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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
|Nailsea Glass - (Glass, England) Glass-house founded 1788 by John R. Lucas at Nailsea, near Bristol. Several types of glass made: at first bottle-glass of brownish-green tint with flecking or mottling and white enamel decoration, and a light green bottle-glass with crackling or white enamel decoration; then, from c. 1815, opaque colored glass with looped and mottled or flecked decoration, also white and colored latticino in pale green and clear flint glass; from 1845 translucent colored flint glass. Nailsea produced what is probably the most flamboyant glass eve: made in England; the combinations of colors would tax a mathematician; the number and variety of `friggers' produced must have been phenomenal. Colorful to the last, the Nailsea Glass-house closed in 1873, £30,000 in the red.
Nantgarw - (Ceramics, Porcelain, England) This porcelain factory founded in 1813 by William Billingsley who had been at Derby. Billingsley produced porcelain of exceptional translucency, almost like glass. But kiln wastage was so high, sometimes 90 per cent, that the enterprise was bound to fail, .and in 1814 the factory was transferred to Swansea. Billingsley returned to Nantgarw (1817-20) but was unable to evolve a commercially successful formula. Inevitably Nantgarw porcelain is very scarce. The soft, S6vres-like paste is highly esteemed by collectors. Some of the wares produced were decorated at Nantgarw but most were sent to London for that purpose. The usual mark is `NANT GARW' in rough capitals with `c.w.' smaller underneath (probably standing for `China Works').
Nappy - (Ceramics, Pottery, Porcelain, Dinnerware, Glass) In dinnerware a nappy is a round vegetable dish. A glassware nappy, however, is any round or square dish from fruit size up, used for various serving purposes, with one handle.
Nashiji - (Japanese Lacquer) Aventurine. Decoration in which relatively large and irregular flakes of metal are uniformly scattered over wet lacquer. Additional layers of translucent lacquer, often tinted yellow, are applied over the flakes and lightly polished. The polishing is not enough to expose the flakes and not enough to expose the flakes and the surface texture is often uneven.
Neale, James - (Ceramics, Pottery, England) Pottery manufacturer active at Hanley, 1776-1800, who worked with various partners and traded as Neale & Palmer, Neale & Co., Neale & Wilson; made cream-colored wares but the best-known products are those in imitation of Wedgwood, jasper, basalts, etc.; this firm's Toby jugs are notable.
Nef - (Silver, Tableware) Table ornament in the form of a ship.
Neo-classic or Neoclassical - (Style) Of the eighteenth-century classical revival. Circa 1755 – 1805.
Neo-classicism - (Period) A German Period that lasted from 1760-1800.
Nest of Drawers - (Furniture) The case of small drawers, or diminutive chest of drawers, the name was common in the eighteenth century.
Nest of Tables - (Furniture) Graduated tables made to fit one below the other were first made towards the end of the eighteenth century. Four was the normal number and for this reason they were called `Quartetto' tables.
Netsuke - (Ornament, Ivory, Bone, Wood, Japan) (Japanese, pronounced `netsky', from ne-a root, and tsuke-to fasten) A toggle with holes used to secure the cord on which a man carried his personal belongings. Very old, but as works of art date from late sixteenth to late nineteenth centuries. Tiny, of wood, ivory, bone, horn, amber, often exquisitely carved and fashioned into fantastic human, animal or mythological figures. If made of two materials, then probably of late date.
Nevers - (Ceramics, Pottery, France) Important French centre for the manufacture of faience from the late sixteenth century, the craft having been brought to the district by Italian potters. Several factories flourished in the seventeenth century and for much of the eighteenth and the wares produced are among the best ever made in France. The Chinese influence, not only in decoration but also in shapes, was strong in the last quarter of the seventeenth century.
New Hall - (Ceramics, Porcelain, England) The factory founded about 1781 by a group of Staffordshire potters who manufactured hard-paste porcelain to the formula that Richard Champion had used at Bristol and which he had got from Cookworthy. From about 1810 onwards bone-china was made. New Hall porcelain is not so esteemed as Plymouth and Bristol. Early wares are often decorated in the Chinese manner; elaborate painting and gilding is typical. The letter `x' accompanied by a number was the usual porcelain mark; the name `New Hall' encircled was applied to bone-china.
Ngeende – (African Tribe) The Ngeende are said to be descendents of Woot, through one of his nine sons, Ishweemy. The Ngeende came from North of the Sankuru river, were conquered by the second Bushoong king, Mbong a Leen, and by 1500 were part of the Kuba kingdom. The Ngeende, along with all of the Kube tribes, are subject to the Bushoong, from whom the Kuba kings are descended. Before 1905, every Ngeende village had a chief, who reported to a noble representative at the Bushoong court. In modern times, however, there are only five Ngeende chiefs. The chiefs have some power over the use of the land, but all political decisions are made by the Bushoong court. The Ngeende are almost as prolific as the Bushoong, and many carvings attributed to the Bushoong have actually been carved by the Ngeende. Masks play an important role in retelling the story of the ancestor, Woot. The Ngeende have nine major masks that form part of the story. Among these the following are most important. Bongo, a variation of the Bushoong Mboom, represents the spirits of the pygmies. Mukenge, a variation of the Bushoong Moshambwooy mask , is the symbol of Woot, the founding ancestor of the tribe. It has a large, trunk-like protrusion ending in a bunch of feathers, and is decorated with beads and shells. A similar mask, shala-mashompoji, that does not have the protrusion, is used in the burial ceremonies of notables and chiefs. The fourth mask, ishendemala, is used as part of the initiation ceremony. When this mask includes horns it is known as ishende-mala-dia-masheke. Many of the objects found among other tribes of the Kuba kingdom are present, often represented in a more stylised, less decorative style.
Niderviller - (Ceramics, Pottery, Porcelain, France) French ceramics factory founded about 1754 for the production of faience. Porcelain seems to have been made here from about 1765, though very little, if any, survives from that date. The factory changed hands in 1771 and several times thereafter but it is still in existence. Figures of excellent quality are the most esteemed product of Niderviller.
Nien Hao - (Mark, Chinese) Reign mark.
Night Clock - (Clock) Clock which usually has a pierced dial so that a light placed behind it will enable the time to be seen in the dark.
Night Table - (Furniture) The successor to the close-stool. The night table dates from the middle of the eighteenth century, is nearly always on legs, is sometimes combined with a washing stand, frequently has additional drawers and a tray-shaped top and may have a tambour front. Some are like a small chest of drawers.
Nippon - (Ceramics, Japan) (Time Period 1865 - 1921) The word "Nippon" used in the back stamp of famous Asian china, simply means "Japan." Nippon china was produced for export to the United States beginning in 1865, when the country ended its long period of commercial isolation, and ending in 1921, when the United States enforced the McKinley Tariff act which prohibited the import of items which were not "plainly marked, stamped, branded or labeled in legible English words." Nippon was considered the Japanese word for the country of origin, "Japan" being the English equivalent, the period of the Nippon china mark ended. While Japan had a long period of porcelain manufacturing, dating back centuries with its close ties to China, Nippon porcelain was produced strictly for Western consumers. Early in its porcelain trade, the Japanese government commissioned a number of foreign experts to come to Japan to train people in the production of European styles. They were highly successful in these attempts at imitation, and much of the Nippon China that was produced bears a strong resemblance to such European porcelain products. Much of the antique Nippon china available has been hand-painted with ornate decorations that, ironically, the Japanese of the era considered excessive and distasteful. During the Meiji period (1868-1912) much of the Nippon porcelain pieces were decorated with gold. Much of this decoration was not very durable and wore away over the years, so it is common today to find Nippon china pieces with the gold rubbed off. Dozens of Nippon china marks were used during this period, representing the work of many different porcelain manufacturers working in Japan at the time. Today, Nippon porcelain is among the most highly collected and sought after of all antique china.
Nock, Henry - (Weapon, Gunsmith) London gunsmith of the eighteenth century. In 1787 he invented a breech plug, `Nock's Patent Breech', the feature of which was that a thin gold or platinum touch-hole instantly communicated the flash to an antechamber within. (Thus a flintlock with this patent breech cannot be older than 1787.)
Non(e)such - (Furniture) The term is applied to a chest with an inlaid decorative design of architectural representations. These chests were made during the latter half of the sixteenth century, on the Continent and in Germany particularly. The name comes from the palace of Nonsuch at Cheam built by Henry VIII.
Non-Flint Glass - Glass without lead oxide.
Norman, Samuel - (Fruniture, Maker) Cabinet-maker and carver who did work for Woburn Abbey in the 1750's. He redecorated the picture gallery and the principal drawing-room and supplied furniture including a `Grand State Bed'.
Northwood Glass Company - (Glass, United States) Northwood glass in the USA was made at the glass factories of Harry Northwood, son of a famous English glass designer. Harry Northwood made many types and designs in glass, but is probably best known for his brilliant carnival glass, produced from 1908 to 1925, like the "grape and cable" plate shown above left, probably, to quote Dave Doty, the most successful of all carnival glass patterns.Carnival glass was only one of the highly successful Northwood products. In the 1890's his factories started to make blown glass in opalescent blue, opalescent lemon, "rubina" (red at the top, clear below), ivory (beautiful pale type of custard glass), enamel decorated, etched, "spatter" glass, and many others. Later he introduced a major series of pressed glass patterns where the design was picked out in red or gold enamel. Northwood is also the dominant name associated with Goofus glass, where clear pressed glass has red, green and gold or silver enamel covering the entire back of the patterned item. Born in 1860, Harry Northwood trained in England and emigrated to the USA with his cousin, Thomas Dugan, in 1881. After working at the Hobbs, Brockunier glassworks and other famous glass houses, Harry opened his first glass factory in 1887, the Northwood Glass Company, in Martin's Ferry, Ohio. The firm moved to Ellwood, Pennsylvania in 1892, and went through a few difficult years until 1896 when Harry Northwood gave up and moved to Indiana Pa, to establish The Northwood Company in the glassworks of the former Indiana Glass Company. The Northwood Company did very well for a few years, and was then sold to the huge National Glass Company in 1899. Part if this deal was that Harry Northwood would stay out of glass manufacturing for three years, in return for a salary as their sales agent in Longon. The National Glass Company had a difficult time of operating their 19 different glass factories from a centralized Head Office. In 1902 they released Harry Northwood from his contract and its constraints, and he bought the old Hobbs Brockunier glassworks (closed since 1894) from them. This purchase was funded in part by a mortgage from the National Glass Company themselves, and in part by the Wheeling Board of Trade, who were so keen to encourage Harry Northwood to set up in their town that they raised a quarter of the purchase price of the glassworks for the new H. Northwood Company. This new factory was a great success, starting with lemonade sets in opalescent poinsettia pattern in 1902 and continuing to make glassware until 1925, six years after Harry Northwood himself had died. During those 23 years they picked up and revived designs and colors from the earlier Northwood factories, and introduced a series of beautiful and highly successful new lines. No history of Northwood Glass would be complete without mention of Carl Northwood, Harry's brother, who worked by his side from the time he emigrated to the USA in 1892 until he died in 1918, just a year before Harry himself died. Carl was a very creative glass decorator, he took charge of the decorating department at the Wheeling plant, and also played a major role in sales. When the two brothers died within such a short space of time, the company was re-organized but survived for only a few years.
Nottingham - (Ceramics, Pottery, England) From c. 1690 to 1800 Nottingham was an important pottery centre, being famous for its brown salt-glazed stoneware. The glaze has a strange metallic gleam to it. Decoration is usually incised. Owl and bear jugs (the detachable heads are cups) were a specialty.
Nove - (Ceramics, Pottery, Italy) A maiolica factory had been in existence at Nove, Venice, for many years before attempts were made to manufacture soft-paste porcelain about 1752. Porcelain was produced here until about 1835. A star, sometimes with the word `Nove', is the usual mark.
Nulling - (Furniture, Decoration) See Gadrooning.
Nuremberg Egg - (Clock, Watch) Early German watches are so called; the term is a complete misnomer.
Nuremberg Faience - (Ceramics, Pottery, Germany) Nuremberg, Bavaria, was an important centre for the manufacture of faience from the sixteenth century. Superbly decorated jugs of the seventeenth century are particularly esteemed. Nuremberg was celebrated for its hausmalerei, which was painting done by private decorators working at home.
Nymphenburg - (Ceramics, Porcelain, Germany) This hard-paste porcelain factory founded in 1753, with J. J. Ringler from Vienna as arcanist. Situated first at Neudeck, the factory was transferred to premises in the grounds of Nymphenburg Palace in 1761. Under the patronage of Prince Max III Joseph of Bavaria and, more actively, Count Sigismund von Haimhausen, and with the services of one of the greatest European modellers, Franz Anton Bustelli, the factory flourished until about 1770 and then went into a slow decline, passed to the State, was leased to a private company in 1862 and continues in production. Nymphenburg's great reputation is due to the figures of Bustelli, chief modeller from 1754 to 1763. He was the master of the rococo in terms of porcelain, or at least the Bavarian expression of it. The most common Nymphenburg mark is the shield.
Nyon - (Ceramics, Porcelain, Switzerland) Swiss porcelain factory near Geneva that produced hard-paste porcelain from 1781 till 1813. The mark is a fish in underglaze blue