Antiques Glossary - H
Author: Jim CoyleHafner ware
(c. 1727-1803) Cabinet-maker, upholsterer and business
partner of Thomas chippendale. After Chippendale's death in
1779, Haig continued in partnership with Chippendale's son
Thomas until 1796.
See hunter-cased WATCH.
Bed with a canopy or tester, supported by the headboard or
posts, that covers a quarter to a third of the bed area.
Half-testers were used in late medieval times and revived in
the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Hard-seated single chair designed for the entrance hall,
dating from the early 18thC.
Stand for hats, coats and umbrellas introduced in the early
19thC. Some are very ornate, especially those made wholly or
partly in cast iron. In the 1860s, bentwood versions became
popular and were common in hotels, restaurants and offices.
(c. 1707-81) Early Georgian cabinet-maker. He became a
business partner in the cabinet-making firm vile & cobb in
The Maker's or Sponsor's Mark, introduced 1363, identifies
the silversmith, originally by means of a symbol suggestive
of his name, his products or location. From the 17thC,
initials or the first two letters of the craftsman's name
were more common. The Duty Mark or Sovereign's Head occurs
on silverware 1784-1890, when a new silver tax was imposed;
the head of the reigning monarch denotes duty paid. The
hallmark of britannia standard silver applied to all silver
produced 1697-1720. The Lion's Head Erased appears on
Britannia standard silver; on London silver it replaced the
Leopard's Head, but was used as well as the town mark by
other assay offices.
1 Usual method of hand-striking a coin design onto blank
metal using a pair of dies. This method was used until the
mid- 17thC. 2 Metal articles shaped by hand, a process used
since ancient times. The metal is gently hammered into shape
over a wooden block or leather pad. See planishing, raising.
3 See martel?.
See jumping jack.
(1731-1817) Staffordshire-born engraver whose work was the
principal source of transfer-printed designs on
bow,worcester and caughley porcelain, and probably also on
A small, round or egg-shaped piece of glass, crystal or
stone, such as marble or agate, used from the 18th to
late19th centuries to keep the hands cool. Most were about
1?-2 in. (40-50 mm) across, some made into miniature
paperweights, and others intricately carved by glass houses
such as baccarat and clichy.
Portable container for hot metal, coals or charcoal which
was used to keep the hands warm. Most examples have an outer
case of pierced metalwork, such as copper or brass,
surrounding the inner container and heat source.
See clock hands.
Short general-purpose sword used by huntsmen, horsemen and
sailors in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Harache, Pierre I
(fl. 1682-98) huguenot silversmith who, together with his
son, Pierre II (fl. 1698-1717), specialised in silver
figurative ornaments, decorated with chasing, EMBOSSING,
GADROONING, PIERCED and cut-card work. Their marks, styles
and designs are very similar to one another.
See britannia metal.
Gemstone whose colour and formation makes it suitable for
carving objects such as urns and also for use in decorative
techniques such as inlaid decoration, mosaic and cameo.
Typical examples include agate, lapis lazuli and malachite.
A botanical term for wood taken from a broad-leaved tree.
Hardwoods are generally harder than softwoods, although not
necessarily stronger, and include some of the finest
furniture timbers such as mahogany, oak and walnut.
Sycamore pr maple wood which is stained with iron oxide to
give a green or silvery finish, and also known as
silverwood. It was used from the 17thC and especially
popular in the second half of the 18thC. The San Domingo
satinwood, a bright yellow wood that turns grey when it has
seasoned, is also known as harewood.
A set of objects such as cups and saucers of a common style,
but each piece decorated differently. The term is also
applied to originally unrelated objects-of furniture, for
example - which have been 'matched up' to make a set.
A form of pembroke table with a small box-like structure
concealed in the central body which springs open to reveal a
nest of drawers and compartments.
(1693-1776) A Lincolnshire-born carpenter who became an
innovative clock-maker. Most clock-makers used metal for
mechanical parts of a clock, trying different methods of
lubrication to make them more reliable and smooth-running.
Harrison was unique in questioning the basic material, and
his early clocks have wooden wheels made of the naturally
oily lignum vitae. He also made the first chronometer, in a
bid to win a reward offered by Parliament in 1714 for a
timekeeper accurate enough to be used for navigation at sea,
and was finally granted the ?20,000 prize in 1773 thanks to
the support of King George III. In 1728 Harrison introduced
the first gridiron pendulum with built-in temperature
A conical 19thC measure used in Irish taverns with a stepped
neck, and usually of pewter; English versions are slightly
different in form and of brass or copper. They are also
known as haycocks or harvesters.
Heal, Sir Ambrose
(1872-1959) Artist-craftsman and furniture-maker and
designer. He joined Heal & Son, the London-based family
furniture-making business, in 1893 and designed all of its
furniture from 1896 to the 1930s. Early pieces show the
influence of the prevalent arts and crafts movement, and his
range of stylish but durable furniture at reasonable prices
had a considerable influence on furniture design in the
early part of the 20thC. Towards the end of his working life
(c.1939), Heal experimented with new materials, including
steel and aluminium.
The hard inner core and oldest part of a tree. It is denser
and darker than the outer layers of sapwood, and does not
contain living cells; as the tree grows, the area of
Process of changing or eliminating the colour of a natural
or synthetic gemstone by controlled heating.
Silver craftsmen working in a London-based family business,
established by David Hennell in 1735. Over 30 personal
silver marks were registered by the family until the last
son, Samuel, died in 1837. A second Hennell firm was
established in 1809 by David's grandson, Robert (b.1769)
which operated until 1887.
(1786) British neoclassical cabinet-maker whose pattern book
The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide illustrated
prevailing fashions in a way that was easily interpreted by
Common floral motif used on Oriental carpets, and said to
originate in the region of Herat, Iran. Typically it
consists of a stylised floral rosette arranged in two-way or
four-way symmetry, enclosed within a diamond shape. The
motif is also known as the mahi or fish pattern in the
carpet trade because of its resemblance to fishes, or more
recently, as the in-and-out pattern.
Japanese term for a charcoal burner, usually of bronze or
cast iron, and used for warming rooms.
Certain metal oxide pigments that can withstand the high
firing temperatures used to fuse them onto an unglazed
ceramic body. They are used as underglaze colours painted
onto the biscuit body of porcelain, or painted onto the raw
glaze (known as inglaze) of tin-glazed earthenware before
the glaze firing. Colours include green from copper, purple
from manganese, yellow from antimony and blue from cobalt
and are also known as grand feu colours.
The hand grip of a sword or dagger. Until the 15thC, swords
usually had a straight hilt with a crossguard and pommel.
Later hilts are more elaborate, in terms of both protection
and decoration. See sword.
Folding metal joint which allows doors and lids to open and
shut; it can be decorative as well as functional. Before the
16thC, pin hinges were used on boarded and panelled
furniture (see joining): a loose pin or barrel acts as a
pivot which is pushed through corresponding holes in the two
parts to be joined. The wire hinge, consisting of two
interlocking loops of wire, was introduced in the 16thC, and
is often seen on 17thC coffers. From the beginning of the
18thC, hinges tend to be concealed. A butt hinge is sunk
into the edge of the surface so that only a narrow line of
metal is visible externally. And in a blind hinge, the
pivoting pin and tube are set within the hinge plate so that
they are flush with the surface. The join can be further
disguised by a rule joint - a hinged joint used on screens
or the fold-down leaves of tables so that there is no gap in
the outer surface when the leaves are down. On lidded metal
and ceramic objects, a book hinge with a rounded back like
the spine of a book may be seen, sometimes with the ends of
the pin concealed by ornamental caps, and box hinge is found
on some stoneware jugs with silver or pewter lids and mouth
Cabinet-making term for a cabriole leg which extends to or
rises above the level of the seat as opposed to ending at
the base of the seat rail, and which is often ornately
carved from the knee upwards.
Sparsely painted blue and white porcelain made at the
Mikawachi kilns for the lords of Hirado, an island near
arita, Japan. Most pieces are likely to be 19thC, although
production may have been as early as the late 17thC.
Spanish TIN-GLAZED EARTHENWARE that used techniques and
designs brought by the Moorish invaders in the 8thC. The
most notable wares are decorated with lustre introduced from
the 13thC and used especially at Malaga, and in the Valencia
area in the 15thC. The ware inspired the development of
Italian maiolica and was arguably the first pottery of any
artistic value to be produced in Europe since the ancient
German ceramics factory operating 1746-96. It began making
faience useful wares, painted in enamel colours, then
produced hard-paste porcelain from 1750, concentrating on
Rococo-style tablewares and statuettes, notably by Johann
Peter Melchior (1742-1825).
(1870-1956) See wiener werkstatte.
(1697-1764) British painter, caricaturist and silver
engraver who depicted the social classes of Georgian times
in works such as A Rake's Progress and Marriage a la Mode.
Family of Turkish carpets incorporating various octagonal
motifs, named after the German painter Hans Holbein the
Younger, who depicted such carpets in his paintings. The
designs actually date from the second half of the 15thC,
predating Holbein's paintings by nearly a century. The term
embraces small-pattern Holbeins with rows of alternating
lozenges and octagons, originating in the Ushak region of
western Anatolia, and large-pattern Holbeins with two or
three large octagons, woven in Turkey.
Australia's famous first coin - a Spanish piece of eight
with the centre cut out and counter-marked, and a face value
of 25p (5 shillings). Holey dollars were issued in New South
Wales in 1813 and withdrawn 1829. The pieces cut from the
centres formed coins in their own right known as dumps and
with a face value of 6.25p (1s 3d).
(1745-1806) Late Georgian architect and furniture designer
whose work anticipated that of French empire style.
Term for gold, silver, pewter and ceramics ware that is
hollow, such as bowls and drinking vessels - as opposed to
Hard, white wood with a close grain and fine texture, often
stained a different colour. Holly was used for small pieces
of inlaid decoration in solid oak and walnut in the 16th and
early 17th centuries and for marquetry from the late 17th to
late 18th centuries.
1 Removable part of a clock which hides the mechanism and
surrounds the dial. 2 Semi-circular top of a mirror frame or
Hooke, Dr Robert
See tompion, Thomas.
(1769-1831) Dutch-born author-traveller, collector,
furniture designer and patron of the arts. He moved to
England in 1795 with a huge collection of antique vases and
sculpture. His Household Furniture and Interior Decoration,
published 1807, became a 'bible' for Regency style
containing designs for solid pieces of furniture, based on
Classical lines and decorated with symbolic motifs taken
from Ancient Greek and Egyptian architecture.
horse dressing glass
See cheval MIRROR.
Flat or slightly curved brass plate with pierced, engraved
or stamped decoration designed to ward off evil, advertise
the trade of the horse's owner or to bring good luck.
Horse-brasses were familiar harness trappings in Britain in
the 19thC; examples before 1860 are rare, although similar
badges were used in the Middle Ages. Most examples seen
today are reproductions.
Coarse stuffing from the mane and tail of horses used to
upholster seat furniture from the mid-18thC, and widely used
throughout the 19thC.
Table introduced in the `8thC which is shaped like a segment
of a ring, sometimes with rounded flaps at either end for
extending the surface area. There is often a central pivoted
device to move bottles to any point of the radius.
(1861-1947) Belgian art nouveau architect, teacher and
designer. His interiors and furniture are characterised by
sinuous lines and contrasting areas of space, and by the use
of wrought iron, curved metalwork and inlaid decoration.
They were much copied throughout Europe.
Protestant refugees from France, known for their highly
skilled craftsmanship and who influenced decorative arts in
Europe from the end of the 17thC. In 1685, Louis XIV of
France revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had allowed French
Protestants religious freedom of worship. As a consequence,
Britain and other European countries received a flood of
Huguenots fleeing persecution. Many of these were
cabinet-makers, tapestry and cloth weavers or silversmiths,
and their work was of the highest quality. They introduced
several new cabinet-making techniques, including marquetry,
veneering, japanning and gesso work. Many of the finest
silks from the major 18thC spitalfields silk factories in
London were the work of Huguenot designer James Leman.
Particularly influential was the silverwork produced by
Huguenot craftsmen such as David willaume. It is generally
solid, decorated with cut-card work, strap work, intricate
engraving and the application of cast ornaments in human and
animal form. The distinctive Huguenot styles gradually
merged with native styles from around 1725. The refugees
also brought with them several new vessels, including the
soup tureen and the ecuelle.
Large German 17th-18thC drinking vessels. Glass examples
were almost cylindrical in shape, often lidded and decorated
with enamel. Reichsadlerhumpen, or adlerglas, carry the
double eagle of the Holy Roman Empire, with the armorial
bearings of 56 imperial families on its wings.
Kurfiirstenhumpen are painted with pictures of the Holy
Roman Emperor and his Electors, and others, called
Apostelhumpen, with religious scenes.
Pocket watch with a hinged metal cover over the dial. These
were first used, from c. 1840, in the hunting field, as the
unprotected glass of an open-faced watch in a rider's
waistcoat pocket was liable to be knocked and broken. A
half-hunter case has an opening cut in the centre of the lid
with an additional chapter ring engraved around it to allow
the hands to be read without exposing the full dial.
Opaque scarlet or black bohemian glass, often with gilding,
developed in the early 19thC, probably in imitation of
Wedgwood's rosso antico and basaltes ware. It was used
mainly for ornaments.
Return to Home Page