Antiques Glossary - M
Author: Jim Coylemachine knotting
Mechanical carpet-making technique for reproducing
hand-knots, usually Turkish, invented in Britain c. 1900.
Later machines were able to produce a wider variety of knots
and patterns in more varied colours. Belgium is particularly
well known for machine-knotted carpets in a variety of
Macintyre, James, & Co
Staffordshire pottery at Burslem from c. 1847 which mainly
produced utility ceramics. The company opened an art pottery
studio in 1897, for a time under the direction of William
moorcroft before he set up independently; this closed in
Mackintosh, Charles Rennie
(1869-1928) Scottish architect, designer and leading art
nouveau figure. Mackintosh's best-known building was the new
Glasgow School of Art (1897), where he himself had been
trained and which became the focal point for a group of
revolutionary designers - the glasgow school -around the
turn of the century. Mackintosh's interior schemes were of
ten sparse, and his furniture combined straight and gently
curving lines to create pieces that were more sculptural
than functional. His work was far more influential on the
Continent, especially Austria and Germany, than in Britain.
He devoted his later life to watercolour painting.
(1851 -1942) Architect, designer of textiles, wallpapers and
furniture, and a pioneer of the art nouveau decorative style
in Britain. He founded the Century Guild (1882), which aimed
to put glass-blowing, pottery, woodcarving and other
decorative crafts on a par with painting and sculpture.
Mackmurdo's lasting contribution to 19thC design was his
swirling decorative motif (often seen on his chair backs),
later widely adopted by Art Nouveau artists. He also had a
considerable influence on the architect-designer Charles
French name for a chinoiserie figure - usually a Chinese
Buddha -which was produced in the 18thC by many European
porcelain factories including meissen and chantilly. During
the 19thC the word was also used in a derogatory manner to
describe chinese export porcelain. Magots are also known as
A simple image projector using hand-painted or photographic
glass slides. The images were initially lit by natural
light, candles, oil or gas. Then came limelight (lime glows
brilliantly when hot) or paraffin lamps, some of which were
later converted to use electricity. The magic lantern was
especially popular during Victorian and Edwardian times and
used at public shows and as a form of home entertainment.
A navigational device for finding the earth's magnetic
north. It has been used in Europe from the 13thC to the
Strong and durable, close-grained hardwood native to central
and northern South America and the West Indies. Mahogany
varies in colour from red to dark brown and is sometimes
spotted. The wood was first imported in quantity to Europe
in the early 18thC. Because of the great girth and height of
the tree, the timber was available in lengths and widths
previously unknown to European craftsmen, enabling them to
use a single cut of wood for a table-top or the front of a
large piece of furniture. Mahogany furniture became a
British speciality in the mid-18thC, and was used by all
major cabinet?makers, but spread later to France and, with
the French empire style, to the rest of Europe. In the 1800s
African mahogany, which is lighter in weight, began to be
Dagger used in the left hand to parry an opponent's blade
while using a rapier. It was popular in Europe in the 16th
and 17th centuries.
tin-glazed earthenware produced in Italy from the 13thC,
although the term 'maiolica' was not coined until the 14thC.
It originally applied to hispano-moresque lustreware
imported to Italy from Spain via the island of Majorca -
from which the word is thought to be derived. Maiolica
production reached its peak during the 16thC at centres such
as Faenza and Florence, and led directly to the development
of faience in France.
19thC British and US lead-glazed earthenware which echoed
the strong colours, rich relief work and thick glazes of
16thC Italian maiolica, especially that produced by the
della robbia family in Florence, Italy, in the 16thC.
Majolica was introduced in Britain by minton, using a
cane-coloured body to set off the thick, coloured glazes.
wedgwood followed suit, reviving its 18thC green-glazed ware
with leaves moulded in relief, and using a white earthenware
body and translucent glaze. The finest exponent of all,
however, was probably George Jones, also of Staffordshire.
The popularity of majolica spread to Sweden, throughout
Europe and North America in the late 19thC, often drawing
design ideas from the Far East.
(1859-1926) French art Nouveau and art deco furniture-maker
and metalwork designer who was a key figure in the nancy
school, and in 1925 served on the jury of the Paris
exposition internationale des arts d?coratifs. His studio,
Maison Majorelle, operated from the late 1890s until the
Second World War. Majorelle's early furniture exhibits
flowing, sculptural forms and fine proportions; later pieces
follow the more geometric lines of Art Deco. He also
produced elaborate metal mounts for daum glassware and
Bright green stone with bandings and circular markings in
dark and pale green. It is found mainly in Russia, and used
for table tops, veneers, vases and inlaid decoration, and in
jewellery, either carved or cabochon cut. The Russian
jeweller faberg? used the stone extensively. See jewel
A combination of enamel colours including a distinctive
purplish-red and pink, and gold - a variant of the
famille-rose palette - used on chinese export porcelain in
the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Typical panel scenes
of families out-of-doors, sometimes alternating with panels
of flowers, are set against a densely celled or trellised
ground and often framed in underglaze blue. The palette was
imitated on some English porcelain and stone china.
Borneo head-hunter's sword. The blade is often decorated and
the hilt is carved from bone or horn, sometimes in the shape
of an animal's head. The scabbard is made of two pieces of
wood bound together with thongs.
A general term for any spring-driven clock specifically
designed to be placed on a mantelpiece, generally smaller
and shallower than a bracket clock, and without a carrying
The field maple, one of the first North American woods to be
exported to Europe for use in the furniture trade. It is
whitish in colour with veins and wavy darker lines running
through, polishes to a fine finish and is excellent for
turning. The American sugar or hard maple is distinguished
by highly decorative markings known by the apt names of
'bird's-eye', 'fiddleback', 'blister' and 'curly', which are
caused by buds that failed to break through the bark.
Bird's-eye maple, in particular, was popular for veneers in
the early 19thC Regency period and for Victorian and
Edwardian bedroom suites.
Streaked glass with the appearance of marble. It was made in
Venice from the 15th to 17th centuries and involved
combining two or more colours of molten glass. See agate
glass and onyx glass.
The process of decorating a surface to resemble marble,
practised in Europe from the 13thC. It was used particularly
on woodwork and furniture from the early 17thC and on table
and commode tops in the 18thC. The late Victorian arts and
crafts movement disapproved of such imitation of an
authentic material, but marbling made a comeback in early
20thC furnishing and decoration.
Originally common crystallised iron pyrites (iron sulphide),
and later a misnomer for pyrite or white iron pyrites (iron
disulphide). True marcasite is almost white, resembling pale
bronze. The substitute pyrite was popular in Europe from the
18thC. Marcasite is usually set in silver or pewter and rose
cut (see jewel cutting) or mounted in a pave setting to
increase its sparkle.
Maria Theresa thaler
A large Austrian silver coin always dated 1780 and bearing
the head of Empress Maria Theresa, also known as an MT
dollar (the word 'dollar' comes from thaler). The coin is
still being struck today to the original design, and
persists as a standard bullion-style currency in some parts
of the world, including the Middle East.
(1882-1960) French painter and leading art deco glass-maker,
mainly active 1911-37. Many of his pieces feature deliberate
inclusions in the glass, such as bubbles or chemical specks,
and his early work (pre-1922) is often decorated with
brightly coloured enamel flowers or figures. His output was
limited and most has been lost, but his influence was
considerable both in Europe and the United States.
(1663-1752) French-born architect and designer. Marot worked
in Holland and England as architect to William of Orange. He
was probably the first designer in Britain to create
complete room interiors (furniture, hangings, upholstery and
fittings), some 70 years before the Adam brothers. His
baroque designs influenced furniture designers such as
marqueterie sur verre
Style of decorative glassware (literally translated as
'marquetry on glass')developed by the French designer Emile
gall?. Pieces of hot glass, often shaped like flowers, were
smoothed into a glass object of contrasting colour by
marvering when the glass was still molten.
Decorative veneer on furniture which is made up of shaped
pieces of wood, or other materials such as ivory, metals and
mother-of-pearl, arranged in a pattern of contrasting
colours. Floral designs and seaweed marquetry are often
seen, as are geometric patterns (see parquetry). Marquetry
largely replaced inlaid decoration in the early 17thC,
firstly in Germany and the Low Countries; it was taken up by
the French ?b?nistes, and in Britain from c. 1675. The
neoclassical period in Britain brought a resurgence of
interest in the technique during the 1760s. See also boulle.
See love seat.
Group of prominent 18thC faience factories in southern
France noted for their informal, brightly coloured
enamel-decorated wares, featuring scenes from nature
incorporating flowers, fish and seascapes, produced before
1770. Some of the finest work was from the factory run by
French for 'hammered' and used to describe the uneven
surface given to metal, especially copper and silver, by
hammering, as a form of art nouveau decoration. The term
also applies to the faceted glass, which resembles hammered
metal, invented by the daum brothers.
See toby jug.
Process of rolling molten glass on a marble or smooth iron
table to shape it and to add decorative effects as in iced
glass or latticing. The surface is known as a marver, from
the Italian word for marble.
Wide, flat-bottomed shallow bowl made of turned wood,
usually maple, or sometimes walnut or beech, used from the
13th to 15th centuries.
See spill vase.
The earliest gun-firing mechanism, developed in the early
15thC, in which the powder charge was ignited by a glowing
wick (or 'match') soaked in nitre and dilute alcohol, and
held in an S-shaped pivot called a serpentine. When the
trigger was pressed, the serpentine moved forwards and
applied the match to the powder in a pan so igniting the
main charge. The mechanism was used in the Orient long after
it had been discarded in Europe.
Traditional wooden Russian peasant dolls of varying sizes
that fit inside each other. Matryushka means 'little
Method of giving a textured, matt appearance to a silver or
other metal surface, either by using acid or by punching
closely spaced dots with a punch or similar tool. The
process dates from the 16thC and was widely used in the 17th
and 18th centuries for decorating vessels. In the 19thC,
matting commonly served as a background for cast or chased
ornament, and relief design and matted gold was especially
popular in 19thC jewellery. It is also known as bloomed
See ince & mayhew.
1 Dish liner, usually of silver with decorative pierced
patterns, to fit in a fish or meat dish so that the juices
can strain. 2 Rich, deep blue ceramic colour, characteristic
of s?vres porcelain. The colour was imitated at worcester,
and also at chelsea from c. 1755, particularly during the
red anchor period.
The standard form of time measurement shown on most clocks,
representing the average (or 'mean') of the differing daily
rate of solar time. Solar time is time measured by the
course of the sun as on a sundial; it is inconstant,
differing slightly from day to day. Sidereal time is time as
measured by the motion of the stars. The sidereal day is
four minutes longer than a solar day, and there is one day
less than in a solar year. The equation of time indicates
the difference (either fast or slow) between solar and mean
time, which agree only on four days in each year -April 16,
June 14, September 1 and December 25. An equation dial on a
clock or watch shows the interrelation between mean time and
solar time, either by two sets of hands or on a subsidiary
See barge ware.
Thin, oval or circular tablet, used as a decorative motif -
in Oriental carpets, for example - inset into a panel of
furniture, embedded in glass for display purposes, decorated
with painted or relief motifs on ceramics, or, in terms of
jewellery, worn as a pendant or brooch.
Porcelain factory founded by the Grand Duke Francesco I
de'Medici; the first producer of soft-paste porcelain
A white, soft, porous mineral suitable for carving, taken
from the German word for 'sea foam'. It was exported from
Turkey and the Black Sea to Vienna, Budapest and Paris in
the 18th and 19th centuries where it was made into pipes,
cigarette holders and ash bowls. Peak production was c.
1870-1900. It is also known as sepiolite.
Japanese period (1868-1912) during which art was affected by
increased contact with the West, including
industrialisation, European techniques and the export of
Japanese wares worldwide.
Chinese vase form, with a narrow neck and broad, bulbous
shoulders. The vases were designed to hold a single stem of
The first true porcelain producer in Europe, some 12 miles
(19 km) from dresden, in what is now the south-eastern part
of Germany. The man responsible was Johann bottger,
Meissen's first director in 1710, who discovered the secret
of making white hard-paste porcelain c.1708 - over 800 years
after the Chinese. Superb modelling and painting were
characteristic of Meissen porcelain, and for the next 50
years its products were unsurpassed, widely exported and
much imitated. Initially the factory made fine red
stoneware, with relief and engraved designs influenced by
baroque metalwork. The first true porcelain, put on the
market in 1713, was similar in style, in the form of
teaware, statuettes and Chinese blanc-de-chine-style
figures. From 1720, the yellowish tinge of the early
porcelain had given way to a brilliant white. This was the
era of the painter-decorators, led by J. G. H?roldt, who
improved enamel colours and specialised in fantastic
chinoiserie designs. From the 1730s, exquisitely detailed
harbour and military scenes were reproduced on a wide range
of ware. In the 1730s, the sculptors, with j.j.k?ndler at
their head, became dominant, producing a range of commedia
dell'arte characters, animals and birds, dinner services
richly decorated in relief, and sculptural vases and
tablewares. Rococo style was perfectly in tune with the
delicacy of Meissen porcelain. The more restrained
neoclassical style dominated from the 1760s, but standards
started to decline due to economic pressures and as the
French factory at sevres began to make its mark. Throughout
the 19thC, Meissen quality remained unchanged and there were
few innovations, although the late 1890s and early 1900s saw
the start of a more inventive approach in the art nouveau
manner. Copies of 18thC figures were made but lack the
detail of the originals.
See mourning jewellery
French soft-paste porcelain and faience factory founded in
Paris, 1734. It was moved to Mennecy 1748, then to
Bourg-La-Reine 1773, and was closed in 1806. Typical
porcelain products included tea services, small vases, knife
handles and novelties such as snuffboxes and walking-stick
heads in a muted Rococo style. Porcelain production is
thought to have ceased c. 1780, and cream ware was produced
French joiner who specialised in making small (menus)
objects in plain or carved woods, as distinct from an
?b?niste who specialised in veneered work. The distinction
was in force from the mid-17thC until the French Revolution
of 1789, after which time the guilds were disbanded.
English arts and crafts factory in South London founded by
William morris in 1881 and in operation until 1940. It
produced carpets, printed textiles, stained glass and
wallpaper. William de morgan and the artist Edward
Burne-Jones were linked with the factory.
(d.1578) French coin-maker who introduced the first
mechanical coining techniques to Britain c. 1560. Ousted
from the Royal Mint by fellow workers who feared that the
improved production methods might cost them their jobs,
Mestrelle turned to forgery, for which he was eventually
A glass-making term for the fused ingredients, in either
molten or solid form, from which glass is made.
metal head dolls
Dolls with metal heads on kid, cloth, composition, wooden or
metal bodies, dated from the mid- 19thC. The head was
stamped out of sheet metal, such as brass, copper, zinc,
lead, pewter or tin. The majority of metal heads were made
in Germany c. 1861 until the 1930s and exported to Britain,
France and the USA during the early 1900s.
See library steps.
Lead glazed red earthenware, decorated with white trailed
slip, and used to make chamberpots, bowls, mugs and jugs, in
London c. 1630-1730.
The entire surface of the copper plate is roughened with a
tool called a rocker, and then areas are scraped or
burnished to produce different textures that are more or
less receptive to ink; rough areas retain the ink and form
the shaded parts of the design, while the smooth, polished
sections remain ink-free.
Scientific instrument used for magnification, especially of
objects too minute to see clearly with the naked eye. Early
single-lens microscopes were little different from
magnifying glasses, but in 1590 Dutchmen Hans and Zacharias
Jannsen invented the compound microscope, which had a lens
at each end of an adjustable tube. The image was blurred at
high magnification, and development was slow until the
invention of the achromatic lens about 200 years later.
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig
(1886-1969) German architect and designer working in the
early 20thC Modernist style. He produced simple, stylish
furniture from the 1920s onwards, experimenting with
chromium-plated steel to create, among other chair designs,
his Barcelona chair of 1929 which is still in production
today. He was director of the German bauhaus school of
design from 1930, and emigrated to the USA in 1938.
A motif based on the shape of a prayer niche in a mosque,
commonly a dominant part of the pattern on Oriental prayer
rugs. Although the mihrab is primarily associated with
Islam, it actually predates Moslem carpets and was probably
an ancient symbol which was simply adopted by the Islamic
Italian for 'thousand flowers' ? a decorative glass-making
technique. The 'flowers' are made from transverse slices of
coloured glass canes, which are embedded in a clear glass
body when it is still in a molten state. Although the
technique was used in early Egyptian and Roman mosaic glass,
the name millefiori was not applied until the 16thC when it
was revived in Venice. It has since been applied to vases,
bowls, door knobs and paperweights some of the best
producers being baccarat, bacchus, clichy, st Louis and
See van cleef & arpels.
The penultimate of the great Chinese dynasties, 1368-1644.
The period saw a diversification and consolidation of
already established porcelain techniques including the
perfection of blue and white wares. enamel colours were
introduced in the late 15thC and Ming porcelain was traded
with the West from the 16thC. The trade grew rapidly, so
that by the end of the period, exports of ceramics,
textiles, lacquer and other works of art were thriving. The
dynasty fell to the invading Manchus who founded th qing
The term on its own usually refers to miniature paintings up
to a few inches across. Miniature portraits were developed
from illuminated manuscript work and were popular from the
16thC onwards. They are usually in watercolour or gouache;
early examples are on vellum and from the 18thC on ivory.
Oil miniatures are rare, generally dating from the 16th and
17th centuries and of Dutch or Flemish origin. Enamel on
metal miniatures, popular in the 18th and 19th centuries,
were often found on objects of vertu. See plumbago.
Miniature furniture was produced in the 18thC both as proof
of a cabinet-maker's skill (they were sometimes required as
final proof of an apprentice's readiness for entry into the
trade, and were known as apprentice pieces) or as
advertisements, to be placed in a shop front to attract
attention. Miniature ceramics popular in the late 18th and
19th centuries, especially in Britain, include domestic tea
and coffee services, made for some dolls' houses. Miniature
books under 3x 2 in (75 x 50 mm) were produced from c. 1773,
including calendars, Bibles, church notes and tide tables.
A small letter or symbol on a coin that denotes its place
and sometimes its period of origin. On British hammered
coins, a change of mintmark normally occurred following a
trial of the pyx.
One of Britain's leading ceramics factories during the
Victorian era. It was founded by Thomas Minton at
Stoke-on-Trent in 1793 and throughout its history has often
led the way in adapting fashions to the field of ceramics,
resulting in a huge range of styles. Minton were just behind
spode in the production of bone china c. 1800, although none
was produced 1816-24. In 1850 Minton introduced the richly
coloured and heavily glazed majolica, but the most ambitious
and notable contribution to ceramics history was the
intricate and expensive pate-sur-pate decoration applied to
Classically shaped vases. Minton shares with Copeland (see
spode) the claim for being first to produce the fine, white
porcelain known as parian in the 1840s. A distinctive
turquoise blue enamel (inspired by s?vres' bleu celeste) is
a special feature of Minton, seen at its most striking in
the 'cloisonne' range of wares imitating Chinese cloisonne
enamelling on metal, much of which was designed by
Christopher dresser. The factory has continued to produce
high-quality porcelain throughout the 20thC.
An early form of the flintlock mechanism, also known as a
Mediterranean or Spanish flintlock, in use from the first
half of the 17thC to the 19thC.
Painted decoration applied to glass, especially mirrors and
snuff bottles. The technique is also known as reverse
painting because the foreground details are painted first
and the background details last.
A cut-glass technique using a V-edged wheel to make a sharp
A combination of two different cutting styles on a gemstone.
See jewel cutting.
A combination of two or more postage stamps from different
countries appearing on the same envelope. Before
international traffic of mail was regulated in 1874, an
envelope might acquire an extra stamp for each country it
passed through to cover the next leg of postage.
Pottery decorated with moss or fern-like designs. It is
named after mocha stone, a form of quartz with branch-like
markings. A drop of pigment, said to be composed of tobacco
juice, stale urine and turpentine, grew chemically on a
slip-coated body while it was still slightly moist achieving
the feathered effect. Mocha ware was produced for especially
in the form of mugs and jugs, from the 1780s and throughout
In the ceramics industry, the sculptor or workman
responsible for the creation of a 'master' figure, group or
any three-dimensional form. The master model is then cast so
that moulds can be made and the original figure copied
repeatedly for commercial production.
Loosely used term for work by early 20thC designers and
architects, which attempted to create a new approach to
design suitable for a technological world. Modernism was
embraced by international designers experimenting with new
materials and techniques, including Walter gropius, Marcel
breuer, le corbusier and Ludwig mies van der rome..
Material originally made from pure spun goats' hair, and
later from a mix of spun wool, cotton and silk, used for
upholstery and hangings in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Mohair was also used to make dolls' wigs in the 19thC.
Finely ribbed furnishing fabric, usually silk or silk
mixture, that has a lustrous finish with a watered or wavy
figure. The word is a French adaptation of mohair, from
which the fabric was first made. Moreen or morine is the now
obsolete English version of moir?, which referred to a
strong woollen material sometimes mixed with cotton and used
for bed and window curtains in the 18thC.
See chocolate pot.
A decorative support used on tables and chairs, consisting
of the head and one leg of an animal, usually a lion. The
monopodium was first seen in Roman furniture, and was
revived by late 18thC neoclassical designers such as Thomas
Large silver or sometimes ceramic bowl with a notched or
scalloped rim which appeared in late 17thC Britain and
Europe. It was initially used to cool wine glasses, which
were suspended over ice or in iced water from notches around
the rim. Later examples often have a detachable rim,
allowing the bowl also to be used for serving punch.
montre ? tact
See pilgrim bottle.
Translucent spots, sometimes also known as stars, in some
French and British soft-paste porcelain caused by bubbles in
the paste, seen when a piece is held up to the light.
Colourless gemstone with a blue sheen from the feldspar
family, found mainly in Sri Lanka. Moonstones were very
sought after in the late 19thC and were popular with arts
and crafts jewellers.
Moorcroft worked for James macintyre & Co from 1898. Backed
by the liberty family, he established his own factory at
Cobridge, Staffordshire in 1913. Moorcroft's early pieces
were art nouveau style in a palette of blues, greens and
yellows. From the early 20thC he experimented with different
finishes, including lustre, vivid flamb? glazes and from the
1930s, matt glazes combined with simple forms and dramatic
(1850-1935) Staffordshire artist-potter whose successful
experimentation with Chinese flamb and sang-de-boeuf glazes
became a characteristic of his work. He produced simply
shaped decorative ware such as vases in porcelain and
earthenware forms, much of it decorated by ceramics artists
such as Hilda Beardmore.
(c. 1670-1726) Royal cabinet-maker at the time of King
George I and in partnership with John gumley from 1714.
Moore supplied quality carved and gilt gesso furniture to
many aristocratic houses.
Hand-knotted carpets made by Thomas Moore in Moorfields,
London, in the mid 18thC. Moore was the main competitor of
Thomas Whitty, founder of the axminster Carpet Manufactory,
and produced high-quality pieces in neoclassical style, many
for the architect Robert Adam.
Sturdy carpeting and upholstery textile woven in a similar
manner to velvet - on narrow looms, using coarse wool and
linen. The production of moquette carpets, also known as
brussels carpets, occurred from the 16th to the 18th
centuries in Britain at kidderminster, wilton, Norwich and
crested 16th- 17thC metal helmet with the brim upcurving at
front and rear.
Fine-grained, elastic, soft but firm leather used by
bookbinders, upholsterers and furniture-makers. It was
originally goatskin, produced by the Moors in Spain and
Morocco; later, sheepskin was also used. Morocco leather
became a popular bookbinding material in Europe from the
16thC, and by the 18thC was also used for the production of
(1834-1896) Artist-craftsman, designer, social reformer,
writer and the main inspiration behind the arts and crafts
Walrus tooth, which was carved into small decorative and
religious pieces in northern Europe. It has a slightly
different texture from elephant ivory, is harder to carve
and liable to crack. See scrimshaw.
Flat bottomed bowl used in Europe from the 11thC for
pounding pharmaceuticals or foods. Mortars are usually made
from a hard material such as marble, stone or bronze, and
are used with a pounding utensil of the same material called
mortise and tenon
Coloured glass made since ancient times and popular in the
late 19thC. Pieces of glass are fused together, the colours
remaining separate, then stretched into a long cane which is
sliced crosswise or diagonally. The slices are then arranged
on a core of the desired shape, covered with an outer mould
to hold everything in place and heated until their edges
fuse together. Alternatively, mosaic glass is arranged in
flat plaques for use as hung decoration, or reheated and
blown or shaped into various objects, including millefiori
(1868-1918) See vienna secession, wiener werkstatte.
The smooth, iridescent lining of the shell of certain
molluscs, including pearl, oyster, abalone, nautilus and
river mussel. The iridescence fades on exposure to sunlight
over time. Mother-of-pearl, also known as nacre, is used in
jewellery and was popular for inlaid decoration and
marquetry mainly in the 17thC, and in the 19thC on
See pearl satin-glass.
One of the earliest types of doll with a degree of
articulation in the limbs, made by German doll-maker Charles
Motschmann in the 1850s. The upper arms and legs and torso
are made of cloth, and the head, upper chest, pelvis and
lower arms and legs are of non-flexible material such as
composition. A press squeaker was often inserted into the
cloth midriff. Although his name has become a generic term
for such dolls, Motschmann was neither the first nor the
only manufacturer to make them. moulded glass Glassware made
by blowing or pressing molten glass into a mould; produced
in antiquity, and commercially since the 1830s.
Any shaped ornament or projection cast in plaster or carved
in wood or stone and applied to furniture, furnishings or to
frame wall panels. Most mouldings are based on architectural
features, especially those used c. 1720-1850, which were
mainly taken from Classical Roman and Greek architecture.
Non-architectural mouldings include the bead and quirk, bead
and flush, and bead and butt, all of which were invented by
joiners, often to disguise joints.
Term for all metal parts found on furniture, whether part of
the construction - applied to prevent wear - or performing
some function, such as a hinge or keyhole. Mounts can also
be purely ornamental as in the ormolu or bronze decoration
on 18thC French and British furniture. The term also
embraces silver or other metal parts applied to glass and
ceramic objects, such as handles and spouts on jugs and
Articles of jewellery worn in memory of the deceased. Money
was often allocated in the will of the deceased for spending
on memorial jewellery. From the late 18thC onwards,
brooches, pendants and particularly rings were typically set
with gemstones and decorated with sentimental motifs,
including weeping willows, broken columns or a lock of hair
from the dead person. Mourning jewellery in jet, or glass
imitations of jet, reached its height of popularity after
the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort, in
1861. Similar items of jewellery with motifs such as skulls,
skeletons or coffins were intended as a reminder of
mortality. These are known as memento mori, literally
meaning 'remember you must die', and were common during the
16th and 17th centuries.
Mid-19thC cup with a small guard added to the rim to prevent
the user's moustache getting wet. Alternatively a moustache
mount could be clipped onto the rim of a cup.
poons with a moustache guard, made in silver and
electroplate for left or right-handed use and patented in
the USA in 1875.
Group of leading faience factories in southern France,
operational from the 17thC. The best work was produced c.
1710-40, using motifs based on the designs of leading Louis
XlV-style draughtsman Jean berain in an underglaze blue on a
white base. The designs made extensive use of grotesque and
The complete mechanism of a clock or watch, automaton or
musical box, also known as the works. The movement can be
weight, spring or electrically driven. See train.
(1860-1939) Czech-born artist, illustrator and designer of
textiles, furniture and jewellery, known particularly for
his art nouveau posters of the French actress Sarah
Bernhardt. He lived in Paris, where he collaborated on
designs with French jeweller Georges fouquet, before moving
to New York in 1904 where he worked with Louis Comfort
See islamic style.
(1715-94) Innovative clock and watchmaker, who was
apprenticed to George graham. Mudge invented the lever
escapement c. 1754 - the forerunner of the escapements found
in modern mechanical watches and travelling clocks. From c.
1770 he worked mainly on marine chronometers.
A long chain worn around the neck with fasteners at each end
to be joined when threaded through a lady's fur muff.
1 Round dish with domed cover used for serving hot muffins.
2 Small caster first used late 18thC for sprinkling muffins
with cinnamon or salt. Examples are usually of silver,
sometimes with a porcelain body, and have finer holes than a
See petit feu.
Term used from the mid- 17thC for a drinking cup with a
single handle and rim without a lip. Mugs are generally
smaller than tankards and usually lidless. They are found in
silver, pewter, glass or ceramics and were used for beer,
wine or ale; small silver mugs were made for children.
A hard, heavy, golden to reddish-brown timber with dark
streaks. Mulberry was used as a veneer and for small
articles such as boxes, during the Queen Anne period at the
beginning of the 18thC.
A coin that has been mistakenly struck on one side with a
design intended for another coin, resulting in a 'hybrid' of
two types that were never meant to be together.
17thC, mainly English, forerunner of the chest of drawers.
It consists of a main, box-like storage area with a hinged
lid, and with two drawers, side by side, beneath.
Late 18th and early 19th-century Scottish ornamental
snuffbox, often with a decorated lid. Mulls were generally
made of horn, ivory, shell or similar material with silver
or pewter mounts, although some examples are made entirely
of metal. A large type of mull was intended for passing
around the dinner table. Some of these are made from a
complete ram's head, and may have various utensils attached
such as a spoon, a rake and a spike for mixing the snuff,
and a hare's foot for wiping the upper lip.
(1893-1981) New Zealand-born architect and designer of
silver, glass and ceramics. In the 1930s Murray designed
simple tableware and decorative items, including engraved
lead crystal for glass-makers stevens & williams, plain but
elegant ceramics for wedgwood and silverware for Mappin &
Webb. From 1938 he worked solely as an architect.
Late 17thC Dutch dessert plates decorated with the words and
music of a song to be sung at the meal's end. They were made
in delftware in the late 17thC, were reproduced at
moustiers, nevers and rouen, and extensively copied during
Clock incorporating or linked to a musical movement which
plays periodically or on the operation of a cord or lever.
The tune is played on bells or a toothed comb. See carillon.
were made in the late 18th and 19th centuries mainly in
Switzerland, but also in Britain. The tune is played via a
pinned, rotating disc or cylinder on a nest of bells or on a
Long-barrelled shoulder gun with a smooth bore, loaded
through the muzzle, used from the late 16th to late 19th
The forward, discharging end of the barrel of a firearm.
A clock, usually in a novelty or ornate form, in which there
is no visible connection between the clock mechanism and the
dial. A common type has a standing figure holding an
apparently free-swinging pendulum. The clocks were
fashionable in Britain and France in the 19thC and during
the art deco period, especially those made by cartier,
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