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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
|Rabbet or Rabbeted Joint - (Furniture, Joinery) A recessed groove is made in a member or piece of wood then the edge end of another member can be inserted to join it. The Tongue-and-Groove Joint and the Dado Joint are common types of Rabbeted Joints. Rabbet Joints are also called Rebate Joint.
Rabbit - (Oriental Symbolism) The rabbit is a symbol of fertility.
Rack and Snail Striking - (Clocks) Horological term for the system of striking the hours and the quarters invented by Edward Barlow in 1676 and first used by Tompion. It was this system of striking that made repeating clocks possible. One advantage is that the hour hand can be moved round without pausing at every revolution to allow the striking sequence to strike as the `snail' (a cam-shaped disc) moves with the hour wheel.
Rail - (Furniture) Constructional member in a horizontal position. The top piece on the back of a chair.
Ratafia Glass - (Glass) Name given to a cordial glass of flute form popular in the second half of the eighteenth century. Ratafia was a brandy flavoured with fruit cordials.
Ravenscroft, George - (Glass, Maker, England) (1618-81) English glass-maker, made flint glass 1674; improved on it with his `glass of lead' 1675.
Rebate Joint - (Furniture, Joinery) See Rabbet Joint.
Redware - (Pottery, England, America, Material) Redware is any pottery made from a reddish stoneware clay. In England by made by the Elers, Astbury, and other Staffordshire potters from the late seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth. Wedgwood called his improved red ware Rosso Antico. In America the potters that settled in the Shenandoah Valley in the mid-1700s found large supplies of rich red clay and started producing utilitarian pieces which eventually evolved into a large pottery producing area this boom lasted until the early 1900s.
Reeding - (Furniture) Ornament comprising a group of two or more beads in parallel lines.
Refectory Table - (Furniture) Term for a long table such as might have been used in the refectory of monasteries but applied to long oak tables from the halls of domestic buildings.
Reform Flasks - (Ceramic, Stoneware, Bottle) Salt-glazed stoneware flasks made in the form of political figures at the time of the Reform Bill (1832)
Régence - (France, Period) The era of the French Régence (1715 - 1723) covers the minority of Louis XV, when France was governed by the regent, the child-king's uncle, Philippe d'Orléans.The Régence marks the temporary eclipse of Versailles as center of policymaking, since the Regent's court was at the Palais Royal in Paris. It marks the rise of Parisian salons as cultural centers, as literary meeting places and nuclei of discreet liberal resistance to some official policies. In the Paris salons aristocrats mingled more easily with the haute-bourgeoisie in a new atmosphere of relaxed decorum, comfort and intimacy. French period of the Regency of the Duke of Orleans, 1715-23, a period of transition, stylistically speaking, from Louis XIV to Louis XV, from the baroque to the rococo.
Regency - (Period) Strictly, the period 1811-20; but an extension has been allowed and the period 1800-37 is generally understood and accepted.
Regout, Petrus Laurentius - (Glass, Ceramics, Manufacturer, Holland) Petrus Laurentius Regout (1801-1878) worked in the glass and earthenware shop of his mother 1814-1834, He became the director of the crystal and earthenware factory Sphinx after the death of his mother in 1834, he remained the director until 1870, he continued to keep a hand in the business until his death in 1878.
Regulator - (Clocks) A precision, long-case clock, usually made for scientific purposes.
Renaissance Revival - (Furniture) European and American furniture from the 19th Century. Revival of designs that were copied from the 15th through the 17th century European Renaissance.
Rent Table - (Furniture) Circular or polygonal-topped table with drawers in the frieze. First made in the middle of the eighteenth century and popular well into the nineteenth. Somtimes they rotated. Also called Drum or Capstan table.
Repeater - (Clock) Clock or watch with a 'pull-repeating' mechanism by means of which the hours and quarters can be struck at will by pulling a cord.
Repoussé - (Metal) A relief decoration hammered into metal on the reverse side. (Decoration) The method for creating a repoussé design. Repousse has been used in decorating metal since the sixth Century B.C. Introduced to the United States by Samuel Kirk in 1828.
Reredo - (Hearth Accessories) See Fire-back.
Resist - (Ceramics, Deorcation) Overglaze ceramic decoration making use of silver or other metallic lustre, the pattern being painted upon the glaze with a substance that `resists' the pigment then applied. See Lustre.
Retro – (Term) A fashion, decor, design, or style reminiscent of things past. A term that is used to describe items from the 1960s and 1970s.
Reticulated - (Glass, Ceramics) Reticulated means having a pierced open work decoration.
Reverse Ogee Molding - (Furniture) A molding consisting of a double curve, convex below and concave above. Also called Cyma Reversa.
Revere, Paul - (Silver, Maker) (1735-1818) Born in Boston, U.S.A., son of a French silversmith who had emigrated to America. The third of twelve children, Paul took over his father's business on the latter's death in 1754 and became the greatest American silversmith of his day. (Earned a different reputation for the part he played in the Boston Tea Party and by the famous ride celebrated by Longfellow.)
Rice Grain Decoration - (Porcelain, Chinese) 18th Century style of decoration still popular today. Openings the sizes of a piece of rice are cut through the body. The holes are then filled with glaze.
Rice Wine Ewer - (Chinese, Japanese) Hollow base with swing handle that holds hot water, that holds a cylindrical form ewer with spout and handle that lifts out for pouring. The lid for the rice wine ewer usually has a swing handle in a recessed molded receptacle.
Ridgway - (Ceramics, Pottery, Porcelain, England) Staffordshire family-the brothers Job and George, and Job's two sons John and William-who made much pottery and porcelain, particularly at the Cauldron Place Works, Shelton, and the Bell Bank Works, Hanley, from the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Riesener, Jean Henri - (Furniture, Maker) (1734-1806): One of the greatest of French cabinet-makers; worked in Oeben's workshop, of which he took over the management on Oeben's death and subsequently married the widow; probably made more furniture for the Crown than any other maker. He was much more successful financially than Oeben. Marquetry was his speciality, but he made every type of furniture then in vogue.
Rifling - (Weapon) Arquebuses were produced with grooved bores as early as 1460; rifled weapons of high quality were being made throughout Europe by 1525, thus doubling range and accuracy.
Rim - (Musical Instruments, Piano) The Case sides of a Grand Piano are the Rim, or exterior wooden sides of the piano.
Ring & Block Turning - (Furniture) Turned member banded by a series of parallel groves and an squared unturned area.
Rocaille - (Art, Furniture) Rocaille is a French form of decoration based on small rock and shell shapes, Artificial rockwork made of rough stones and cement, as for gardens. The term Rococo is a system of scroll ornament, based in part on the forms of shells and water-worn rocks.
Rockingham - (Ceramics, Pottery, Porcelain, England) Pottery was made at the Rockingham Works, Swinton, Yorkshire, from the mid-1740's, the names of Edward Butler, William Malpas, Thomas Bingley and others being associated with these early ventures. In 1806 the Bramelds, trading as Brameld & Co., took over and made earthenware till about 1820 and then bone-porcelain until 1842. Rockingham bone-china comprised a clear white paste with a good glaze, often decorated lavishly with gilding. Highly decorative table-services were a speciality. The name `Brameld', sometimes impressed, is a common mark, as is the griffin, from the crest of Earl Fitzwilliam, Marquis of Rockingham.
Rococo - (Style) A style in art that evolved on and replaced the baroque; it had its beginnings in the 1720's, in France, and on its introduction into England in the middle years of the eighteenth century it was known as `the French taste'. As decoration the style found expression in asymmetrical ornament, favouring shell, rock and floral forms. Thus most of the English porcelain factories produced rococo wares; much English silver of the period is in the rococo style (e.g. Paul de Lamerie); and furniture designs in the rococo style were published by Chippendale, Matthias Lock, Thomas Johnson, Ince and Mayhew. As distinct from baroque, the rococo emphasizes ornament at the expense of form. The severe judgement of Fowler states `that rococo is regarded as a form taken by baroque when it aimed no longer at astounding the spectator with the marvellous, but rather at amusing him with the ingenious'. The vogue for the rococo lasted till the classical revival of the 1770's.
Rococo Revival - (Furniture) A popular late 19th Century Victorian style of furniture patterned after the 18th Century French court furniture.
Rogers Brothers - (Silversmith) In 1825 William Rogers joined became the partner of Joseph Church (Jeweler & Silversmith) They made coin Silver spoons Stamped Church & Rogers. Before 1835 Williams brothers, Simeon & Asa Jr. Rogers joined the firm. They Bought several other silver makers factories over the years. In 1856 William Rogers Left Rogers Bros Mfg. Co. and with George W Smith, Manufacturer of Silver Plated Hollowware, organized Rogers, Smith & company, they were consolidated with William as president. In 1862 the Meriden Britannia Co. bought the tools and dies of the company William joiner
Roentgen, David - (Furniture, French, Maker) (1743-1807) One of the most celebrated of French cabinet-makers, his marquetry pieces being particularly esteemed. He worked not only in France but also in Germany, Italy, Russia.
Roiro - (Japanese Lacquer) Deep Black lacquer polished to a high gloss. The lacquer, colored black by the addition of iron filings or lampblack, often turns brown due to exposure or to contact with hot liquids.
Roman Striking - (Clock) A power-saving system of clock striking, probably introduced by Joseph Knibb about 1685, which made use of two bells, a smaller and a larger, the former striking I, II, III, the latter striking V and twice for X. In this system only 30 blows in all are needed as against the normal 78 in the run of 12 hours.
Romayne Work - (Furniture, Decoration) Medallions of heads; derived from Italian Renaissance forms.
Romer - (Glass) A German drinking glass first made in the fifteenth century and still being made today. The glass may be tall or stubby, but in most examples the brim will be narrower than the widest swell of the bowl and the stem is usually studded with prunts or small knops, and `threading' is usual where the bowl meets the stem, which is frequently hollow.
Rooster - (Chinese Symbolism) The Rooster or Cock, has a warlike disposition and symbolizes courage, it also represents the warmth and life of the universe. On the zodiac compass the rooster occupies west.
Rope Molding - (Furniture, Decoration) Convex molding decorated with a series of curved indentations along the outer edge, to resemble a length of rope. Also Called Cable Molding and Engrailing
Rose du Barry - (Ceramics, Porcelain, French, Decoration) See Rose Pompadour.
Rose, John - (Ceramics, Porcelain, England) Founder of the Coalport porcelain factory.
Rose Mating - (Furniture, Decoration) Painting on peasant furniture, Norwegian, characterized by rose motif, also human and military figures, buildings, acanthus leaves.
Rosenthal - (Porcelain) A Bavarian pottery operating from 1879 until the present. Their early Figurines and porcelain dinnerware are of fine quality. Several of the patterns are hand decorated. The company now has an expensive line of collector plates and tableware designed by famous designers.
Rose Pompadour - (Ceramics, Porcelain, French, Decoration) Rose pink ground color first used on porcelain at Sevres about 1757. Also called (incorrectly) rose du Barry.
Rosewood - (Wood) Name given to several distinct types of ornamental timber of dark blackish-brown color, finely marked, which is chiefly used in veneering. The wood was known in the late seventeenth century, used sparingly in the middle years of the eighteenth century, but much favored during the Regency period.
Rosso Antico - (Ceramics, Stoneware, England) Rosso Antico was Wedgwood’s name for unglazed red dry-body stoneware similar to Basalt and Caneware. The use of this red colored stoneware made by Wedgwood is rare because it reminded Josiah Wedgwood of “Redware” that was a common and inexpensive pottery made by many Staffordshire potters. It was discontinued around 1940. Tea sets, vases, plates, and jugs are more common but other pieces in this body are very rare. It was also used as decoration on other bodies such as Basalt and Caneware.
Roubiliac, Louis Francoise - (Ceramics, Porcelain, England, Sculptor) French sculptor who worked in England from 1720 till his death in 1762. He may have been connected with the Chelsea Porcelain Factory.
Rouen - (Ceramics, Porcelain, French) Important French centre of the faience industry. Italian potters settled here in the sixteenth century, but the truly French product was made from c. 1650 when Edme Poterat established a factory. The fame and popularity of Rouen wares lasted until the end of the eighteenth century. (Experiments in the making of soft-paste porcelain were carried out at Rouen as early as 1673.)
Roundabout Chair - (Furniture) Type of armchair, usually of mahogany or walnut, with the legs arranged one at front, one at each side and one at rear, thus enabling the chair to be placed in a corner. Made from early in the eighteenth century. Also known as Corner Chairs, Writing Chairs.
Roundel - (Glass, Furniture, Decortaion) A decorative medallion; bull's-eye glass or bottle glass in early windows and door lights.
RS Rising Sun Mark – (Mark Porcelain Japan) The RS Rising Sun Mark is from the Shimizu-Rokunosuko Shoten Factory in Nagoya, Japan. The factory closed before WWII. The RS Rising Sun Mark is a dark red underglaze mark.
Rummer - (Glass) Name given to several types of English drinking glasses: the English version of the rofner; a larger-bowled Georgian goblet; the toddy-rummer.
Runner - (Furniture) Piece of wood on either side under drawers to support the latter. Also another name for lopers on which the dropfronts of bureaux are supported.