Antiques Glossary - Z
Author: Jim Coyle
A decorative, reddish-brown wood barred with dark
stripes, also known as tiger wood. It is a hard, heavy,
Brazilian timber, most commonly seen in banding and
inlaid decoration. In the late 18thC and throughout the
19thC, zebrawood was sometimes used as a veneer for
complete surfaces of bureaux, desks and tables.
Bluish-white metallic element. It is used to form
various alloys such as brass, bronze and nickel silver.
Zinc was not produced commercially in Britain until the
18thC. See spelter.
Gemstone which ranges in colour through yellow, red and
orange to green. Colourless, golden-brown and sky-blue
versions are produced by heat treatment. Most of the
mineral suitable for gemstones comes from the Far East
and Sri Lanka. Yellow and brown shades of zircon were
often termed hyacinth, and transparent or colourless
types are sometimes known as jargons or jargoons.
Colourless zircons are sometimes used as substitutes for
diamonds, but are not as hard or brilliant.
Optical toy popular in Victorian times. It consists of a
revolving cylinder which is open at the top and has a
series of pictures arranged along the inner surface. The
pictures are viewed through slits around the edge of the
cylinder and appear to be moving when the box is rotated
rapidly. The zoetrope was developed in the 1830s and is
also known as a zootrope or wheel of life.
- Zucchi, Antonio Pietro
(1726-91) Italian painter and designer of furniture and
household fittings. He travelled with architect Robert
adam in Italy and, on coming to England in 1766, did a
great deal of work with him on house interiors. Zucchi
was the second husband of painter Angelica kauffmann.
Glass vessel decorated with engraving and gold or silver
leaf, and then sheathed with another layer of glass to
enclose the design. The name literally means 'gold
between glass'. This technique dates from c.300 bc, but
most surviving examples were made in Bohemia between
1730 and 1755. It is seen mainly on beakers or goblets
decorated with hunting, heraldic or religious images.
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