Money Making For Women on the Internet

Titles Titles & descriptions

Get notified of new articles:


Antiques Glossary - C

 Print this page 

Author: Jim Coyle

  • cabaret
    A small tray, usually of porcelain, with matching set of cups, sugar bowl, milk jug and tea or coffee pot. A breakfast cabaret is known as a dejeuner, a set for two a tete-a-tete, and a set for one person as solitaire.

    A piece of furniture incorporating both drawer and cupboard space designed for the storage or display of small objects, especially precious ones. The word 'cabinet' - to the end of the 16thC exclusively and to a lesser extent to the early 16thC - referred to a small room in which precious articles and works of art were displayed. Towards the end of the 17thC it was applied to furniture. Their popularity during the Louis XIV and British restoration period and their elaborately veneered surfaces promoted the specialised new skill of cabinet-making. Although cabinet-making is particularly associated with Queen Anne and Georgian furniture, the term is now used generally to apply to all case furniture.

    Porcelain - usually cups, saucers and plates - which was made for display rather than for practical use. Typical examples include early soft-paste porcelain made at chelsea in the 1740s which is not resistant to hot water but displays a high standard of decoration.

    See jewel cutting.

    A curvaceous profile seen in furniture, supposedly inspired by the shape of a wild goat's hind legs. It is usually associated with the shape of legs on chairs and tables, in the form of a shallow 'S' curve, with a broad hip and knee or shoulder tapering to a slim concave leg below. The cabriole leg was so popular that the late 17th to mid- 18thC is sometimes known as the Cabriole Leg Period..

    Ornamental container for a pot holding a growing plant, usually without a drainage hole. The name is derived from the French cacher (to hide). See jardinieres

    cachou box
    A 19thC gold or silver box to hold cachous - pills for sweetening the breath. The boxes, which were made in Britain, are very small-1-2 in (25-50 mm) in length-with a hinged lid, and sometimes a ring attached for hanging from a chatelaine. The boxes are usually decorated with chasing or enamelling. They remained popular until. 1910.

    Lidless, peach-shaped teapot which is held upside down to be filled at the base. A tube leading up from the base ensures the contents do not spill when it is upright. A Chinese wine pot, brought to Britain by the Hon Mrs Cadogan, is said to have inspired the first examples produced at rockingham in the late 19thC. meissen in Germany, copeland, davenport and other Staffordshire potteries soon followed suit.

    Cafe, John
    (fl. 1740-5 7) A London-based silversmith who is best known for his candlesticks and snuffer trays. John was succeeded by his brother William, who continued the prolific production of candlesticks until 1772.

    cage cup.
    A cast or blown, thick-walled glass blank carved in relief and then undercut, leaving the decoration in the form of a net or cage still attached to the main body of the vessel. This form of cup was also known as a diatreta, taking its name from the diatretarii, the Roman glass decorators who originated it

    Term for decorative, pierced or chased silver mount that encloses an inner, plain section of an object. The cagework technique probably originated in Germany, but was used in Britain extensively on late 17thC tankards, beakers and two-handled cups. A cagework box is a snuffbox comprising plaques of various materials, such as agate or ivory, set in a pierced metal frame.

    Porcelain decoration, of a lacy network of oval and circle outlines, usually painted in gold. The word is French for 'pebbled'. The design was introduced at sevres in the mid- 18thC, notably set against a rich dark blue background, and is also seen on worcester, derby and swansea ware. See decorative motifs.

    Yellowish-brown to smoky yellow variety of quartz. It is the most important stone in Scottish jewellery. The stones were originally found in the Cairngorm mountains, and have been much simulated in glass (detectable by gas bubbles), and are now usually imitated by applying heat treatment to Brazilian amethysts.

    See ebony

    Calcite glass
    Creamy-white art glass developed c. 1915 by Frederick carder in the USA. Its translucency, achieved by adding bone ash to the molten glass, made it particularly suitable for lampshades. It was also used in conjunction with aurene glass, to make cameo glass.

    calendar clock
    Clock with separate indications on the main dial, or with extra dials for the phases of the moon, the day, month and, more rarely, the year. Calendar information appeared on public clocks from the 14thC, and on domestic clocks from the 16thC.

    See bore.

    Plain-weave cotton cloth originally imported from Calicut, a port in south-west India, during the 17th and 18th centuries and later manufactured in Britain. It was used, with painted or printed patterns, for soft furnishings especially during the 18th and19th centuries.

    The world's first negative-positive technique of photography, pioneered by British scientist William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-77) in 1841. The process allowed an infinite number of prints on paper to be made from a single paper negative. The calotype eventually superseded the DAGUERREOTYPE.

    Gemstone, hardstone or shell cut to reveal a design in relief. Cameos were originally made from gemstones with different coloured layers to provide a contrasting background. They were widespread in the Roman era and revived during the Italian renaissance and neoclassical period. Shell cameos were carved with Classical-style portraits and mythological scenes, in Naples and Rome in the 19thC and exported to Britain to be used as seals and jewellery. They remained fashionable throughout the 19thC.

    cameo glass
    Glassware made up of two or more layers of glass in contrasting colours (see cased glass ) in which part of the outer surface is carved by hand or etched away with acid to leave a cameo-effect design in relief. Acid-resistant paint is applied to the design area on the white outer casing; when the glass is dipped into an acid solution, the treated design area remains intact while the exposed area around it is etched away to reveal the coloured glass beneath. See SULPHIDES

    camera obscura
    A dark box with a small opening or lens through which the image of an object is projected and focused onto a facing surface. The device was used particularly by 17th to 19thC artists to produce accurate paintings and drawings.

    campaign furniture
    18th and 19thC portable furniture, including washstands, writing chests, chests of drawers, beds and chairs, primarily for military use. The furniture is usually of mahogany or teak, with brass fittings and removable feet. Chests would be made in halves and other pieces to unscrew so that they could be stacked flat for travelling.

    Inverted bell-shape seen in ceramics and metalware since Classical times and particularly popular in the early times and particularly popular in the early 19thC.

    French term for a settee used from the late 17thC. It is upholstered with some of the wooden structure, such as the top rail or apron, left exposed.

    cancellation mark
    The means of marking ceramic products that are substandard or part of a discontinued range, by painting or scratching one or two strokes over the original factory mark. meissen, for example, had a range of cancellation marks to denote whether a piece was to be sold in-the-white, unglazed, or rejected.

    Branched form of a candlestick, often made as a pair (candelabra) and used in Europe since the Middle Ages.

    candle slide
    Small wooden support for a candlestick, occasionally found on 18thC desks, tables and bureau cabinets, which slides into a built-in recess when not in use.

    See torchere.

    Utensil for holding a single candle, used in Europe from the 10thC or earlier..

    1 The woven fibrous strips from the stems of a group of palms known as rattans, which are used in furniture. Canework came to Europe from China via the Dutch East India Company trade in the 17thC. It was popular in Europe in the second half of the 17th, and again from the end of the 18thC. The Chinese wove the outer fibres of the trees into very fine-meshed, silk-like, opaque panels. The Europeans used wider strips of cane, resulting in a light, straw-coloured, open mesh, usually with octagonal holes. Cane is a reasonably cheap material, strong yet light in weight and elastic. In the 19thC the coarser strips of the rattan palms were used in the production of basketwork furniture. 2 A stick of glass, sometimes multicoloured, made by arranging coloured lengths or rods of glass in a bundle, melting then marvering (rolling) them in clear glass to form a cane. The cane is then reheated and drawn out until it is ?-? in (3-13 mm) in diameter. When cool, the cane can be sliced into thin crosswise sections to form the millefiore effect commonly seen in paperweights and mosaic glass. Canes can also be combined with twists in drinking-glass stems.

    Cream to light brown fine stoneware developed by Josiah wedgwood from the 1770s, sometimes decorated with bright blue, green and red enamel colours. Caneware vessels were moulded to simulate lengths of bamboo lashed together.

    An obliquely angled, chamfered or bevelled edge.

    Set of domestic tableware or cutlery in a fitted wooden case with a hinged lid and often with two or three drawers. There are usually 6 to 12 place settings. The first canteens were portable cases carrying the eating implements of 17thC travellers and military officers.

    A music canterbury, originally designed in the late 18thC, is a wooden stand divided by rails into sections for storing sheet music. Some examples have a drawer or drawers fitted underneath the top rails. A supper canterbury is a low wooden trolley used in the 18thC for cutlery and plates - similar to a deep partitioned tray on legs

    cantilever chair
    A chair made using the cantilever principle, in which the load is supported only at one end. Mart stam's 1920s tubular-steel prototype combined strength and lightness, but its shape was so new -the seat appeared to be floating in midair - that the public were afraid to sit on it. More commercially successful examples were produced a few years later by designers Ludwig mies van der rohe and Marcel breuer..

    chinese export porcelain decorated in Canton (Guangzhou). In Europe, Canton generally applies to 19thC Chinese porcelain decorated with panels of flowers and scenes with figures on a gilt and green scrolled ground.2 Canton's enamelling workshops also produced enamel-painted copper known as Canton enamel. The Chinese acquired enamelling techniques from Europe in the 18thC and developed their own distinctive products, almost entirely for export, decorated particularly in famille- rose and famille-verte colours. 3 In the USA, the term is used to describe porcelain decorated with UNDERGLAZE-blue landscapes similar to the British willow pattern, which was exported from the Chinese port, late 18th and early 19th centuries.

    capacity marks
    Marks, also known as standard or excise marks, found on measures used in public markets and taverns for the sale of both dry and wet goods, such as grain, wine or ale. Originally there were many different local standards, but these were standardised in England in 1826. Scotland retained its own system into the 19thC

    See percussion lock. capital See column.

    capstan table
    See drum table.

    1 Unit for measuring the weight of gemstones, including diamonds and pearls. It was standardised in 1914 as one-fifth of a gram (200 mg), equivalent to 3.086 grains. 2 Measure of the fineness of gold, based on 24 units. A 22 carat gold piece is an alloy of 22 parts pure gold and 2 parts another metal, such as silver.

    A firearm similar to a musket or rifle but usually with a shorter barrel and firing range and commonly carried by cavalry.

    Large bottle used for storing liquids such as acids or for display purposes in pharmacies. The body of the vessel is often bulbous with a long, narrow neck and matching stopper. Carboys were usually made of clear glass in order to show the colour of the liquid inside.

    See garnet.

    The main body of a piece of case furniture, before doors, drawers or shelves are added, and onto which veneers are laid.

    card table
    which has four hinged triangular pieces that open out to form a square, lined playing surface, often decorated with marquetry.

    Carder, Frederick
    (1864-1963) British glass designer who (1880-1903) worked for stevens & williams. He moved to the USA, where he co-founded the steuben glassworks. Here, inspired by the art nouveau movement, he experimented with coloured glass, various finishes and the lost-wax process.

    Cardew, Michael
    (1901-82) A key figure in 2othC British art pottery, who trained with Bernard leach at St Ives in the 1920s. He left to start his own pottery at Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, where he made everyday items such as bowls and cider jugs, in SLIP-decorated, lead-glazed earthenware. Unlike Leach, his work followed English rather than Japanese pottery traditions. A period in West Africa from 1942 marked a change to stoneware, African motifs and deep blue and green glazes highlighted by orange-brown brushwork decoration.

    A series of bells rung either mechanically or manually. Mechanical carillons have been used in domestic and public clocks since the 14thC to strike the hours or play les, as in musical clocks.

    Carlton House desk
    A writing table with a low superstructure and drawers at the back and sides of the writing space. The name derives from the original design made for the Prince of Wales's bedroom at his London residence, Carl ton House.

    Carlton Ware
    Earthenware and porcelain produced from c. 1890 at Carlton Works, Staffordshire, which traded as Wiltshaw & Robinson. The pottery is known in particular for producing art deco ornamental ware such as porcelain vases with enamelled and gilded decoration and lustre wall masks, vases and plaques painted in delicate pastel shades. The pottery also produced crested ware, coffee sets and cruets.

    carnet de bal
    Ivory leaves in a decorative case on which the names dancing partners were inscribed in pencil in the 18th and 19th centuries. Tablettes are similar, but the leaves can be removed from the case.

    carnival glass
    Cheap pressed glass i a highly iridescent finish, produced mainly in the USA c. 1908-1924. It is so called because it was said to have been used as prizes at carnivals and fairs.

    Style of furniture made during the reign of the British king Charles I (1625-49). The term is sometimes misleadingly used for Restoration style, dating from Charles II?s restoration to the throne in 1660.

    Carr, Alwyn Charles Elison
    See.ramsden, omar.

    carriage clock
    The first truly portable type of clock produced in large numbers, developed from coach watches and small portable table clocks. They have a spring-balance escapement, a glazed rectangular brass case, and a carrying handle. Heights range from 3 in (76 mm) to 8? in (21 cm). Carriage clocks were introduced by French clock-maker Abraham-Louis breguet c. 1796. Over 90 per cent of them were produced in France, particularly during the height of their fashion, 1850-1914. The limited numbers made in Britain are generally larger and of higher quality than standard French versions, and have chain-FUSEE movements, while the French clocks have spring going-BARRELS.

    carte ? figure
    Map incorporating decorative and informative details such as an ornamental border views or inset pictures of local traditional costume. The style was at its height in the 17thC.

    Portrait photograph, usually full length, but occasionally head and shoulders, mounted on a small card with the photographer's credit on the reverse. The idea was patented by French photographer Adolphe-Eug?ne Disd?ri in 1854. He used a special camera containing a number of lenses; several poses could be achieved on a single negative. Cartes-de-visite were mass-produced during the mid- 19thC.

    cartel clock
    Spring-driven wall clock set in an ornate, Rococo or NEOCLASSiCAL-style frame or case, and produced in France, Germany, Austria and Italy c.1735-1900. Giltwood versions were also made in Britain .c. 1750-1800, often with a false pendulum in the dial.

    Carter, Stabler & Adams
    See poole pottery.

    French jewellery firm founded in Paris in 1847. Cartier at first specialised in enamelled gold set with gemstones, but is perhaps best known for its art deco jewellery and watches. Cartier introduced the first wristwatch in 1904 - of the round-cornered square design still seen today.

    See composition.

    A piece of furniture fitted with compartments to hold papers, either freestanding with a cupboard below and clock on top, or an accessory for placing on a desk.

    The full-scale, preparatory design - either drawn or painted - for a tapestry, painting or mosaic. A small sketch, which is enlarged to make a cartoon, is known as a petit patron.

    A decorative detail or object suggestive of a sheet of paper with scrolled edges. In ceramics or silverware, it may take the form of an oval or shield with a decorative feature or inscription, and a scrolled frame, and in furniture a tablet shape with curled edges. Cartouche borders are seen on old maps and prints.

    An elbow chair - a chair with arms within a set of armless or single dining chairs.

    The skill of the woodcarver in furniture-making, as opposed to that of the carpenter, cabinet-maker or joiner. The craft gained greater status from the late 17thC until the later part of the 18thC; it became highly specialised particularly for cabinet stands, candelabra, mirror frames and console tables, which might then be gilded.

    Sculptured female forms, taken from Classical Greek style, widely used as ornamental supports on furniture and chimneypieces from the late 16thC onwards. The 19thC male equivalents are known as atlantes.

    case furniture
    Term for pieces of furniture which are intended to contain something - cupboards, cabinets, chests, bookcases and clothes presses, for example.

    cased glass
    Glassware consisting of two or more layers in different colours. The outer casing is blown first into a cup shape. A second layer is blown into it and the two are then reheated so that they fuse together. The process is repeated if further casings are required. The outer layer can then be engraved or cut to reveal the contrasting layer beneath. See cameo glass .

    1 Glass or ceramic vase, usually one of a pair, with a reversible lid. The inverted lid serves as a candle holder. 2 Ornate, late 18thC pastille burner like a small brazier on a stand (see athenienne) , and made of bronze or gilt metal.

    cast iron
    Impure form of iron which has been cast and moulded. It has been used since the Middle Ages, but most extensively from the 18thC particularly in the Victorian era. Cast iron is brittle, but cheaper than wrought iron.

    Castellani, Fortunate Pio
    (1793-1865) Italian antique dealer, goldsmith and jeweller based in Rome. From the early 1865 he imitated Etruscan and Roman jewellery and reproduced the ancient technique of making granulated gold. He also produced jewellery with filigree decoration and miniature mosaic work. His sons carried on the family business and their work became popular in Britain, where it has been frequently copied. The Castellani mark is a monogram of interlaced Cs.

    Container with a perforated lid used for sprinkling condiments such as sugar, pepper and nutmeg, usually in silver or pewter. Matched sets are known as cruet sets.

    Process of forming metal, glass or ceramic objects by pouring the molten material into a mould and letting it cool and harden. Metal items may be sand cast in which a mould shape is pressed into densely packed quartz and sand contained in an iron frame. See also lost wax

    Castleford ware
    Fine white stoneware with a slight translucency, made at Castleford near Leeds c. 1800-20. It has a smooth texture similar to that of parian ware with low relief decoration. The most common articles made were jugs and teapots, often with distinctive blue enamel trimmings.


    cat's eye
    General term for several varieties of gemstones which when viewed in a certain direction and light display a streak, likened to a cat's eye. The effect is a result of a fibrous inclusion, such as asbestos, naturally occurring within the gem, and is enhanced by a smooth cabochon cut (see jewel cutting) .

    caudle cup
    Small, covered, one or two-handled cup with a saucer used for caudle, a spiced gruel of eggs, bread or oatmeal, and wine or ale. Usually intended for invalids or nursing mothers, the cups were made of silver or pottery, principally in the late 18th and early 18th centuries.

    Shropshire pottery probably founded c.1750, and best known for its soft-paste porcelain, called Salopian ware, produced from 1772. Caughley was noted for the excellence of its potting techniques rather than for the originality of its design. It openly imitated the shapes and designs of articles produced at WORCESTER, 40 miles (64 km) away, sometimes even reproducing Worcester's crescent mark. In the late 1780S and 90s, much of. Caughley's output was decorated in bright enamels with some impressive gilding by the Worcester outside decorator Robert CHAMBERLAIN. Dainty, CHANTILLY-style floral decoration is typical,together with Oriental-style blue and white tableware.The pottery closed c. 1812, business being transferred to coalport.
          Related News Stories
          Blue and White

    cauliflower ware
    creamware pottery introduced by Josiah wedgwood and Thomas whieldon in the 1750s. Teaware, lidded bowls, tureens and punch pots were made in the form of a cauliflower. The idea later extended to melons, pineapples and maize and was copied at other potteries and in porcelain at chelsea and worcester. Reproductions were made during the mid- 19thC but are of inferior quality in modelling, glazing and colours.

    A means of flattening a veneer onto a carcass and removing excess glue. The caul, a heated piece of wood, is clamped over the surface. The heat melts the glue coating on the carcass enabling the veneer to stick; the clamps are tightened, squeezing out any excess glue.

    See mouldings.

    Light reddish-brown aromatic timber from North America and the West Indies. Because of its aroma and insect-repellent qualities it was often used from the 19thC by cabinet-makers for the linings of drawers, boxes and chests, and for trays in clothes presses.

    A European term for Chinese stoneware, initially developed during the song dynasty, with a translucent green glaze, and generally applied to any similar green-glaze. The shade varies according to the iron-oxide content. The word 'celadon' possibly comes from a character of that name in a 17thC French romance by Honor? d'Urf?, who wore a green coat.

    An all-embracing term introduced in the 18thC, for wine coolers and wine cisterns. It is also used for trays or compartments fitted into a drawer or sideboard, for holding bottles of wine and spirits.

    Cellini jug
    Heavy, ornate jug, moulded with masks, strap work and caryatids. The style is typical of that employed by the Renaissance goldsmith and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini.

    See plastic.

    Celtic style
    The decorative style of the Celts, a people who were originally from the western half of central Europe and then spread into Spain, Italy and the British Isles c.250 bc. Celtic motifs, with their curvaceous line patterns and stylised animal and human forms, were absorbed into English and Irish art, and were revived at the end of the 19thC by art nouveau artists, and particularly the glasgow school.

    See epergne.

    centrifugal casting
    See lost wax.

    Clay-based products which are hardened by firing. The term, from the Greek keramos (clay), embraces all pottery including earthenware, STONEWARE PORCELAIN and BONE china..

    chafing dish
    Vessel of silver or other metal, used for heating food and warming plates over a charcoal brazier or spirit lamp on the dinner table or sideboard. The dish rests on a stand supported by legs, which afford space for a heating device. Chafing dishes were used extensively from the i6thC. The term is sometimes used to refer to the brazier itself.

    See boxes.

    chaise longue
    French term for an upholstered or cushioned chair with a whole or part back, and a long seat.

    See worcester.

    Chambers, Sir William
    (1726-96) neoclassical architect and furniture designer, and, with Robert Adam, joint architect to King George III. Chambers was the first British architect to visit China, and as a consequence his chinoiserie work had a more authentic feel to it than much of that popular in the mid-18thC.

    Holder for a single candle with the sconce set into a saucer with a carrying handle attached, designed for bedroom use. Chambersticks were made from the 17thC and often had a snuffer attached.

    Edge that is planed or cut at an angle, usually applied to stone and woodwork.

    champagne glass
    It is uncertain whether special glasses were reserved for drinking champagne during the 17th and early 18th centuries. From the 1770s until the mid-19thC, flute glasses were favoured - a trend that has returned today, because the narrow mouth retains the bubbles for longer. From c.1830, a wide shallow bowl of 4-6 fl oz (115-175 ml) capacity was popular.

    champagne tap
    A tap for dispensing champagne from a bottle without removing the cork. Similar in shape and size to a corkscrew, it consists of a pointed tube with a spout and a spigot on one end. With the spigot closed, the champagne retains its bubbles. The taps were made, usually in electroplated silver, from the late 19thC

    See enamel.

    Chang ware
    Range of art pottery developed by the doulton factory during the early 20thC. Typical Chang ware has a thick, glutinous glaze in shades of red and grey. The glaze, applied in layers, has a pronounced crackle. The name 'Chang ware' is intended to reflect the Chinese inspiration

    A soft-paste porcelain factory on the Prince de Cond?'s estate near Paris, c. 1725-89. Early Chantilly porcelain has a distinctive white tin glaze and often KAKIEMON-style decoration. After 1740, a lead glaze was used and decoration was mainly naturalistic, featuring birds and flowers, including the Chantilly sprig - a cornflower with two leaves, and two sprays of forget me-not flowers. The Chantilly lacemaking industry began in the late 17thC. It is particularly famed for its delicate handmade bobbin lace of the 19thC. This is usually a black silk lace with the pattern outlined in a thicker strand of silk.

    chapter ring
    Ring on the dial of a clock marked with the time divisions.

    char dish
    Flat-bottomed pot used from the 17th to 19th centuries for serving potted char (a relative of the trout) and often decorated on the outside with painted fish. The pots are about 1 in (25 mm) deep and 6-10 in (15-25 cm) across, and found in DELFTWARE and CREAMWARE.

    character doll
    Term used from c. 1890 for a doll with a distinctive, naturalistic expression, or with features modelled on those of a real child or famous person. A portrait doll is a French-made character doll and was popular from the 1850s

    Large circular or oval plate used for serving meat or for hanging as a wall decoration. The word is probably derived from the French charger, 'to fill'.

    Any method of decorating silver and other metalware in which the metal is repositioned, rather than removed by chiselling or carving. embossing and repousse are both forms of chasing. Bold, high-relief patterns are embossed; finer detail is added by the repouss? technique. Flat-chasing is also worked from the front using hammers and punches, resulting in very shallow, low-relief patterns similar in effect to engraving.

    Ornamental clasp or chain with a hook from which items such as keys, watches, seals and trinkets were hung. Chatelaines were worn at the waist, mainly by women, from the 17thC; they became less fashionable from c. 1830, but made a comeback c.1890-1910. They were made in various metals and often ornamented with enamelling, beading and tassels

    Chawner, Henry
    (1764-1851) London silversmith who worked with his brother, William, and was known as a spoon-maker. He was the son of a silversmith, Thomas Chawner, and in 1796 established a partnership with the emes family, producing fine-quality silverware.

    With Bow, one of the earliest porcelain factories in Britain, founded mid to late 1740s. Chelsea was the only 18thC English factory producing exclusively for the luxury porcelain market. Minor offshoots, including the so-called 'Girl in a Swing' workshop, an elusive establishment named after its most famous figure subject, obscure the early years of production. However, the following periods, named after the factory marks used at the time, are generally agreed.

    1A soft, tufted cord of silk, cotton or woollen yarn used in embroidery or for fringing fabrics. 2 Any fabric made of chenille cord and, more generally, any of various imitation velvets produced from the 19thC. These include Chenille Axminsters, which are large, velvet-like carpets made using a two-loom weaving process at the axminster carpet factory.

    A form of decoration on furniture in which alternating squares or rectangles of contrasting colours or textures imitate the pattern of a chess or chequerboard. Chequerwork was used extensively as an inlaid decoration in the 16th and 17th centuries.

    The most popular fruitwood for furniture-making as it is hard and even-textured, with a superficial resemblance to mahogany, and polishes to a good finish. The cut wood of the British species varies in colour from pinkish-yellow to red-brown. Cherry was used particularly on the turned members of country-made chairs and tables in the 17th and 18th centuries, and by artist-craftsmen at the end of the 19th and in the early 20th century.

    chest of drawers
    Storage chest fitted with drawers which began to supersede the panelled chest or coffer in the 17thC. See commode, tallboy.

    Victorian design of well-padded, over-stuffed sofa, often buttoned, and with back and arms of the same height.

    Horse chestnut is a native European species which produces a pale yellowish wood sometimes with a hint of pink. It has a close, even grain and has been used over the centuries for drawer linings, turned work, carving and inlaid decoration, but it lacks durability. Sweet chestnut is light reddish-brown, sometimes used as a substitute for oak in panelling, but rarely seen in case furniture.

    cheval mirror
    Long, floor-standing, framed mirror held between two uprights so that the angle can be adjusted. Cheval mirrors were made from c. 1750 and are also known as horse dressing glasses (cheval is French for horse).

    Small 18thC English writing desk, with slender, tapering legs and a set of small drawers and pigeonholes on top. It is sometimes known as a lady's cabinet.

    r French term for a tall chest of drawers, made in Britain from the 1750s. The term came to include small sideboards or side cabinets with a cupboard below, buffets and side tables.

    Decorative motif, seen in the 18th and 19th centuries, which originated in Classical mythology. It combines the features of a winged goat or lion with a serpent's tail.

    Unspecific(and therefore to be discouraged term for ceramics. See BONE CHINA

    china cabinet
    A glass-fronted display cabinet for porcelain or cabinet-ware, introduced in the late 17thC when it was fashionable to collect chinese export porcelain.

    china clay
    A white clay virtually free of impurities such as iron, also known as kaolin. It is used in ceramics for its qualities of strength and whiteness, and is an essential ingredient of porcelain. The Chinese refer to the porcelain formula metaphorically as 'bones and flesh', china stone being the bone, china clay the flesh.

    china stone
    Feldspathic rock, also known as china rock, which is the essential fusing agent in hard-paste porcelain. When fired at a high temperature, the pulverised rock melts to a glassy paste (vitrifies) and binds with china clay to give true porcelain its special strength and impermeability. It is also combined with lime and potash in a glaze that can be fused onto a permeable earthenware body in a single firing to make it waterproof. The Chinese equivalent of china stone is petuntse

    china table
    See tea table.

    Chinese export porcelain
    Chinese porcelain products imported into Europe from the 16thC, and reaching a peak in the 17th and 18th centuries. Technically superior to European ceramics until the 18thC, Chinese porcelain was in great demand, and had a profound influence on European manufacturers who tried to capture its quality and decorative effects. The holds of East India trading vessels, especially from Holland and Britain, might be filled with flint for use in Chinese porcelain manufacture on the outward journey, and with china on the way back. The china was stacked beneath the principal cargoes of tea and silk (which had to be stored above the waterline), providing valuable ballast on the return journey. Most of the wares were of fairly ordinary quality, but there was a thriving private 'super cargo' trade in higher quality porcelain often specially commissioned by the Western aristocracy.

    Chinese reign marks
    See reign

    Ch'ing dynasty
    See qing.

    Japanese lacquer technique, which originated in China. Stylised geometrical or floral diaper (see decorative motifs) patterns are engraved into a lacquer base and then filled with gold powder, foil, or coloured lacquers.

    Chinese-style ornamentation in the 17th and 18th centuries. Characteristics of the style include pagoda shapes, fretwork, motifs of mandarin figures, birds and river scenes, dragon finials and carved feet. From c. 1690, such decoration was applied to lacquered furniture, engraved on silverware and painted on ceramics, especially Dutch delft. Chinoiserie was back in fashion during the Rococo period of the mid- 18thC.

    Cotton furnishing fabric in plain dyes or with printed patterns, and from the 1850s with a highly glazed finish. The word is from the Hindu chint (variegated) and at first applied to painted or printed calicoes imported from India in the 17thC.

    chip carving
    Medieval and 16thC wood decoration made by chipping out a pattern with a gouge or chisel. The pattern is usually contained within a circle, or roundel.

    Chippendale, Thomas
    (1718-79) Leading British cabinet-maker whose work was extremely influential during the early Georgian period and much imitated later.

    chocolate pot
    Covered vessel for preparing and serving hot chocolate, used since the second half of the 17thC. The silver chocolate pot has a hinged or detachable flap or finial in the lid though which a molinet, or rod, can be inserted to stir up the chocolate sediment. Molinets are usually made of wood with a knop or terminal in silver or ivory. A ceramic chocolate pot may be indistinguishable from a coffeepot.

    chop tongs
    See asparagus tongs.

    An optical toy introduced in 1866 consisting of a lantern with a window and shutter. Various different images in glass slides (see magic lantern) are passed across the window. Each image is viewed for a fraction of a second before the shutter falls and the next image is projected, giving the illusion of movement.

    Miniature jug used for individual servings of alcohol, dating from British colonial India at the end of the 19thC. Chota is the Hindi word for 'small measure'.

    Christofle, Charles
    (1805-63) Founder of L'Orf?vrerie Christofle, a large firm of goldsmiths, silversmiths and jewellers, established in Paris, 1829. In 1842, Christofle obtained the sole rights to produce electroplated wares in France from the British silversmiths, elkington. The firm also produced furniture and bronze furniture mounts.

    chrome dyes
    Chemical, colour-fast dyes for carpets and other fabrics, introduced in the early 20thC. Although they lack the subtlety and variety of natural vegetable and insect dyes, it can be difficult to distinguish between them.

    A very bright and hard, silvery metal used in the production of stainless steel and as a decorative, corrosion-resistant plating material. Although discovered in 1798, its decorative potential was not realised until it began to be commercially available in 1925. modern movement designers such as le corbusier and breuer used chromium plate on the tubular-steel furniture that had such an impact on 1930s design.

    A precision stopwatch that has the facility to zero the seconds hand before restarting it. A split' seconds chronograph has two stop seconds hands, one above the other, each of which can be stopped independently

    A portable timepiece of great accuracy. In Britain the term is used specifically for one with a detent escapement, and in Switzerland for one with a lever escapement, which meets an official rating of timekeeping. Chronometers were originally developed in the 18thC for use at sea so that a ship's longitudinal position could be calculated accurately. Unlike pendulum-driven clocks, which are accurate only if stationary, chronometers aimed to be reliable even when subjected to temperature changes and the movement of a ship. The standard Greenwich mean time on the chronometer was compared with the ship's local time gauged by the position of the sun or the stars. Mapping survey chronometers are set in a box; marine chronometers are usually in a drum-shaped case pivoted in gimbals (two rings at right angles to each other) in a wooden box with a glass lid. Pocket chronometers were used both at sea and as pocket watches on land. All chronometers have a seconds hand; some show fractions of seconds. Most surviving examples are from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

    A watch, also known as a wandering-hour watch, introduced c. 1675, on which the hour is displayed through a semicircular arc in the dial. The numeral, carried on a rotating disc, takes one hour to move around the semicircle and then disappears from view behind a decorated cover, to be replaced by the next hour at the other end. The scale for the minutes appears along the edge of the semicircle. Chronoscopes generally stopped being produced c.1730, but there are some 20thC revivals.

    chryselephantine sculpture
    The term for Ancient Greek wooden statues overlaid with gold and ivory, which in the 20thC refers to cast-bronze figures with ivory flesh parts, popular 1910-30.

    Cipriani, Giovani Battista
    (1727-85) Florentine engraver, painter and draughtsman, and founder-member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London (1768). Cipriani moved to Britain in 1753, and his greatest contribution to late 18thC neoclassical style lay in his paintings of nymphs and figures, some on satinwood furniture.

    An early 17thC surveying instrument with a central compass surrounded by a brass circle marked with degrees, over which arch several sights to guide the eye. From 1758, English surveyors used it with a theodolite allowing them to measure both horizontal bearings and elevation at one time.

    French for 'waxed', referring to a hard, glossy finish given to fabrics, especially ribbons.

    cire perdue
    See lost wax.

    cistern barometer
    Barometer containing a straight glass tube, closed at the top end and with the bottom end immersed in a small chamber, or cistern, containing the mercury. The cistern cover is often decorated with bronze mounts and wooden carvings. See siphon barometer.

    A variety of quartz, usually pale yellow although occasionally red-brown to red-orange. The main source of citrine is Brazil. It is often confused with yellow topaz.

    clair de lune
    French for 'moonlight', used to describe a porcelain glaze of milky lavender-blue. The effect was achieved by adding a touch of cobalt blue to a feldspathic glaze, and is most commonly seen on 18thC Chinese porcelain, sometimes combined with a crackle of black or brownish-red. It was also used at meissen without the crackle effect.

    claret jug
    19thC wine jug, generally with a glass body held in decorative silver or silver-gilt mounts. A claret jug usually has a hinged lid with a thumbpiece which is often decorated with a figure.

    See neoclassical.

    Strictly, a two-handed Scottish sword introduced in the 16thC; the word is from the Gaelic claidheam-mor (great sword). Since the 18thC the term has also referred to a Scottish sword with a basket hilt.

    See water clock.

    Firm of glass-makers founded c. 1837. It specialised in millefiori, producing fine and highly collectable paperweights, inkstands, vases and other domestic objects.
          Related News Stories
          Clichy Glasshouse paperweight sells for ?10,000!

    Cliff, Clarice
    (1899-1972) Staffordshire pottery decorator famed for her distinctive, brightly coloured designs for A.J. wilkinson at its Newport Pottery. Cliff set up her own studio at Newport in 1927 and launched the hand-painted 'Bizarre' range the following year. She occasionally used designs by contemporary artists such as Paul Nash and Laura Knight on her pottery. By the end of her career, Cliff had produced around 2000 patterns and 500 new shapes.

    The illegal practice of shearing metal from the edge of a precious-metal coin for profit - a universal practice dating from ancient times. Clipping was relatively easy to do with hammered coins, although it could be detected with careful and consistent weighing. The penalties were severe for those who were caught; sentences of death or limb amputation have been recorded. Clipping was largely stopped with the introduction of machine-made coins in Britain from 1662.

    The technique of overpainting an already existing design on ceramics. The Dutch, in particular, used clobbering to embellish Chinese blue and white export and meissen porcelain during the 18th and 19th centuries.

    clock hands
    Pointers on the dial of a clock which indicate the time. They are found in brass, silver and other metals, sometimes decorated with enamel. Early clocks have single hour hands in sturdy, arrowhead or spear shapes. The first pendulum clocks of the mid- 17thC have hand-fretted, filed and chased hands; at this time, too, minute hands became a standard feature. As the size of longcase clocks increased at the beginning of the 18thC, the hands became bigger and bolder. From c.1790, clock hands were stamped out by machine to create ornate scrolls and curves, 19th and 20thC clock hands are much plainer and the minute hand is closer in size to that of the hour hand.

    Any watch which strikes the hour and sometimes quarter hours automatically as the hands go round.

    See enamelling.

    close helmet
    Helmet protecting head and neck dating from the 15thC.

    close stool
    Lidded stool which conceals a pewter or earthenware chamber pot or similar vessel beneath the seat. The alternative terms of night and necessary stools were replaced in the 19thC by what the Victorians called a night commode.

    The method of coating iron or other base metals with a film of silver that preceded sheffield plate. It was used from early times - for plating knife handles, for example -and in the 18thC for small objects such as buttons and buckles. The objects were dipped in molten tin; silver foil was pressed over the surface, and the metals fused with a hot soldering iron.

    cloth of gold
    See brocade.

    club foot
    See feet.

    Clutha glass
    art glass developed by J. Couper & Sons of Glasgow c. 1885, and mostly designed by Christopher dresser. Its name is thought to come from the Gaelic word for the River Clyde. It is usually green, yellow or amber (occasionally turquoise or black), with numerous air bubbles, irregular cloudy streaks and flecks of AVENTURINE.

    Cluthra glass
    Cloudy, bubbly art glass developed in the USA by the British designer Frederick carder. The effect was created by adding saltpetre (potassium nitrate) to the molten glass; the chemical reacts with the heat to form the large, random bubbles. Cluthra glass is cased with an outer layer of heavy, clear glass.

    coach watch
    Large, portable timepiece in the form of a 4-6 in (10-15 cm) diameter pocket watch. Such watches, often with an elaborately decorated case, were used in coaches during the 18thC. Many have hour or hour and quarter-hour striking mechanisms. See also CLOCKWATCH, SEDAN WATCH

    coaching clock
    See tavern clock.

    Coade stone
    Clay-based artificial stone invented by Mrs Eleanor Coade at her London factory c. 1769. It resembles natural limestone, but is more durable. Coade stone was much used for garden statuary until the mid-19thC.

    Coalbrookdale 1
    Shropshire iron foundry established 1708, which produced decorative and utilitarian cast iron ranging from ornamental vases to stoves and seats. 2 See coalport.

    Porcelain factory established on the banks of the River Severn in Shropshire, 1795, which absorbed the nearby caughley factory four years later. A form of bone china was produced at Coalport from 1798 but only achieved the soft white translucency and smooth surface for which the ware is now celebrated after 1810. A hard, clear, and highly lustrous lead glaze, introduced 1820, further improved quality and enhanced the bright enamel colours used. A maroon ground, introduced the following year, became one of Coalport's trademarks. Until this time, output had concentrated on simply decorated tableware, although there were Oriental-style designs too, including the willow pattern, and the much imitated Indian tree pattern which was first used at Coalport. From the 1820s, however, decoration became more opulent and lavishly gilded. The next decade saw an increase in range and even more elaborate designs. Masses of finely modelled, flower-encrusted vases, candlesticks, baskets, clock cases and jugs were made up to 1840. Up to 1815, pieces were marked (if at all) 'Coalbrookdale', 'CD'or 'C. Dale' after the neighbouring town. Ornamental vases made in the 1890s often incorporate small landscape panels (signed by the artist) within jewelled line borders. These cabinet pieces competed strongly against worcester and derby porcelain of the same period.

    coal-tar dyes
    See aniline dyes.

    Circular stand, usually of silver, sheffield plate and/or wood, within a raised rim or gallery, for port or other wine bottles or glasses. Coasters were used in Britain from the 1760s. The name is derived from the after-dinner custom of rolling back the tablecloth and coasting, or sliding, the port from person to person on a smooth-bottomed stand. Double coasters on wheels are known as wine trolleys.

    cock beading
    Prominent wooden bead moulding commonly used to edge British walnut and mahogany drawer-fronts, c.1730-1800.

    coffee can
    Cylindrical porcelain coffee cup, about 2? in (60 mm) wide and high. Larger versions are called breakfast cans.

    coffee pot
    Covered vessel, generally of silver or ceramic, for serving coffee, used in Britain since the mid- 17thC, when coffee was first imported. The spout is normally directly opposite the handle, although sometimes at right angles to it, and is higher on the body than would be the case on a teapot, to avoid the coffee sediment escaping.

    Panelled construction in which the panels are thinner than the depth of the frame work. See joining.

    coin glass
    Drinking glass or jug with one or more coins enclosed in the knop or foot. Although examples exist from the early 18thC, the date on the coin rarely signifies the year the glass itself was manufactured. Such pieces were made to commemorate special occasions like a coronation.

    cold painting
    Decoration, also known as cold pigments, on ceramics painted in oil or lacquer-based colours that, unlike enamels, are not fused onto the surface by firing. Even when coated with varnish, the colours are prone to flaking and wear. Cold pigments were used on some Meissen red stoneware and Berlin faience, but few examples survive. See also HIGH-TEMPERATURE COLOURS.

    Cole, Sir Henry
    (1808-82) British designer of ceramics and household objects, who designed an award-winning tea service for minton, 1846, under the pseudonym Felix Summerly. His firm, Summerly's Art Manufacturers, operated 1847-50 designing household wares, with an emphasis on good industrial design. Cole also assisted in the organisation of the Great Exhibition, held in London in 1851.

    Ring applied to the stem of a wine glass to disguise a join, used when a glass was made in separate pieces and fused together. It is frequently seen where a bowl or foot joins a stem, but may also be seen around large knops.

    Vertical support, circular in cross-section. In their pioneering orders of architecture (see box opposite), the ancient Greeks introduced three distinct styles -Doric, Ionic and Corinthian - and the Romans later added the Tuscan and Composite orders. All of these orders are seen reproduced in furniture, furnishings and decorative objects. See also pediment.

    combed decoration
    1.A decorative effect on ceramics achieved by scratching or incising the clay while still moist with a comb-like instrument. The incised areas are flooded with a translucent glaze. This technique is seen particularly on Chinese celadon wares of the northern song dynasty. 2 Pattern on ceramics achieved by coating the body with a liquid clay slip and creating either wavy or zigzagged lines or a feathered effect with a metal brush or comb. The technique was developed by John dwight, John astbury and Thomas whieldon, and is commonly found on 17th and 18thC Staffordshire slipware. 3 A glass-making technique in which threads of opaque glass are applied to the body, flattened into the still-molten surface by marvering, and then combed to create a feathered icing effect

    comfit box
    See bonbonniere.

    commedia dell'arte
    Italian comic theatre genre featuring characters such as Punchinello (or Punch), Harlequin and Columbine. It developed in the 16thC but was a source of inspiration in every area of the decorative arts during the 18thC. See meissen.

    objects inscribed or decorated to commemorate an event or a person.

    In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the French name for a low chest of drawers. The word gradually came to describe any low cupboard or chest which was of a decorative French pattern.

    Compagnie des Arts Francais
    See sue & mare.

    compass card
    Freely rotating circular card in a navigational or surveying compass that is marked with the points of the compass. It has a compass needle mounted beneath so that it swings to point to magnetic north.

    This is a shallow, ornate box for holding writing materials when travelling, which opens out to provide a writing surface. 2 A multifuctional or combination scientific or navigational instrument, such as a portable sundial combined with a wind vane.

    A watchmaker's term for pocket watches that not only tell the time, but incorporate extra features such as automatically changing calendars, stopwatch or repeater mechanisms.

    Ornamental glass or ceramic stand dating from the 18thC, with a shallow dished top and sturdy stem. They are 5-18 in (12.5-46 cm) tall, and were designed to hold sweetmeats, fruit, cakes or bread. See tazza.

    Plaster-like material made from whiting (chalk), resin and size or glue, and us
    Return to Home Page

    Link exchange
    Exchange links with our website

    How to Research Your Family Name
    Want to know more about your own family or just curious about who?s who in your family lineage? Well...

    Make Internet Marketing Work for You Via RSS
    Describes how using rss can help you in your online business

    10 Unique, Free Product Bonuses
    Are you looking for something unique or unusual that you can use as a free product bonus? Here are 1...