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|Ukiyo-e - (Art, Japan, Prints, Woodblock) Ukiyo-e means "pictures of the floating world", and it is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints produced between the 17th and the 20th century, featuring motifs of landscapes, the theater and pleasure quarters.
Ukiyo, meaning "floating world", refers to the culture that bloomed in the urban centers of Edo (modern-day Tokyo), Osaka, and Kyoto that were a world unto themselves. The art form rose to great popularity in the metropolitan culture of Edo (Tokyo) during the second half of the 17th century, this form of woodblock printing originated with the single-color works of Hishikawa Moronobu in the 1670s. At first, only India ink was used, then some prints were manually colored with a brush, but in the 18th century, Suzuki Harunobu developed the technique of polychrome printing to produce nishiki-e.
Ukiyo-e were affordable because they could be mass-produced. They were meant for mainly townsmen, who were generally not wealthy enough to afford an original painting. The original subject of ukiyo-e was city life, in particular activities and scenes from the entertainment district. Beautiful courtesans, bulky sumo wrestlers and popular actors would be portrayed while engaged in appealing activities. Later on landscapes also became popular. Political subjects, and individuals above the lowest strata of society (courtesans, wrestlers and actors) were not sanctioned in these prints and very rarely appeared. Sex was not a sanctioned subject either, but continually appeared in ukiyo-e prints. Artists and publishers were sometimes punished for creating these sexually explicit shunga.
Unaker - (Ceramics, Clay, United States) China clay from America. `The material is an earth, the produce of the Cherokee nation in America, called by the natives, Unaker' (The Heylyn and Frye patent of 1744). This clay may have been used at Bow; Cookworthy knew about it, as did Champion; samples were tested at Worcester.
Unattributed – (Term) Not attributed to a source, creator, or possessor.
Underglaze - (Ceramics, Decoration) Decoration applied to pottery and porcelain in its biscuit state before the application of the glaze.
United Furniture Corporation - (Furniture, Manufacturer, American) The manufacturer, United Furniture Corporation of Lexington North Carolina made mostly bedroom furniture. Their primary era of production was the Depression era, 1920s, and 1930s, but there are references to the company up until 1960.
Upholder - (Furniture, Textiles) The old name for an upholsterer.
Upholstery - (Furniture, Leather, Textiles) Textile or leather covering, padded and/or sprung, for furniture. Upholstery was in early times confined to beds, hangings and cushions. But by the sixteenth century upholstered furniture was coming in to its own with the use of such materials as hide, ornamental leather, velvet, satin, tapestry and needlework. Fringed upholstery was a feature of the Jacobean and Carolean periods when padded seats first came into general use.
Urn - (Ceramics, Glass, Decoration) Classically-shaped vase, two-handled and with domed cover. The urn was used as a decorative finial on furniture in the eighteenth century.
Urn Stand - (Furniture) A small table to take the tea kettle or urn sometimes with an accompanying small slide on which to place the teapot, made in the eighteenth century.
Useful Wares - (Ceramics, Term) Term often used of ceramic wares to indicate that they were made for use rather than for ornament.
US Zone - (Mark Germany) see Made in US Zone