Antiques Glossary - J
Author: Jim CoyleJackfield ware
Ceramics imitation of Japanese lacquer ware initially
produced at Jackfield in Shropshire from c. 1750. It is also
known as japanned ware and is covered in a glossy black
glaze with gilded decoration. It was also produced by
astbury, whieldon and wedgwood.
(1739-1814) French master menuisier whose work spanned the
Louis XVI and empire periods. His early Rococo work soon
gave way to a Neoclassical Louis XVI style, and by the early
1780s he was one of the leading chair-makers in Paris. After
the Revolution, he worked for the designers fontaine and
Percier before forming Jacob-Desmalter & Cie in 1803 with
his second son, Francois.
Reign of James I in England, 1603-25.
Wine glasses, tumblers and decanters used for loyal toasts
to James II and his descendants, Roman Catholic Pretenders
to the British throne. Production began in 1688 and the
objects were engraved with mottoes, portraits and symbols of
the Jacobite cause, supposedly including a thistle, an oak
leaf, a caterpillar and a carnation, and a six, seven or
eight-petalled rose which represented the British crown. The
cause was lost in 1770 and production of the glassware
ceased a few years later. Since then all Jacobite glassware
has been widely faked especially in the late 19thC.
Firm of watch and automata makers. The partnership between
Pierre Jacquet-Droz and his son, Henri-Louis, was set up in
Geneva, Switzerland, in 1787. The firm was known for its
exquisitely decorated enamelled and automata watches in the
first half of the 19thC. They also created life-like
automata of human figures drawing and painting.
General term for the minerals nephrite and jadeite.
Nephrite, from Turkestan, Siberia and the Far East, is hard
and translucent, and 'rings' when struck. It ranges in
colour from white (the highly prized 'mutton-fat jade') to
various shades of brown and green ('spinach jade'), and has
a greasy look when polished. Jadeite is rarer, harder and
more easily fractured. It is dark green, emerald or
variegated white with emerald, or green and lavender; the
translucent emerald green 'imperial' or 'true' jade is the
most precious form of jadeite. Both minerals are too hard to
be carved with cutting tools and instead are shaped by
abrasives. Nephrite figures and ritualistic implements have
been sculpted by the Chinese from Neolithic times, but the
18thC was a particularly prolific period. At this time too,
they began to work in jadeite, but mainly for items of
jewellery. Real jade remains unmarked when scratched with a
A curved dagger with a double-edged blade. It is a
traditional Arab weapon but found in various forms from
North Africa to Iran and from East Africa to western India.
The jambiyah was often contained in an ornamental scabbard
and tucked through a belt at the front of the body.
British term for imitation Oriental lacquer introduced in
the latter half of the 17thC. Metal or wooden surfaces are
coated with several layers of various gums such as shellac,
as distinct from the resin of the Oriental lacquer tree
which is used in true lacquer. High quality japanning is
done with spirit-based varnishes which have a transparency
that almost matches the finish of genuine lacquer. It can
usually be distinguished from true lacquer by the
Westernised designs and greater range of ground colours
including black, dark green, and the British speciality of
sealing-wax red. The initial spate of japanned cabinets,
mirror frames and boxes at the end of the 17th and early
18th centuries was followed by a fashion for japanned
longcase clocks 1720-70. Then there was a lull until the
18thC, when the Victorians revived the craft, especially in
the form of japanned Ppapier m?ch?. See pontypool ware,
bilston enamels, jackfield ware.
European decoration copied from imported Japanese porcelain
and lacquer. In the late 18thC, Japan patterns (see imari)
appeared on British ceramics at worcester and derby. This
fashion declined in the 1820s, but in the 1860s a craze for
Japanese style swept every area of design.
A term used for the ornamental container for a plant pot.
Heavily moulded and glazed majolica jardini?res, usually on
a stand, were a feature of Victorian drawing rooms, and
ornately wrought-iron versions combining table or stand with
inset pot were also popular.
A smooth, matt-finish fine stoneware introduced by Josiah
wedgwood in 1774. Jasperware was much imitated in its time,
and is still produced today. It is unglazed, similar in
texture to biscuit porcelain, and colours include tones of
green, lavender, yellow or black as well as the famous
'Wedgwood blue', with relief designs in neoclassical style
applied in white. The paste itself was stained with metal
oxides such as cobalt to produce 'solid jasper', but after
1777, a coloured surface wash was applied to a white base
resulting in jasper dip. Jasperware can be burnished to a
glossy finish - which is sometimes seen on cups and bowls.
It is mainly seen unpolished, however, in the form of vases,
plaques, cameos and other ornaments.
Jazz Modern style
See art deco.
Jeanneret, Charles Edward
See le corbusier.
One or two-handled 18thC glass, usually with a long
vase-shaped bowl and short stem, for serving a single
portion of jelly or similar type of sweet dessert.
Jennens & Bettridge
English manufacturers of PAPIER-M?CH? furniture and works of
art, 1816-64. They patented a form of inlaid decoration in
p?pier-mach? using coloured glass, ivory, mother-of-pearl,
tortoiseshell and gemstones
(fl. 1680-1715) Anglo-Dutch cabinet-maker, whose rich Dutch
version of Louis XIV style influenced william and mary
furniture. Jensen's furniture was noted for its metal inlay
marquetry that was similar to boulle work.
Chinese porcelain of the mid- 18thC often decorated en
grisaille with Christian subjects meticulously copied from
European engravings. The term is misleading, however, as
many of the subjects were erotic and not always aimed at the
Black, glossy, fossilised wood - a very hard form of coal -
that is carved and highly polished to make jewellery and
ornaments. Jet has been used for decoration since the Bronze
Age. It was mined extensively on the Yorkshire coast near
Whitby and widely exported c.1805-75. It was popular for
buttons and mourning jewellery in Victorian times. Spanish
jet is softer and cheaper than the British form, and French
jet is the term used for glass imitations.
Process of shaping a gemstone to give it symmetry, and
enhance its brilliance, beauty and value. The resulting
shapes are either in smooth cabochon form or with many
facets. Diamond and precious-stone cutting is said to have
begun in Belgium in 1475. See box above.
1 The mount in which a gemstone is set in a ring, pendant,
brooch or other item of jewellery. 2 The style in which a
gemstone is secured in a finger ring. In a closed setting
the underneath of the stone is enclosed and may be backed
with coloured foil to enhance its colour. In an open setting
the underneath of the stone is exposed. In the 19thC several
variations of the open setting were introduced and largely
superseded the closed setting.
Ceramics decoration like brightly coloured gems, created by
fusing drops of coloured enamel over gold and silver foil.
The technique was employed at sevres c. 1778-86, and used in
the mid-19thC at worcester, coalport and minton porcelain
factories, though not always on a foil ground.
Term that refers to the use of hard gemstones (usually
synthetic rubies or diamonds) as bearings in watches or
clocks to reduce the wear (and hence deterioration in
timekeeping) caused by the pivots of cog spindles in their
pivot holes. Jewelling was first patented in London in 1704,
and was a jealously guarded secret among British makers well
into the 18thC. As a result it is not generally found in
continental watches until the 19thC,
(1896-1985) British furniture designer who, with her husband
David, designed simple, functional furniture for wide
domestic use in the 1920s ? often in teak or oak, but also
in exotic woods such as Indian laurel and silverwood. Pieces
have the date of manufacture, the name 'Joel' and the name
of the craftsman on a card fixed behind glass.
(1714-78) British furniture-maker, designer, carver and
gilder in Rococo style. He published several pattern books
of elegant display pieces, such as mirror frames,
candlesticks and side tables.
16th-17thC, four-legged oak stool with pegged joints, turned
legs and a deep apron.
See refectory table. panelled construction
Technique of fitting pieces of wood together to the standard
required in furniture-making. The words joined or joint
indicate that a piece has been constructed using
mortise-and-tenon or dovetail joints, rather than pegged
with wooden dowels or iron pins at the angles, as in boarded
construction. In the 16thC came panelled construction -
panels held in grooves cut into vertical timbers called
stiles (at the comers) and muntins, and horizontal timbers,
or rails. By the end of the 15thC the mortise-and-tenon
joint was in general use in furniture construction. Two
sections of wood are joined at an angle by means of a
projecting tenon, which fits into a cut-out section of
corresponding shape and size called a mortise. A tenon
ridged on one side only is known as a barefaced tenon,
whereas a barefaced tongue refers to a join where the
protruding 'tongue' of wood fits flush on one side of the
join. Two pieces of wood can be joined at an angle by means
of wedges or dovetail-shaped projections in one piece
fitting into corresponding cut-out sections in the other.
This is known as a dovetail joint. A through' dovetail shows
through the front of the piece of furniture, resulting in a
slightly uneven surface for veneering. A refinement of the
through-dovetail is the stopped or lapped dovetail in which
the jointed wood does not show on the outer surface of the
(1573-1652) Leading classical architect of the Jacobean
period. Many of his buildings are the earliest in British
architecture to adopt Classical themes, and his ideas had
considerable impact on the work of later designers such as
William kent and Robert Adam.
(1809-74) British designer, architect and writer who
influenced Victorian decorative styles and the art nouveau
movement. Following visits to the Middle East and Spain,
Owen popularised the mathematical structure and stylised
natural forms of islamic and HispANO-MoRESQUE styles in his
book The Alhambra, and world design in Grammar of Ornament.
Jones' influence extended to Christopher dresser and Frank
See carpet knots.
Name of the German art nouveau movement, which peaked
1896-1900. It is named after a Munich magazine called Die
Jugend (Youth). The style incorporated languid, stylised
flowers and figures in its early stages, and later showed a
more geometrical tendency inspired by British designer
Charles Rennie mackintosh.
Wooden or cardboard doll, known as a pan tin in France, and
Hampelmann in Germany, with a length of string hanging
between the legs which is connected to each loosely jointed
arm and leg. When the string is pulled the limbs jerk
upwards and outwards. Jumping jacks have been made from the
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