A family of English clock-makers. The earliest of whom records exist was Samuel Knibb of Claydon, Oxon., who worked in London from 1663 to about 1670. His cousin, Joseph Knibb, also of Claydon, was one of the greatest English clock-makers. He came to London c. 1670 and worked there till 1697; he introduced 'Roman striking' in England, also (perhaps) night clocks. His brother, John, was another gifted clock-maker; worked at Oxford but continued to collaborate with Joseph when the latter came to London. Peter and Edward were younger members of this clock-wise family.
Knife Box or Case - (Household Accessories) A case with its interior divided into small compartments in which knives and forks and spoons were inserted, the knives and forks handles upwards, the spoons bowls upwards. The sloping top and serpentine front are usual till the second half of the eighteenth century when a new type was introduced. This new type was of vase form and the partitions were arranged round a central tube or stem to which the lid or cover was attached. The lid could be kept up, when required, by means of a spring. These 'knife-vases' were often made in pairs.
Knop - (Glass) Archaic for knob, a disc, bulge or swelling, the usage being mainly confined to such decoration on glass stems. The principal types are as follows (only the first few are described; the remainder are self-explanatory). Annulated, flattened, with similar, progressively smaller, matching knops above and below it; bladed, flattened and sharp-edged; bullet, small, globular; cushion, largish, spherical but flattened at top and bottom; cusped, with an often irregular edge where fluting or facet-cutting from above and below meet at the widest point of the knop; drop, inverted cone; merese (or collar), flat, like a button; quatrefoil, with four wings or lobes, pinched into shape. The others: acorn (which may be inverted), angular, ball, beaded, bobbin, button, compressed ball, cone, cylinder, dumb-bell, egg, melon, mushroom, triple ring (the simplest form of the annulated), urn-shaped. There are many, many combinations of the knopped stem. Of interest is the knop with a coin enclosed; examples have been found with coins dating from the late seventeenth century, but the coin is all too likely to be older than the glass.
Knulling - (Furniture, Decoration) See Gadrooning.
Kogo - (Household Accessories, Japanese) Kogo is the Japanese name for incense box.
Konieh Rugs - (Floor Covering) From the Whirling Dervish city of Konieh, ancient Iconium, with many geometric and floral designs in rich colours, notably red and blue; coarse weave.
Ko Ware - (Ceramics, Stoneware, Chineese) Stoneware of the Sung dynasty comprising a dark body and variously shaded grey glaze with a fine-meshed crackle. Similar to Kuan Ware
KPM - (Ceramics, Porcelain, German) Royal Porcelain Manufactory (Konigliche Porzellan Manufaktur) 1763 - 1919 and States Porcelain Manufactory (Staatliche Porzellan Manufaktur) Owned by the Prussian King Fredrick the Great. Their work rivaled the Meissen Factory. After 1919, the factory became the property of Berlin. In 1943, the factory was destroyed in the war by an air raid, but production continued in Selb and the factory was rebuilt after the war. Known for producing dolls heads, collector and gift articles, decorative, household, plaques, metals, pipe bowls, technical & laboratory porcelain
Krater - (Pottery, Silver Hollowware) A Krater is a Greek, vase-shaped vessel with two handles.
Kroehler Furniture Company - (Furniture Manufacture) The Kroehler Furniture Company was founded in Naperville, Illinois in 1922. The started by Peter Kroehler (1872-1950) who had been hired by a Naperville group to help run a small furniture business called the Naperville Lounge Co. Peter kept the books, called on customers, and delivered products to the railroad station. By the time It became the Kroehler Co., he had developed and sold hand-tufted "Turkish Couches" (6 for $25); invented and patented davenport bed fixtures with hidden mattress and springs – one of the earliest forms of dual-purpose furniture. Some other innovations of Peter Kroehler were a piecemeal system giving employees the opportunity to earn more money while controlling costs. Kroehler also introduced national advertising and premium tie-ins (sofas and triple plated teapots). Organizer and first president of the National Association of Furniture Manufacturers, he also organized the American Furniture Man and Furniture Club of America. Delmar L. Kroehler (1902 - 1982) a brother of Peter became president in 1951 and retired in 1967. He helped Kroehler, the world's largest manufacturer to expand into 14 manufacturing plants in the US and Canada. In 1965, Kroehler became the first manufacturer in history to achieve annual sales of more than 100 million dollars per year. Now a Canadian manufacturer of fabric and leather sofas, loveseats, and occasional chairs.
Ku - (Bronze, Chinese) Ancient, slender, bronze wine vessel greatly esteemed for its proportions; not unlike an upturned trumpet, it has a base about half the diameter of the mouth, a slender knop and a wide, flaring mouth. The design was copied by Chinese makers of porcelain in the late Ming and early Ch'ing periods.
Kuan Ware - (Ceramics, Stoneware, Chinese) Stoneware of the Sung dynasty comprising a dark grey body and thick greyish-green or greyish-blue glaze which usually has an irregular crackle. Made early in the twelfth century at K'ai-feng-fu and then at Hang-chou. Very rare and much esteemed.
Kuba - (Tribe, Africa) When one speaks of the Kuba people you refer to a nation of subtribes most notably the Bushong, Pyaang, Kele, Batwa and Ngeende. The Kuba’s neighbors, the Luba gave them their name which means “people of lightning.” Kuba history is a violent one with resisting hostile invaders, instigating territorial takeovers, quieting social unrest and actively participating in the European slave trade. This war like disposition of the Kuba was epitomized by one of their kings…”You have seen me kill many men..if I should neglect this indispensable duty, would my ancestors suffer me to live?” After the abolition of slavery they continued to expand their military forces. In the 18th century a army of female solders known as ‘ahosi’, ‘the kings wives’ was put to task. Europeans referred to them as ‘Amazons.’ By the 19th century the Amazons formed the elite of the army. The Kuba with a seemingly unabated proclivity for war devised a series of sabers, swords, clubs, axes and knives that were unparalleled by any other African nation. They functioned primarily as offensive weapons of attack, secondarily as highly decorated ceremonial paraphernalia and ensuing as objects of great personal pride that indicated social position. The mere shape of the blade would convey the bearers distinctive status. The knives, fitted with strong metal blades and wooden hilts often carried mythological symbolism within their design. The fine selection that we offer was crafted in a style known as “ikul”, one reserved exclusively for the Bushong, the ruling class of the Kuba. The blade is bulbous and secure. The hilt, smooth and patinated.
Kuei - (Bronze, Chinese) Ancient bronze bowl, deep, low, often with convex sides and usually with two handles.
Kulah Rugs - (Floor Covering) Turkish rug noted for its fine floral borders; mostly prayer rugs; coarse.
Kurdish Rugs - (Floor Covering) Rather vague term for colourful rugs made by nomadic tribesmen of Kurdistan.
Kusu – (African Tribe Congo) Kusu history is shared with the Nkutshu and Tetela, all of whom came from the northwest of their current location and share a Mongo-Kundu origin. Their first movement was southward, then they moved back north through Luba, Songye, and Hemba territory, acquiring social customs and learning artistic styles along the way. Once arrived in their new location they split into two major factions divided into north and south, they then further divided into smaller groups, which remain largely separated and independent to this day due to their geographic isolation. The groups in the south have been more influenced by the Songye and the Luba, which is evident in their sculpture styles. Types of Art they are know for - Much of Kusu sculpture is comparable to their neighbors, from the Lubaized chief's stools and Songye-like power figures, to the Hemba-influenced ancestor figures. Women also make pottery and baskestry, which is used in everyday life. Neighboring people Songye, Hemba, Kuba, Tetela, Luba
Kutani Porcelain - (Porcelain Japanese) Porcelain made at this Japanese factory since the mid-seventeenth century; 'Old Kutani' is a brilliantly colored porcelain done in Prussian blue, green, yellow and purple, and was made until Circa 1750. Kutani wears were revived at the Yoshidaya Kiln in 1827 and were continued by other kilns and are still being made today.
Kyoto - (Ceramics, Pottery, Porcelain, Japan) Japanese ceramics-making centre in Yamashiro Province. Pottery made until the eighteenth century, then both pottery and porcelain; the best of the latter was made in imitation of Sung celadons.