Antiques Glossary - T
Author: Jim Coyle
Japanese tobacco pouch which was hung from a kurawa
(ashtray) netsuke. A tabako-bon is a tobacco cabinet,
also known as a tabako-dansu, which has drawers for
tobacco, a metal or china container for charcoal, and
hooks for hanging a kiseru (pipe). 19thC examples are
often decorated with lacquer. A kiseru'zutsu is a pipe
1 17thC term for silk taffeta with a changeable surface
finish like shot silk. 2 A basic weave in which the warp
thread is woven alternately over and under each weft
A German clock of the renaissance period in the form of
a turreted tower, often with a dial on each of the four
vertical sides, and with a balustraded gallery top
containing hour and quarter-hour bells. Most German town
guilds in the 16th and 17th centuries required an
apprentice to make a tabernacle clock, with many
additional astronomical and calendar dials, as a
masterpiece clock before qualifying as a master
Specifically, a spring-driven clock set within a
flat-based case of metal or wood. The dial is either on
the upper or front surface, sometimes with subsidiary
dials on the sides and back. Table clocks were first
made in France and Germany in the 16thC. British bracket
clocks and mantel clocks fall into the table clock
category. See drum clock.
See jewel cutting.
Fine TABBY-weave silk fabric used in Britain since the
14thC, and especially from the i6th to 17th centuries,
for cushion covers, counterpanes and curtains. From the
17thC, taffeta was stretched and a gum-like substance
applied to give a glossy, watered finish.
(1838-81) Architect and furniture, metalworkand
wallpaper designer. Talbert's furniture is simple and
functional - a reaction against the overly elaborate
gothic revival. It is bulky but practical and
well-proportioned, and decorated with panels of lighter
wood, tiles, Gothic tracery or shallow carving. Talbert
published an influential pattern book in 1867.
In the early 19thC, dolls that could say 'mama' or
'papa' were developed in Germany by Johannes Malzel of
Regensburg (the sound was produced by a bellows when the
limbs were moved), and in Britain by Anthony Bazzoni of
London. Some talking dolls dating from the late 19thC
contained phonographic wax cylinders.
High chest comprising one chest on top of another, with
seven or more full-width drawers and a top pair of
half-width drawers. The top chest is generally slighlty
narrower than the lower one. Tallboys, also known as
chests-on-chests, were introduced in the early 18thC and
derived from the chest-on-stand - a chest of drawers on
a stand like a lowboy.
1A flexible shutter used for roll-top desk lids and
sliding doors for cupboards. Tambour covers are made
from narrow slats of wood glued to a canvas or linen
backing, and were developed in France in the iSthC. 2 A
pair of wooden hoops that form a frame to hold
embroidery while it is being worked on. The resulting
design, stitched in a continuous line of cross-stitches,
is known as tambour work and was used to decorate white
muslin dresses and accessories, especially 1780-1850.
Long shank on sword blade to which the hilt is fitted.
Drinking vessel with handle for beer, ale or cider. The
earliest surviving tankards from the 16th and 17th
centuries retained the same basic form - straight,
tapering sides with S-shaped handle, rectangular
thumbpiece and a hinged lid - until lidded tankards went
out of use in the 18thC. Open tankards or mugs were used
from the 19thC.
Decorative stand, case or box for cut-glass decanters,
fashionable from the mid- 19thC until the Edwardian
period in Britain. It is usually for two or three
decanters, but can be for up to six. The decanters can
only be removed by raising or lowering the overhead
handle or bar which locks them in place. tapestry
Handwoven fabric in which a design or picture is worked
in during manufacture using the weft (crosswise)
threads, although the term is loosely used for any woven
wall-hanging or upholstery. Tapestries are usually woven
with wool, silk or both, and take the name of the
factory that produced them, such as gobelin.
Light Scottish circular shield made of wood and leather
with central boss, used 16th to 18th centuries.
Small, shallow bowl or cup for wine-tasting. The French
version has a single ring handle and is often attached
to a chain or ribbon worn around the neck. The 17thC
British version has two scroll handles.
Georgian wall timepiece with a weight-driven movement,
which was developed c.1720 and made into the early
19thC. The large dial is unglazed and the trunk below it
houses the weights and a seconds-beating pendulum. The
clocks were also known as Act of Parliament clocks,
after a 1797-8 Act which taxed clocks and timepieces.
This supposedly resulted in private owners putting away
their clocks and relying on public clocks. The Act was
soon repealed, following a petition from clock-makers.
Italian for 'cup', originally the name of a shallow
drinking vessel used in 16th and 17thC Italy. It later
came to refer to other shallow or virtually flat dishes
raised on a central stem also known as comports.
Small, tapering circular cup without a handle and
sometimes with a saucer, for drinking tea. The first
European examples were based on the Chinese tea bowl and
made in silver from the late 17thC and in ceramics and
glass during the 18thC.
Box or casket with a hinged lid and lock used for
storing tea leaves. Caddy is derived from the Malay kati,
a unit of weight for tea. When tea was first introduced
to Britain in the 17thC it was stored in porcelain jars,
also known as caddies, which were imported from China.
Tea was very expensive in the 18thC and kept in lockable
silver or wooden caskets, originally known as tea
chests. By the end of the century the name had changed
tea ceremony wares
Pottery such as bowls, water jars, tea caddies (natsume),
charcoal burners (hibachi), incense boxes (kogo and
kobako), utensil box (satsubako) used for the
traditional Buddhist tea ceremony. In Japan the ceremony
is known as cha no yu (hot water for tea). Much Japanese
tea ceremony ware, such as raku ware, is rough,
irregularly shaped earthenware, in keeping with the
simple origins of the ritual.
Large vessel resembling a teapot made for holding hot
water, produced in ceramics, silver and sheffield plate
from the early 18thC and electroplate from the
mid-19thC. The kettles usually had a matching tripod
stand and spirit lamp. The tea kettle was superseded by
the tea urn c. 1760, but was revived in the 19thC.
Small, lightweight, easily moved table. tripod tables
were replaced by four-legged examples with a galleried
or tray top towards the end of the 18thC, and these were
also known as silver tables or china tables. Some
versions have a fold-over top -rather like a card table
without the refinements for games.
Large, pear-shaped, lozenge-shaped or spherical
hot-water um with two handles, a domed cover with finial
and a spigot and tap. Some examples have a red-hot iron
inserted into a central tube in the body of the urn,
others are heated by a spirit lamp. Tea urns were made
in silver, electroplate, copper, japanned metal or
porcelain, largely replacing the tea kettle from the
1770s to mid-19thC in Britain and Europe.
Greenish-brown glaze popular on Chinese 18thC porcelain.
Known as cha ye mo, it was achieved by blowing green
glaze powder through a fine gauze onto a brown glaze
One of the hardest, strongest and most durable furniture
timbers of all. True teak is from India and Burma, but
other similar woods are wrongly called teak. It is
usually golden-brown in colour and darkens with age to
medium and deep brown, sometimes with dark markings. It
is slightly oily and smells leathery. It is so hard that
cabinet-makers often charged a higher price to cover the
costs of the extra work involved and the repair of
blunted tools. Teak was used sparingly in the 18th and
19th centuries for table tops, chairs, chests, and
Covered vessel, generally of silver or ceramics, used
for infusing and serving tea, and made in several
different styles and sizes. Tea was first imported to
Britain in the second half of the 17thC. Teapots are
generally shorter and rounder than coffee or chocolate
pots, and the spout, which is always opposite the
handle, is positioned nearer the bottom of the pot.
punchpots closely resemble teapots although they are
usually much larger.
1 Small tripod table which was introduced in the early
19thC. From the 1820s, the table top was replaced by a
wooden box which was used to store tea. 2 Large,
earthenware or porcelain tea caddy.
Instrument for magnifying distant objects, invented in
the early 17thC, and consisting of telescopic wooden or
metal tubes containing lenses.
Black or dark brown glaze found on Chinese 10th- 13thC
(song dynasty) stoneware. The ware was also made in
Japan for use in the tea ceremony. The glaze, when
streaky, is known as a hare's fur glaze.
Painting medium consisting of powdered colour pigments,
egg yolk or egg white and water; used for panel painting
until the 15thC when it was superseded by oil paint.
Small diagonal stitch that spans one mesh of canvas or
other material, worked in horizontal or diagonal rows.
Short for terminal figure, a half statue or bust on a
pillar or pedestal.
The name, translated from the Italian as 'baked earth'
for a low-fired unglazed earthenware. The clay used is
often rich in iron and therefore fires brick-red. A
vogue for Classical Greek style c. 1860-80 prompted
British factories to produce terracotta wares, including
wedgwood, minton, doulton and Torquay Potteries.
Terracotta has been used for a wide range of wares -
from figures, plaques, candlesticks and vases to garden
urns and flowerpots. Terracotta can be made with a
slightly glossy surface and is suitable for painted
decoration without any need for subsequent glazing and
firing. The body is usually left unglazed, but some
practical pieces such as jugs are glazed on the inside
in order to make them waterproof.
A wooden canopy over a bedstead, chair or pulpit. The
tester is supported on four posts, or on two posts and a
back panel or headboard. See bedstead.
British silver portrait coin issued by kings Henry VII
and Henry VIII, with a face value of 5p (12d), later
known as the shilling c. 1550.
1 Optical toy, developed in the late 1820s, consisting
of a card or disc with two different figures drawn on
each side. When it is rotated the two figures appear to
combine into one. 2 Cylinder bearing a series of figures
on the inside and a series of slits on the outside. The
figures are viewed through the slits and when the
cylinder is rotated appear to be moving. The effect is
similar to that produced by a zoetrope.
The commode chair,
with a hinged seat enclosing a chamber pot, was
introduced in the mid-Georgian period, and known by the
Victorians as a night commode.
Wooden stool with a thonged leather or wooden seat based
on an Egyptian design and introduced by liberty in 1884.
Surveying instrument for measuring vertical and
horizontal angles, invented in 1571 by a British
mathematician, Thomas Digges, but developed by engineer
Jesse Ramsden c.1790. It incorporates a small telescope
which moves horizontally and vertically, and often a
magnifying lens and spirit level.
Austrian furniture-makers established Vienna, 1842,
which specialised in bentwood furniture, perfected by
its founder Michael Thonet (1796-1871). Furniture was
exported to the USA and Europe, especially after
mass-production techniques were introduced in 1859. By
1871 Thonet Brothers was the largest furniture-making
firm in the world. The company changed its name to
Thonet-Mundus in 1923, producing tubular steel chairs
designed by Marcel breuer, Ludwig mies van der rohe and
le corbusier among others.
1 Threads of molten glass used to decorate glassware,
similar to, and often referred to as trailing. Threads
or trails of glass are applied onto the glass body when
it is still in its molten state, and can then either be
left raised on the surface or rolled into the glass
body. From 1876 threading was usually carried out by for
the production of ceramic figures. In 1763, the factory
made a definite move towards the luxury market, and
wares imitating meissen, s?vres and Japanese designs
were produced. These were often finished by outside
decorators such as James giles. A new period began in
1783 under the Flight family and, from 1793, under the
Flight and Barr families, with an improved soft-paste
formula. Products ranged from simply decorated teawares
to elaborate regency vases, and ornaments decorated in
rich enamels and gilding by first-class artists such as
Thomas Baxter and Samuel Astles. bone china was
introduced in 1800 but only achieved pure translucency
and whiteness from 1820. Some decoration was done by
Robert Chamberlain's rival Worcester factory. The
resulting ware, together with Chamberlain's own bone
china produced since 1791, became known as
'Chamberlain's Worcester'. The two companies merged in
1840. New management in 1852 changed the factory's name
to Kerr & Binns, and from 1862 it became the Royal
Worcester Porcelain Company. Victorian Worcester is
often richly gilded and painted in enamels - flushed
colours against an apricot ground. Specialities included
japonaiserie in the 1870s and 80s, figures, including
children, modelled by James Hadley (1837-1903), parian
ware ornaments and elaborate renaissance-style vases.
High-quality painted decoration, often signed by the
artist, was frequent at the end of the 19th and early
Metal knob or lever, also known as a billet, on the lid
hinge of a vessel, allowing it to be opened with the
thumb while holding the handle with the fingers.
Soft, close-grained, reddish-brown wood with a mottled
figuring, imported from Africa and the USA and sometimes
seen in veneers and inlaid decoration.
Tiffany & Co
Leading American jewellery firm founded 1837 in New York
by goldsmith Charles Tiffany (1812-1902). The firm
gained an international reputation for jewellery,
especially diamonds, watches, gems and silverware. It
introduced the sterling standard to the USA in 1850,
which was later legalised for American sterling
silverware. In 1886, Charles Tiffany designed the
Tiffany setting with curved prongs to secure a solitaire
diamond to a finger ring. Charles's son, Louis Comfort
Tiffany (1848-1933), founded an interior design company
in New York in 1879 which later became Tiffany Studios.
In 1880 he patented favrile glass and for the next 20
years produced art, mosaic and stained glass pieces as
well as art nouveau vases, bowls and lamps with glass
shades. From 1902 he concentrated on jewellery, and also
produced pottery and designed furniture, wallpapers and
fabrics in art nouveau style. The studios closed in
1932, but Tiffany & Co still operates.
See salt-glazed stoneware.
See zebra wood.
Decorated ceramic slabs for roof, wall or floor
decoration. maiolica tiles of 15thC Italy were designed
for flooring, but their bright colours inspired Spanish
and Portuguese pictorial wall tiles. The Dutch produced
monochrome blue and white or manganese purple and white
wall tiles which were exported throughout Europe from
the 17th to 19th centuries. Key centres for decorative
tiles in Britain were bristol, lambeth and liverpool
from the late 17thC, and in France, rouen, nevers and
Lisieux. In Germany and other parts of central Europe,
tiles with incised or relief designs, covered with a
green, yellow or brown lead glaze were made by the
Hafner (stove-makers). Demand for decorative tiles fell
in the early 19thC, but revived in the mid-century. The
British output came from Staffordshire potteries,
particularly minton. The medieval technique of making
encaustic tiles, in which tiles are inlaid with clays of
contrasting colours and fixed with heat, was also
revived. At the end of the century glazed tiles were
made in arts and crafts, aesthetic and art nouveau
Locking compartments for keeping money, fitted into a
medieval chest or casket - the forerunner of the drawer
in a chest of drawers.
Any timekeeping device, generally used to indicate one
that does not strike the hours or quarters.
Soft, brittle, silvery-white metal usually combined with
other metals to make alloys such as bronze and pewter.
Tin is also used to line other metals in a process known
as tin-plating. This gives a rust-resistant finish or a
protective covering to the interiors of brass or copper
tin toy trademarks
Initials or trademarks used by the most important makers
of mechanical toys from the late 19thC. Some companies
such as Bing, Carette and G?nthermann, changed their
marks from time to time, making accurate dating
possible. Trademarks were applied in a variety of ways:
stenciled or rubber-stamped on the body; applied as a
transfer, a printed tin-plate lozenge or embossed brass
plate; or impressed directly onto the body of the toy.
Wooden or metal box used from the 15th to 19th centuries
for keeping tinder for fire-making. The box may be
pocket-sized or larger for household use, and also
contained a flint and steel for making sparks and
sometimes brimstone matches for transferring the flame.
Some 16thC boxes have a wheel-lock mechanism for
Earthenware coated in an opaque white-ground glaze. The
addition of tin oxide to a basic lead glaze resulted in
an impermeable, more refined, white surface than
previously achieved in the West. Tin glazes were used
almost exclusively on earthenware, but were occasionally
used by porcelain-makers to whiten a cream body, such as
at chantilly c. 1730 and chelsea c. 1745. Tin-glazed
earthenware was first made during the Mesopotamian
civilisation, c.1000bc, but did not reach western Europe
until the 8thC, when Moorish invaders introduced the
techniques to Spain (see hispano-moresqueware). From the
13thC Italians began to develop their own style of
tin-glazed earthenware which became known as maiolica;
the French followed suit with their version, faience,
the Germanic countries with fayence, and the Dutch and
British produced delftware. Colours for decorating
tin-glazed earthenware were at first limited to
high-temperature colours. From the 18thC, enamel
decoration was sometimes added after the tin glaze had
been fired, and a second, lead glaze or kwaart was
applied to give a brighter finish.
Long-handled toasting fork for holding bread, muffins or
other food over an open fire from the 16thC. The toaster
became increasingly popular from c.1720, and sometimes
had a telescopic facility or a fitting for resting the
fork on the bars of a grate or fender.
Tall, slender-bowled wine glass with a very slim stem
used for drinking a toast, and made in Britain c.
1725-1800. Its capacity is 2-4 fl oz (50-115 ml). A
toastmaster's glass dating from c. 1725-50, is similar
but has a thickened base and sides allowing a capacity
of only ?-? fl oz (15-20 ml), to ensure that the
toastmaster remains coherent. See lglasses, drinking.
- Earthenware jug shaped like a figure, usually a
seated stout man in 18thC dress wearing a three-cornered
hat. Recognisable Toby jugs were first made c. 1760 at
Burslem, Staffordshire by Ralph Wood. Some female
versions are known as Martha Gunn.
Stronger form of punch; drinking vessels for toddy are
usually smaller than those for punch, and date from the
late 18th to mid-19th centuries. A toddy lifter was used
to transfer the punch from bowl to glass. Shaped like a
miniature decanter with a slim neck, a bulbous body and
a hole at either end, it operates on a siphon principle.
A quantity of punch is drawn into the lifter by
immersing the bulbous end into the punch, and closing
the thumb over the neck hole. When the thumb is
released, the liquid pours out.
Late 17thC decorative slip-ware dishes made in
Staffordshire by Thomas Toft (d. 1689) and others. The
designs are executed in a naive style in brown and white
slip. toile 1 Basic dress pattern made of muslin. 2
Linen cloth, or in the late 19thC, a fabric of silk and
linen. 3 The pattern of a piece of bobbin lace. 4 Toile
du Jouy is a printed cotton fabric made in France in the
late iSthC, usually printed with romantic, figurative
scenes in either red or blue on an ivory ground.
Tokyo School of Art
Japanese group of artists founded 1887 by Ishikawa Komei.
The school was influenced by Western art and art schools
while retaining the traditional skills of Japanese
Name from the French t?le peinte ('painted tin') for
small objects of hand-painted tin-plate such as boxes,
trays and coffee mills. The technique originated in
France c. 1740. Toleware was mass-produced from the
1760s into the 19thC in Birmingham and elsewhere in
(1638-1713) British clock and watch-maker who gained
international recognition for his outstanding mechanical
skills and craftsmanship. He was established in business
by 1671, and was the first clock-maker to employ a
system of serial numbers to identify timepieces. His
system was continued by his successor in the business,
George; graham. From 1674 Tompion worked with the
British scientist Robert Hooke on various timekeeping
improvements, including the balance spring, which helped
to give the English a technical lead in watchmaking.
Work or ornamentation done with tools; especially
stamped or gilded designs on books or leather.
Precious gemstone, ranging in colour from white through
to sherry-brown and blue. Orange-red varieties are the
rarest and most highly prized. Pink or 'rose' topaz is
the result of heat treatment applied to yellow topaz.
Topaz is hard and polishes well, but it is highly
susceptible to cleavage or splitting. It is usually cut
as ovals or oblongs and is often confused with the
abundant and less valuable citrine.
The watchmaking equivalent of the back plate in a clock,
so-called because a watch movement is assembled face
Portable stand for a candle, also known as a
candle-stand. Torch?res, can be in the form of standards
to place on the floor or, especially from the mid-18thC,
small enough to be set on a dressing or writing table.
Dark brown, mottled shell of certain species of sea
turtle which can be moulded by heating, and thickened or
enlarged by joining pieces together under pressure. It
was especially popular for inlaid decoration on English
and French furniture in the 17th, 18th and early 19th
centuries (see boulle) , and for jewellery inlaid with
piqu? work in Britain in the 1860s. tortoiseshell glass
Mottled brown art glass developed in Europe and the USA
c. 1880. It is made by rolling a gather of clear molten
glass over broken pieces of brown glass, adding a
A pierced coin hung from the neck of a supplicant at a
touching ceremony. A piece touched by the monarch was
thought to be a guard against disease.
The leading porcelain factory of the Low Countries, from
its foundation in 1751 to the end of the 18thC. It
produced soft-paste porcelain tableware very much in the
style of French porcelain of the time, particularly that
of s?vres. Exotic birds, naturalistic flowers and pink
monochrome landscapes are characteristic themes. Some of
the figures made, particularly those left
'in-the-white', are similar to derby figures. In the
1790s, the factory merged with the nearby St
Armand-des-Eaux which made reproductions of 18thC
porcelain while Tournai made household wares until the
18thC English term for small ornamental objects and
novelties crafted in materials such as porcelain, silver
or gold, ivory or tortoiseshell. miniature ornaments,
seals, scent bottles, decorative knife handles, thimbles
and pomanders, for example, would be typical gifts
bought from the 18thC 'toyman'.
rchitectural term dating from the 17thC and used to
refer to the carved, ornamental stone openwork which
decorates the top of a Gothic window. It is also found
on vaulted ceilings, doors and panels. Tracery was used
extensively during the first half of the 19thC on the
backs of chairs and hall seats.
An unofficial coin issued by an individual or company to
supply a local need for small change.
In clocks and watches, the series of wheels and driving
pinions linking the source of power (a weight or a
spring) to the hands, the strike or other end-function.
A clock or watch may have a single 'going train', or may
also have a striking, musical or alarm train. See box
A method of printing onto solid objects such as ceramics
and glassware which made the mass production of designs
possible for the first time. Invented in Britain in the
mid- 18thC, it was not used widely in continental Europe
until the 19thC. The process involves taking a tissue
print from a copperplate engraving, and transferring
this to the receiving object. In ceramics this can be
either over or under the glaze. Designs were initially
monochrome, sometimes coloured in later. Multicoloured
transfer-printing did not become established until the
1840s. A form of transfer-printing called bat-printing
was used in Staffordshire in the early 19thC. The
designs were transferred to the glazed earthenware by
means of a flexible sheet - or bat -of glue or gelatine.
Chinese porcelain, mostly blue and white, produced in
the Transitional Period (c. 1620-80) covering the last
two decades of the ming dynasty and the beginning of the
qing dynasty. Imperial orders disappeared with the
internal warfare following the fall of the Ming dynasty
and were only partly replaced by orders from the
scholar-gentry class. This move is reflected in the
proliferation of wares for the writing table such as
cylindrical brush pots and in painted decoration
depicting more expansive landscapes and everyday rather
than imperial scenes. Exports to the West were limited
and were mainly of kraak porselein.
The term for the degree to which a substance such as
porcelain or glass allows light to pass though it
(thickness permitting) and the quality or colour of that
light on passing out of the body.
Hidden or buried money, or precious objects whose owner
Derived from an old word for 'wooden', the term refers
to small domestic articles made of turned or carved
wood, such as bowls, platters and spoons.
An item of jewellery such as a brooch, aigrette or
pendant with an ornament - a flower or bee, for example
- on a coiled spring which trembles when the wearer
Silver or ceramic cup and saucer, fashionable in the
18thC, with a central raised ring in the saucer to hold
the cup firm.
The earliest form of dining table, consisting of planks
of wood held together by cross-bearers on the
under-surface, and initially rested, unfixed, over two
or more folding supports, or trestles. In the 16thC
trestles were fixed to the table top. Trestle tables
were reintroduced as part of the early Victorian gothic
An experimental coin, banknote or stamp, possibly of
unfinished design, and often struck or printed on a
material different to that intended for circulation.
(1883-1935) French caricaturist and designer of
jewellery, furniture, textiles and other interior
furnishings. Tribe began working in a flowing art
nouveau style, but his later, simpler forms influenced
the art deco movement. He is noted for well-upholstered
furniture with fine carving or inlaid woodwork. In the
early 1900s. Tribe worked with French fashion designer
Paul Poiret and from 1914 for American film director
Cecil B. De Mille. In 1930 he went to Paris and made
jewellery for Coco Chanel.
Term used to describe a small, 19thC French work table
with a rail bordering the edge. The term is from
Small-topped table supported on a slender pillar and a
tripod of outward-facing feet. These were popular
occasional tables and for serving desserts and tea in
the 18thC Georgian period. Some versions have a top that
snaps or folds down vertically over the supporting
pillar. See birdcage.
Wrought-iron stand with three or four legs on which to
place pots or kettles taken from the fire.
Decoration on a flat surface that appears
three-dimensional. The term is French for 'deceive the
Traditional weight system used by goldsmiths,
silversmiths and jewellers from 1526. The name comes
from the town of Troyes, France, and was probably
brought to Britain by Henry V, c. 1420. The basic unit
is the troy ounce (oz), divided into 20 pennyweights
(dwt); 12 troy ounces make one troy pound (lb). A troy
ounce is about 10 per cent heavier than an ordinary
(avoirdupois) ounce. In some auction catalogues weights
are quoted in troy ounces and decimal fractions. Troy
weight is still used but metric grams are now taking
A clock similar in design and appearance to the cuckoo
clock, but with a model military bugler sounding a
trumpet on the hour or quarter hour. The trumpet sound
is operated by bellows. Another variant on the theme is
a clock with mechanically played drums.
The metal hand guard on a Japanese sword or dagger,
often finely decorated. See kodogu.
tubular steel furniture
Furniture with a tubular steel framework, generally
chromium plated. The earliest tubular steel chair was
designed by the Hungarian Marcel breuer in 1925 and made
by the thonet Brothers of Vienna.
Trade name for table and decorative ware of pewter
marketed by the London retail store liberty during the
early 20thC to accompany its cymric silver range. Many
of the Celtic-inspired art nouveau designs were created
by Archibald Knox (1864-1933).
Hard, heavy wood, yellowish-brown with a pinkish tinge,
from Central and South America. It was used for
decorative veneers and banding during the 18th and early
19th centuries, especially on 18thC French furniture.
The most common type of Indian sword, usually
single-edged and often curved. The hilt is entirely
metal with a flat disc-like pommel.
Flat-based drinking glass with neither stem, foot nor
handle. Tumblers are variously shaped and sized, but
unlike beakers never have a flared mouth. In the 17thC,
heavy metal tumblers with curved sides were designed to
tumble back to an upright position if set down
Articles such as trays, table tops, tea caddies, picture
frames and games boards, decorated with a low-cost,
mass-produced marquetry developed at Tunbridge Wells,
Kent,in the mid-17thC. Rectangular-section rods of
various woods were glued together then cut across in
thin slices to produce a multi-coloured veneer. A
similar technique was used in the 19thC for small
stickwork articles, such as egg cups, turned on a lathe.
Circular or oval, deep, covered bowl of porcelain,
pottery, silver or silver plate, made from the early
18thC for serving soup, sauce, vegetables or stew. Sauce
tureens are smaller, plainer versions.
See carpet knots.
An exotic furnishing style developed in mid-19thC
Britain for the comfort of smokers. It drew inspiration
from Middle Eastern themes probably because Turkey was
associated with fine tobacco. The characteristic
elements include fretted and arcaded woodwork; small
four, six or eight-legged japanned tables inlaid with
mother-of-pearl; upholstered chairs incorporating a
panel of Oriental carpet; pierced brass incense burners
and lamps. At first, the style was confined to the
smoking room, but in the 1880s, as smoking became more
widely tolerated, the Turkish corner became a popular
feature in the drawing room. It centred on a high-backed
corner divan seat with an Eastern-style canopy and
Turkoman (or Turkman)
Generic name for nomadic tribesmen from central Asia
known for their fine weaving. Turkoman carpets have a
woollen pile and usually a red and black colour scheme.
The shaping of wood and other materials such as metal
and ivory on a lathe. The material is clamped onto the
lathe and rotated, or turned, at an even rate while the
craftsman shapes it by cutting or filing, so producing a
symmetrically carved object. Wood turning has been a
principal decorative effect on furniture since medieval
times and developed particularly during the late 16th
and 17th centuries. Different woods are more or less
suited to turning but the introduction of high-speed,
power-driven lathes in the 19thC enabled virtually any
wood to be turned in a greater variety of shapes, and
with a more uniform and symmetrical result than that
achieved by the hand or foot-operated lathe.
See farmer's watch.
Blue-green gemstone widely used, cut en cabochon (see
jewel cutting), in 19thC jewellery. Turquoise probably
takes its name from the French for Turkey, from where it
first reached Europe. The bluer the colour the more
prized the gem - the best-quality stones come from
A clock with its dial on the outside wall of a building
and its movement inside.
Fabric in which the weave forms diagonal, herringbone or
diamond lines. The weft passes over two or more, and
under one or more warps.
Form of decoration in the stem of a drinking glass,
popular in the second half of the 18thC and revived in
the 19thC. White or coloured glass rods are trapped in
the glass while it is still in a molten state and then
twisted. An air twist is a twisted air channel in the
Two or three-handled drinking vessel, also known as a
loving cup, usually large and of ceramic or silver, for
passing from guest to guest at the end of a banquet. The
term is loosely used for any two-handled cup.
Earthenware tygs with slip decoration and sometimes
initials or dates as part of the design, were common in
the 17th and 18th centuries.
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