Antiques Glossary - K
Author: Jim CoyleKaga ware
The name given to a distinctive palette of colours used
initially on Japanese porcelain c. 1660, comprising
turquoise, dark blue, yellow, iron-red, black and
occasionally brown. The name is that of the potter credited
with the palette's invention, Kakiemon I, although the
palette is more likely to have evolved gradually. It was
copied at the early European porcelain factories during the
first half of the 18thC, especially at meissen, chantilly,
chelsea and Bow. Only blue and white wares with no evidence
of Kakiemon enamels have been unearthed at the known
Kakiemon kiln site near arita, suggesting that the
enamelling was done elsewhere.
Script mark of a Japanese artist (equivalent to the British
monogram), which is used to identify Japanese metalwork,
netsuke, ceramics and lacquer.
Optical toy consisting of a tube containing mirrors and
pieces of coloured glass or paper, popular during the 19thC.
Changing patterns appear when the tube is rotated.
Kandler, Charles Frederick
(fl. 1727-73) London silversmith, regarded as second only to
Paul de lamerie. Kandler made some highly decorated pieces
such as wine coolers, tea kettles and tableware, in Rococo
style; they typically had handles cast in the form of birds.
Later, neoclassical designs were simpler.
Kandler, Johann Joachim
(1706-75) German porcelain modeller responsible for the
eminence of the meissen factory where he was chief modeller
1733-75. Kandler established the porcelain figure - both
human and animal - as an art form and influenced figures
produced at other German factories from the 18thC until the
20thC. His work was imitated throughout Europe.
See china clay.
Indo-Persian straight-bladed, single-edged knife, rather
like a kitchen knife. It was carried in a wide scabbard
covering much of the hilt.
Pointed, double-edged Indian dagger with an H-shaped hilt
which was gripped on the crossbar and used with a
(1741 -1807) Swiss-born painter. Kauffmann lived in England
(1766-81) before moving to Italy with her husband, artist
Antonio zucchi. Her work included wall, ceiling and
furniture designs for architect Robert Adam.
lobular ceramic or metal drinking vessel with a
breast-shaped spout, made in the Far East. Chinese porcelain
kendi were exported to the Middle East from the 15thC.
1684-1748) Painter, architect, designer and landscape
gardener. Kent's buildings were inspired by the austere,
Classical lines of palladian style architecture, which he
had studied in Italy 1709-19, and influenced also by Inigo
jones. Kent's house interiors, however, had a more ornate,
baroque style and richly carved, architectural-style
furniture, which formed part of a unified scheme. Kent was
an acknowledged authority on taste in his own lifetime, and
had a great influence on contemporary style.
Kerr & Binns
Watch which is wound by means of an attached key, a ribbed
knob or button, rather than by a separate key. The keyless,
or button-wound watch was first patented 1820 and much
modified and improved during the 19thC, but not generally
adopted in Britain until after 1880.
Indentation in the base of glass objects, designed to
Key centre for carpet-making from the late 17thC. The
Worcestershire factories initially produced flat-weave
carpets, which were largely superseded in 1749 by
hard-wearing moquette carpets. The town was the first
British carpet centre to use the Jacquard loom in the early
19thC, and the industry continued to expand throughout the
19th and 20th centuries.
1A flat-weave rug. Technically, the word as used in the East
refers only to 'slit-tapestry' weavings, so called because
the weft is discontinued with each change of colour,
creating slits. The word kilim is of Persian (Iranian)
origin, but the rugs are mainly associated with Anatolia in
central Turkey, although they are also made in the Caucasus
-where they are known as palas - and elsewhere. Kilims are
noted for bright, almost garish, colours and bold designs,
often incorporating stylised animals and birds. 2 Kilim can
also refer to the flat, woven fringe used to finish off the
edges of a pile carpet
A double-edged sword or dagger of south-east Europe and
Iran. The hilt tapers inwards from the shoulder to form the
handgrip then broadens out again to provide a handstop;
there is no crossguard.
Japanese term meaning 'ground gold', used for highly
polished gold lacquer on furniture and other decorative
objects. Powdered gold is painted or sprinkled onto a
lacquered base and then covered with several layers of clear
(1888-1954) Danish architect, furniture designer and
academic who was largely responsible for the Europe-wide
popularity of Scandinavian furniture in the 1920s and 30s.
His furniture designs made effective use of natural
materials such as unvarnished wood and undyed leather and
textiles. They were simple, highly practical and geared to
the principles of ergonomics.
A Classical chair style from ancient Greece with a shallow,
concave backrest and slightly splayed legs. It was said to
be the first chair which provided a comfortable, relaxed
sitting position. The style was revived in Europe during the
late 18th and early 18th centuries.
A recess or opening to provide leg space, introduced to
desks, dressing tables and bureaux in the late 17thC. The
kneehole desk, introduced in the 18thC, is a desk made in
one section with a central recessed cupboard below the
frieze drawer and three drawers either side.
Term (often abbreviated to KD) used from the late 19thC for
furniture that is readily dismantled or folded.
Upholstered sofa which transforms into a day bed when the
arms are lowered on an iron ratchet. The Knole sofa dates
from the early17thC, named after an example at Knole, Kent,
and was much copied in Victorian times.
Decorative knob of various shapes, and seen, for example, as
part of the stem of a drinking glass or as a turned feature
in furniture. When the knop forms an endpiece, as on a spoon
handle, lid or chairback, it is known as a finial.
Interlocking joint of wood used as a hinge on the brackets
of drop-leaf tables.
A decorative edging seen particularly on late 19thC gold and
silver. It is an irregular version of gadrooning with
grooves cut at varying intervals to create an effect similar
to oblong bead moulding.
Small, shallow Japanese lacquer box, sometimes with a tray,
for storing incense, and similar in style, shape and
decoration to a kogo.
Japanese for 'small box-chest', describing a small lacquer
cabinet containing a nest of drawers enclosed by a door for
holding personal accessories. It often has engraved silver
Japanese term for the metalwork and metal mountings on a
sword. Kodogu includes the tsuba (sword guard) , fuchi and
kashira (terminals at the top and bottom of the hilt) ,
menuki (hilt ornaments) , kogai (skewer), mekugi (rivet
securing the blade of a sword) and kogatana (utility knife).
The kozuka is the long, flat handle of the kogatana and
sometimes refers to the knife itself.
Shallow, lidded, miniature Japanese box for storing incense
(kogo means 'incense box'). Kogo are normally of wood
covered with lacquer, but sometimes of ceramic or metal, and
are of various shapes. They are usually highly decorated.
Kogo first appeared in the 12thC for use at incense and tea
ceremonies. Peak production was in the 19thC, when many were
exported to the West.
Traditional wooden Japanese folk doll with a cylindrical
body, round head and painted features. Dating from the
17thC, kokeshi are thought originally to have been mementos
from healing springs,
Dutch term for blue and white chinese export porcelain of
the late 16th and early 17th centuries usually decorated in
underglaze blue. Kraak was later extensively imitated at the
delft potteries. The term comes from the Portuguese
carracks, ships carrying cargoes of Oriental china, which
were captured by the Dutch.
A traditional dagger of Malaya and the East Indies. The
blade is usually rough and either straight or serpentine,
widening at the hilt; the grip is straight or acutely
Ancient Arabic writing, often used in a stylised form.
The traditional knife of Nepal, with a curved, broad blade.
Those that were carried by Gurkha troops have a black
leather scabbard containing two implements; one for use as a
small knife, the other a sharpening steel.
The name used in the carpet trade for the finest wool
available for weaving carpets. It is shorn from the
underbelly of sheep and is used to make extremely soft and
fine carpets. The word is Armenian for 'wool'. It is most
commonly used in the context of 19th and 20thC rugs from
Kashan, a major weaving centre in Iran.
Various wares made in the region of Kutani, Japan, from the
17th to the early 20th centuries. They include the
following: 1 Thin eggshell porcelain tea and coffee services
which are painted predominantly in shades of grey and gold,
and sometimes marked 'Kutani'. lithophanes are occasionally
incorporated into the base of the cups. The quality can be
good, but this is rare. More common are items mass-produced
in the 20thC, which tend to have transfer-printed outlines
filled in with sloppy painting. 2 A relatively heavy
porcelain decorated predominantly in iron-red enamel with
detailing in black, greys and gilding, occasionally with
other colours. It is seen on large dishes, pairs of vases
and figures of the meiji period (1868-1912). 3
Oatmeal-coloured earthenware, sometimes called Kaga ware,
covered in brocade and panel designs, often carrying the
Kutani mark. Wares, made from c. 1860, include steep-sided
dishes, incense burners with a figure or shi-shi (Buddhist
lion) handles and finials. 4 Ao (green) or Ko (old) Kutani
are mainly dishes with a porcelain or straw-coloured
stoneware body, the inner surface painted with asymmetrical
brocade or geometric panels outlined in black and filled in
with a palette of thick but translucent enamel colours. Deep
green is most common; smoky yellow, aubergine, blue and
occasionally dark iron-red are also seen. The undersides are
often completely green with a black wavy line. Some pieces
date from the 17thC, but most found in Europe date from the
A second, lead glaze added to tin-glaxed eartheware after
decoration and firing. It was introduced on delft ware in
the 17thC, to enhance the brightness of the colours and give
a smooth, glassy finish. The idea was taken up by the
British, at bristol for example, during the early 18thC, but
with less striking results.
Centre of Japanese ceramic production 1615-1868, noted
particularly for enamelled and gilt pottery initiated by the
17thC potter Ninsei. Much satsuma ware of the meiji period
(1868- 1912) was made or enamelled in Kyoto.
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