Glossary of Arts & Crafts Terms
An ear-shaped shell lined with mother-of-pearl.
Aesthetic Movement A decorative
arts movement with a strong Japanese influence, which flourished in
Europe and the USA from c1860 to the late 1880s
aniline dye A synthetic,
industrial dye used in textile and carpet manufacture from the
185Os. It produces strong, brighter colors that are cruder than
those of traditional vegetable dyes.
armoire A French term for a
linen-press, wardrobe or large cupboard.
armorial A crest or coat of
armorial wares Ceramic, glass,
or silverware decorated with coats of arms or crests.
apron A wooden panel that
connects the surface and legs of a table, chair, or chest.
astragal A small, semi-circular
molding; term applied to the glazing barson cabinets and bookcases.
A veneer cut into narrow strips and applied to create a decorative
effect; usually found around the edges of tables and drawer fronts.
base metal A non-precious metal
such as iron, brass, bronze or steel.
bleu-celeste A rare tincture
used in heraldry, which is sometimes also called ciel or celeste and
is a lighter shade than that of the traditional heraldic azure
caddy spoon A spoon for
measuring tea out of the caddy. Made in vast quantities from the
late 18th century.
cornice A horizontal top part or
cresting on a piece of furniture
credenza A long side cabinet,
with shelves at either end.
drugget rug A heavy felted
fabric of wool, or wool and cotton, used as a floor covering
ebonized When wood is stained
and polished black to simulate ebony.
embossing A method of creating
relief ornament on metal by hammering or punching from the reverse.
enamel A form of decoration
involving the application of metallic oxides to metal, ceramics, or
glass in paste form or in an oil-based mixture, which is then
usually tired for decorative effect.
engraving The decorative
patterns cut into a metal surface using a sharp tool.
everted An outward-turned or
flaring, usually describing a rim.
ewer A large jug with a lip that
is often part of a set with a basin. Ewers originally held the water
used by diners to wash their hands during meals, prior to the
introduction of the fork.
faceted A decorative surface cut
into sharp-edged planes in a criss-cross pattern to reflect the
field A large area of a rug or
carpet usually enclosed by borders.
finial A decorative turned knob.
frieze A long, ornamental band.
fumed oak The technique of
fuming or smoking oak with ammonia.
gilding A method of applying a
gold finish to a silver or electroplated item,ceramics, wood or
griffin A mythical animal with
the head, wings, and claws of an eagle but a lion's body. It was a
popular motif in the Regency and Empire periods.
hallmark A mark on silver that
indicate it has been passed at assn The term derives from the
Goldsmiths' Hall, London, where marks were struck.
hollow-ware Any hollow items
such as bowls, teapots, jugs; distinctive from flatware.
inlay The setting of one
material (e.g. marble, wood, metal, tortoiseshell, or mother-of
pearl) in another (usually wood).
intaglio An incised design, as
opposed to a design in relief.
ivorine An artificial product
made resemble ivory in color on texture.
jacquard A fabric with an
elaborately woven pattern produced on a Jacquard loom.
ladderback A vernacular chair
with a set of horizontal backrails.
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