Below you will find information such as definitions, biographies, and historical anecdotes as they apply to the fine art and antiques represented in our catalogs. We hope you will find this glossary a valuable resource.

abattant -
French term for "drop lid" or "fall front" as in an abattant secretary.
acanthus -
Stylized carving of the acanthus leaf commonly used to decorate furniture.
agate -
A form of quartz mineral with a strongly banded composition in which each layer differs in color and translucency. Colors range from reds, browns and yellows to greens, bluish white and white. Used for making jewelry, cameos, and in decorative objets d'art.
alabaster -
Generally translucent and white or grey in color, alabaster is a form of the mineral gypsum which can be polished to a smooth and waxy finish. Often used in sculpture, decorative stone paneling, beads, and cabochons.
amboyna -
A type of wood native to Southeast Asia typically orange or reddish-brown with a curled and mottled grain. Used for veneers and furniture.
anthemion motif -
The classically inspired anthemion, or honeysuckle motif, originated with Greek and Roman architecture and was used extensively on furnishings and decorative arts of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is marked by a stylized flower design of scrolling or radiating form. Famous furniture makers and designers including Gillows of Lancaster, Thomas Sheraton and George Hepplewhite incorporated this motif in their furniture designs.
applied decoration -
Relief decoration typically applied to the surface of a ceramic. Often used by Wedgwood to adorn their jasper wares.
assaying -
The process in which a piece is examined to determine the amount of precious metal contained. This examination is conducted at a legally appointed assayer's office to insure compliance with legal standards and the piece is officially stamped or hallmarked upon completion.
Aubusson -
Flat, tapestry-woven coverings named for the French manufactory in Aubusson, established in 1664. Aubusson fabrics are highly-regarded and of exceptional quality.
Barye, Antoine-Louis -
French sculptor and painter of animal subjects, who became a primary figure in the Romantic movement along with his contemporary Eugene Delacroix. Barye received a medal from the Salon in 1831 for Tiger Devouring a Gavial and his talents paved the way for future bronze sculptors, including his student Auguste Rodin. Barye was also an innovative bronze craftsman developing new techniques of casting, chiselling and patination which became the cornerstone of modern bronze work.
Bateman, Hester -
(1709-1794) London silversmith who took over the family business after the death of her husband in 1760, transforming the small workshop into a hugely successful enterprise. Possessing exceptional skill and taste, Hester Bateman, along with her sons Peter and John, produced some of the finest domestic and presentation sterling pieces ever created. Highly revered for her restrained decoration, works by this talented smith are highly collectible and exceedingly scarce.
Belleek -
A light, fragile feldspathic porcelain cast in moulds finished with a lustrous pearly glaze. Invented c. 1860 by William Goss of Stoke and improved by William Bromley at the Irish factory of David McBirney & Belleek Co., Fermanaugh. Belleek was also produced at many American factories from 1882-1900 and is known as lotusware by Knowles of East Liverpool.
Belter, John Henry -
John Henry Belter stands at the forefront of American cabinetmakers of the Rococo Revival and is widely considered the finest furniture maker of the period. Belter patented an unusual method of cutting through incredibly sturdy laminated wood which allowed him to create extraordinary carvings well-suited to the flamboyant tastes of Victorian America. His work literally defined formal American furnishings of the mid 19th century.
bird's eye -
A decorative wood feature most common in maple. It is formed by small depressions in the outermost growth ring of the timber, with the later growth following the contours and forms a series of small concentric circles when cut.
bisque (biscuit) -
Unglazed porcelain or pottery commonly used for Neo-Classical reliefs and statuettes since the middle of the 18th century.
black basalts -
An unglazed line-grained black stoneware perfected by Wedgwood c. 1769. Decorated with relief, gilding or enamelling.
blackamoors -
The first blackamoors were created in Venice in the late 17th century. Later, during the mid 1800s, Venetian artists carved some of the most impressive and graceful examples known, much to the delight of wealthy European families whose demand for fine art and furnishings seemed insatiable. Blackamoor figures ranged from monumental, life-size figures serving as torchieres to diminutive table top figurines used as candleholders.
Boulle -
Decorative type of marquetry in which tortoiseshell, brass, copper and tin were cut and pierced into elaborate floral or curving designs. Originally a 10th century Italian process, Boulle marquety developed in 17th century France and was perfected by Andre-Charles Boulle (1642-1732).
Britannia silver -
A silver alloy introduced after the English Civil War to prevent the melting down of sterling coins to create silver objects. Britannia silver was mandatory in England from 1697 to 1720 and is composed of 958 parts silver in 1000. All Britiannia silver is hallmarked with the figure of Britannia.
cabochon -
(1) Smooth round or oval raised decoration. (2) The simplest style of a gemstone; oval, round or teardrop shaped with a rounded top and flat or concave base. This style is used for many opaque stones.
cameo -
A small-scale, shallow relief decoration of carved stone, shell, glass or ceramic typically set against a contrasting colored background developed during the Hellenistic period. Cameos are predominately used in jewelry decoration.
cameo glass -
Glass decoration utilizing two layers of glass in which the exterior layer, usually white, is cut away from the underlying colored layer creating a contrasting relief design.
Carlton House Desk -
The original “Carlton House” desk was made in the 1790s for George IV, then the Prince of Wales, living at Carlton House in London. Though little else is known about the origins of this important desk, the style and bearing are doubtless the hallmarks of a Thomas Sheraton design. Many variations emerged from that original desk.
cartouche -
Typically oval in shape, a cartouche is an ornamental motif with curved or scrolling edges. Often the cartouche contains a coat-of-arms or an inscription.
caryatid -
A decorative upright female figure used in the place of a column.
cassolette -
A vase, usually gilt-bronze, with a pierced lid for burning perfume pastilles made in France from the 17th century on. Some examples often have a cover which reverses to form a candlestick.
casters -
(also known as muffineers) Made in sets of three, with a large pierced caster for sugar, a smaller pierced caster for black pepper and a thrid, non-pierced caster for mustard. The mustard caster's top usually features decorative engraving or other decoration.
celadon -
A semi-translucent, usually green glaze, used on Chinese stoneware.
champlevé -
A type of enameling in which powdered glass is placed in the hollowed-out areas of a piece before firing.
chasing -
A technique used to decorate metal objects, especially silver, which involves the use of shaped punches and a chasing hammer to model the piece.
chiffonier -
The chiffonier is a sideboard, or cabinet, introduced during the late 18th century with open shelves for books and a cupboard or drawers below.
chocolate cup -
A large cup with two handles, a cover and a saucer.
cloisonné -
A type of enameling in which compartments separated by thin strips of metal are filled with powdered glass prior to firing.
Commemorative Wares -
Wares that commemorate an important or historical event, such as a battle, coronation, or wedding.
coromandel -
A very hard wood similar to ebony.
crackle -
A network of cracks in the glaze of some Chinese porcelain, deliberately introduced as decoration.
crazing -
Tiny surface cracks in the glaze of porcelain or on a painting.
creamware -
A lead-glazed and cream colored earthenware with a light body consisting of pale clay. Creamware was perfected in Staffordshire in the mid-18th century.
cruet -
A cruet is a small bottle used for oils, vinegars and other condiments. Its earliest use was ecclesiastical for wine, oil and water. A few medieval examples exist today. In the late 17th century, cruets were used domestically and were made of glass imported from Italy and adorned with silver or silver-plated mounts.

Cruets were grouped together on a stand in a frame or rack typically with a central vertical handle and supporting feet. The number of bottles could vary from two to six or more and were often combined with casters.
crystal -
Fine, high-quality glass containing lead oxide invented in 17th century England. The lead oxide is attributed to providing the glass with extraordinary qualities of brilliance, sound and a suitable texture for cutting or engraving. Some of the finest crystal ever made is from Baccarat in France (est. 1816) and Waterford in Ireland (est. 1729).
cut glass -
Any glass whose surface has been cut into facets, grooves and depressions aided by a large, rotating wheel. Wheel cutting glass decoration was developed in the 8th century BC, but the technique of faceting wasn't perfected until the 18th century in England. Although cutting glass is a costly and difficult process, the brilliant effects are extraordinary!
Davenport desk -
These small writing desks most often feature a sloping top, brass galleries, a set of drawers on one side and false drawer fronts on the other. It is believed that the famous furniture making firm, Gillows of London, first created the desk around 1790 for a Captain Davenport
de Lamerie, Paul -
Paul de Lamerie (1688-1751) - The most celebrated silversmith in history who was primarily responsible for England's emergence as the world's leader in important silver production. His work, characterized by technical superiority and ingenious design, was commissioned by English nobility and Russian aristocrats.
earthenware -
All pottery except for stoneware
ebeniste -
French term meaning "cabinet maker."
ebonizing -
The staining of wood to black to resemble ebony, a common decorative technique used in Louis XIV furniture.
ebony -
The name given to several different woods that are very dark in color, sometimes dark brown or green to black in color.
enamel -
A painted porcelain decoration in vitreous colors that fuse to the glazed surface during low temperature kiln firing. Enamel sinks deeply into soft-paste porcelain but is not absorbed by hard-paste porcelain.
engraving -
The process of cutting or carving lines into a surface.
etui -
French term for case.
Faberge -
Extraordinary jeweled works of art by Peter Carl Faberge, legendary jeweler to the Czars of Russia.
feldspathic glaze -
The glaze on hard-paste porcelain which fuses into a type of natural glass at a very high temperature.
filigree (metal) -
Decorative technique using open or backed wire work. The fine wire is typically gold or silver and is worked into an intricate design.
finial -
An ornamental knob usually on the cover of a tureen or similar, where it serves as a handle.
French Ivory -
Synthetic ivory. An artificial plastic produced to imitate ivory first produced by the Xylonite Company in 1866. Other names include Celluloid, Ivoride, Ivorine, Ivorite and Pyralin.
French polish -
A durable finish of high gloss created by applying successive layers of shellac varnish to wood. The degree of shine may vary froma subtle gloss to a mirrored gloss. The name is used because it is believed to have been first used in France in the late 1600s.
fretwork -
Elaborate form of pierced decoration in wood created by using a fretsaw.
gadroon -
Applied series of small vertical, diagonal or twisted flutes commonly used as a border decoration on silverware.
Galle, Emile -
(1846-1904) French glassmaker, potter and cabinetmaker renowned for his stunning Art Nouveau pieces which revitalized the decorative arts industry at the turn of the century. Galle's design interests reflected the contemporary taste for botany and entomology, and his techniques were innovative and quite productive. In 1874, Galle established his own glass shop in Nancy creating pieces that amazed the public at several Exposition Universelles in Paris. He introduced his glasswares in 1878 and his complex marquetry furniture pieces in 1889. Galle's talent was widely recognized and he was elected to the prestigious Legion d'honneur in 1900.
gilding -
The decoration of an object with a thin layer of gold, gold leaf or gold foil.
Gillows -
Founded in 1703 by Robert Gillows, the Gillows firm operated successfully as a family-owned business well into the 19th century. Operating from Lancaster, England, Gillows was especially noted for their quality and innovative designs.
glaze -
A shiny, glassy surface coating that also seals porous bodies of porcelain and pottery. Glazes can be translucent, opaque or colored. Lead and salt glazes are applied to pottery and soft-paste porcelain, feldspathic glazes to hard-paste porcelain.
Greenaway, Kate -
Victorian children's book author and illustrator, Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) stole the hearts of young and old with her charming depictions of young children. Several of her images were reproduced by prominent silver companies during the Victorian era for figural napkin rings, which are now the most highly sought after figurals.
hallmark -
A mark or stamp applied to a precious metal by a legally appointed official denoting quality of a piece after assaying, examining to determine the amount of precious metal contained in a piece.
hard-paste porcelain -
Hard-paste (or true) porcelain is compounded of china clay (kaolin) and powdered felspathic rock (china stone or petuntse). It is glazed with petuntse which fuses into a form of natural glass under intense heat.
Imari -
Heavily decorated Japanese porcelain with overglaze enamels and gilding. Popular in the first half of the 18th century.
inlay -
Form of decoration used in furniture and ceramics, inlay is when part of a surface is removed and replaced with a contrasting material.
intaglio -
Contrasting to relief, a form of decoration incised into an object.
intaglio -
A decorative technique in which a design is cut into a hard surface. Intaglio is also the Italian word for carving.
Irish Furniture (18th-Century) -
During the 18th century, very few Irish families were wealthy enough to afford luxurious furnishings. With middle-class demand virtually non-existent, almost all Irish furniture was of exceptional quality and crafted exclusively for the tiny aristocratic population. Though talented 18th-century Irish craftsmen produced only a relatively few pieces, their work is considered among the finest ever. Today, Irish furniture is highly sought after by collectors, though few pieces are found on the market.
Ironstone china -
Created to imitate porcelain, Ironstone china was first made in England in 1813 by Charles James Mason of Staffordshire and was known as "Mason's Ironstone." Ironstone china is very hard, opaque and pale-bodied.
Jubako -
Japanese picnic box
Japan patterns -
Japanese-inspired designs on English pottery and porcelain (for example, Worcester)
Japanning -
Term used for European techniques to imitate designs from the Far East.
jardiniere -
A plant or flower container
jasper dip and jasperware -
A fine-grained unglazed stoneware perfected by Wedgwood in 1775. This white stoneware could be stained with different colors, usually blue, lilac, sage green and black. From about 1780 on the coloring could be on the outer surface only and is known as jasper dip.
Kalaga -
Embroidered Burmese tapestries. Kalagas were originally developed in Burma (now Myanmar) at the Mandalay court (1850-1885) to serve as wall hangings, curtains, room partitions, coffin covers and theatre backdrops. These traditional Burmese tapestries depicted scenes from various legends as well as events of religious importance.
kaolin -
(china clay) - A fine white granite clay used in hard-paste porcelain.
KPM Porcelain Paintings -
Few other mediums afford artists the expression of such luminous beauty than porcelain. The smooth, cool surface gives paintings an almost translucent quality, as thought the light is reflected from within. KPM porcelain represents the crème de la crème of this art form and signed pieces are highly sought after and rare.
Lavabo -
French term meaning "wash bowl"
laminated wood -
Perfected by American cabinet maker John Henry Belter, wood pieces made up of thin layers are frequently bent and molded to create curved shapes such as bed footboards, headboards or pierced furniture decoration.
Linke, Francois -
Francois Linke was the most celebrated and influential ebeniste(cabinet maker) of his time. His work has long been admired for its exceptional quality and innovative interpretation of the Louis XV and Art Nouveau styles.
lustre -
A metallic, sometimes iridescent, form of decoration.
majolica -
A 19th century type of earthenware featuring colored lead glazes.
malachite -
An opaque green mineral with very pronounced and often concentric banding. It's surface is hard enough to be polished and malachite has been used for beads, cabochons, decorative items and pietre dure.
Mallard, Prudent -
Born in Sevres, France, Prudent Mallard emigrated to America in 1829. After finding New York unsuitable, he traveled by steamship to New Orleans, where he set up shop on Royal Street, the city's most prestigious avenue, catering to the needs of a very wealthy clientele. Known for his palatial furnishings, Mallard is one of the most important Southern cabinet makers.
marks -
Porcelain and Pottery usually have signs of origin applied to the piece either in underglaze blue, impressed, incised, or painted above the glaze which generally indicate the manufacturer. Some pieces also contain marks denoting the artist and date of the piece.
marquetry -
Shaped pieces of wood or other material used as a veneer on furniture to create decorative patterns.
Meeks, J. & J. W. -
The family-owned J. & J. W. Meeks company, based in New York with outlets in New Orleans and along the Atlantic coast, was a major competitor to John Henry Belter. Because they employed similar styles, much of Meeks’ outstanding work had long been mistakenly identified as Belter. Today, experts are correcting the confusion and the Meeks’ name is now synonymous with the superior quality of the Rococo Revival
Meissen -
Manufacturers of true porcelain whose wares remain unrivaled in terms of innovation and beauty. Meissen is the name of the small town in which alchemist Johann Friedrich Bottger was imprisoned by the King of Saxony where he remained for several years until 1710 when he finally discovered a formula for true (hard-paste) porcelain.
millefiori -
A type of glassware in which multi-colored glass pieces are put in rosette or floral designs and embedded in clear glass. The word literally means "a thousand flowers" in Italian.
mosaic -
A decorative technique in which square or rectangular pieces of stone, glass, ceramic tile (also known as tessare) are set in mortar in and artistic motif. Tiny mosaics are referred to as micromosaics.
mother-of-pearl -
A term used to reference the hard, iridescent inner lining of certain mollusk shells such as oyster and mussel. Used as a decorative inlay in furniture and objets d'art.
mount -
An ornamental attachment typically of gilt-bronze on high-quality porcelain.
Nanking Cargo -
In 1752 a large Dutch trading vessel, the Geldermalsen, sunk into the Atlantic Ocean carrying the largest single shipment of blue and white porcelain ever to leave China. 150,000 pieces of china from this ship were salvaged in 1985 by Captain Michael Hatcher and then sold during a four day sale at Christie's Amsterdam in 1986. The pieces in our collection were acquired from the original purchaser at that sale and are the only Nanking Cargo pieces that we know of on the market anywhere.
Nef -
The nef, developed during the Middle Ages, is a vessel in the form of a ship that was used at the dining table. Its earliest known use, recorded in 12th century France, was most likely as a drinking vessel and was made of materials other than silver. By the 15th century, the nef was used as a receptacle for salt, goblets, napkins, eating utensils, and meat. By the 16th century, it evolved into an elaborate table ornament, from the form of simple boats to fully and accurately rigged ships often peopled with tiny figures. Nefs were often paraded at feasts in the courts of Europe and given as presents to royalty and aristocracy.
nephrite -
Often called greenstone, nephrite is a creamy greenish colored mineral often used by Faberge.
niello -
A black inlay in a metal surface, typically silver, copper and lead. Developed in ancient Roman times the technique resurged up until the Renaissance in Western Europe and is still common in Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East.
Old Paris (Veaux Paris) -
A generic term used to describe the products of numerous factories and decorating establishments in around Paris from 1780-1840. Paris blossomed as a center of excellence after the French Revolution and porcelain factories began to mulitply. Unfortunately, due to intense competition, smaller factories left many of their pieces unmarked. Typically, Old Paris porcelain is a combination of Greek, Roman and Egyptian influences accented with bright colors and gilding.
ormolu -
Derived from French for ground gold, the term refers to gilded bronze or brass mounts.
overglaze -
Decoration applied to a piece of pottery or porcelain after it has been glazed.
oyster veneering -
Oyster veneering, a technique indicative of William & Mary furnishings, was achieved by transversely cutting or slicing the smaller branches of certain trees such as walnut or olive. These small, rounded veneers, with their circular striations, resembled the inside of an oyster and when pieced together produced a most dramatic effect.
Pate-sur-pate -
A type of 19th century porcelain featuring low-relief designs carved in slip and applied to a contrasting body.
palette -
The group of colors used in a particular style or by a particular factory or decorator.
paste -
The composite material from which porcelain is made.
pastiglia -
A technique used to decorate small gilded items made from a white powder derived from lead. Often used during the Italian Renaissance for decorating tiny caskets, it was much too fragile for use on larger items.
pastille burners -
Popular from 1820-1850, pastille burners were containers often in the form of cottages, churches, or summer houses, with detachable lids for burning cassolette perfumes (incense).
patination -
The change of color of a metal surface due to a chemical reaction between the metal and its environment. A patina can be created naturally or artificially.
Petit, Jacob -
Jacob Petit owned one of the most important and well-known porcelain factories in France. He rose from humble beginnings to become a major producer of Rococo ornamental ware in the 1830s. Jacob Petit's highly decorative porcelain was enormously popular in both England and France. His heavily molded and somewhat eccentric style has proven to be well-made and designed to endure the test of time. Petit's peices are normally clearly marked with the letters J.P. in underglaze blue.
pierced work -
Decorative technique used on precious and non-precious metals, created by perforating the metal sheet. Some extraordinary pierced work was achieved by the noteworthy Goldsmiths and Silversmiths of London during the 18th and 19th centuries.
pietre dure -
An Italian phrase which means "hard stones," pietre dure is often used to describe sculptural or decorative use of hard stones. This technique was used to decorate furniture, cameos, vases and decorative panels.
polychrome -
Decoration using three or more colors.
porcelain -
Translucent white ceramic body made from kaolin and petuntse (hard-paste) or another ingredient that induces translucency (soft-paste) fired at high temperatures.
pottery -
Generic term for all ceramic wares except for porcelain.
putti -
(pl. for putto) cupids or cherubs commonly used as a decorative motif.
Queen's Ware -
Cream-colored earthenware improved and marketed by Josiah Wedgwood from 1765. It was named Queen's ware in honor of Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III.
relief -
Decoration that protrudes from the surface.
repousse -
A decorative technique in which sheet metal is punched and hammered from the back, usually follwed by chasing from the front as a finishing touch. Another word for repousse is embossing.
Rococo -
A style of mid-18th century decoration, with asymmetric ornament and generous use of scrolls.
rosewood -
Prized for its exotic and beautifully figured appearance, rosewood was a favorite among upscale cabinet makers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Unlike more common woods, rosewood is exceptionally dense, rich in color and very receptive to a high polish. Hailing from tropical forests of India and Brazil, rosewood got its name not from its appearance, but from the aroma of the freshly cut trees. Neo-classical furniture makers like Thomas Chippendale preferred rosewood to any other variety for his incredible furnishings. Brazilian rosewood was the preferred choice of 19th-century furniture makers as well. Today, rosewood pieces are highly sought after by antique connoisseurs.
Rosso Antico -
The name given by Wedgwood to his red stoneware.
Roux, Alexander -
Alexander Roux emigrated from France to New York and opened his first shop in 1837. He used his Parisian background and training to his advantage, imparting his designs with a decidedly French flair. By 1855, Roux employed 120 workers, reaching the peak of his success in the 1870s with more than a half million dollars in annual sales. Roux’s genius lay in his ability to excel in the creation of the popular styles without sacrificing quality or the spirit of innovation.
satinwood -
Pale in color and silky in appearance, satinwood became increasingly popular in Britain during the 1770s, replacing mahogany as the wood of choice for smaller pieces of furniture. A brilliant yellow wood with a high lustre, stainwood often has a rippled or quilted feature from which its name is derived. Typically, satinwood is used as a veneer and it remained popular in England throughout the late 18th and 19th centuries.
scrimshaw -
A folk art dating from the 17th century in which whale teeth, whale bones and walrus tusks are engraved or lightly carved with a picture or design.
serpentine -
Furniture decoration shaped like an s-curve
shagreen -
A leather created from various species of sharks, rays and dogfish, particularly the stingray. This nodule-laden leather was commonly used during the 18th and 19th centuries to add decorative features to items such as jewelry boxes, needle cases, sword handles and opera glasses.
Smith, Benjamin -
Benjamin Smith. Benjamin Smith's (1764-1823) extraordinary genius garnered him accolades from his contemporaries and established him as one of history's most important and respected silversmiths. He, along with other master smiths like Paul Storr and Matthew Boulton, were most influential in elevating the silver artform during the period. Boulton was so impressed with Smith's talent, he entered into a partnership with him. Later, Smith found himself in the same circles as the legendary Paul Storr, and his talent soon gained the attention of the Royal Family. Indeed by 1803, just a year after arriving in London, Smith's work had found its way into the Royal Household and his distinctive style put him in the same stellar league as Storr and Boulton, a most exclusive group. Examples bearing the hallmark of Benjamin Smith are especially rare and sought after among collectors who recognize the superior technical and artistic merit of his work.
soft-paste Porcelain -
Porcelain compounded mostly of white clay mixed with a glassy substance.
Solon, Marc Louis -
Marc Louis Solon is the most renowned pate-sur-pate artist. Solon was forced to leave the Sevres porcelain factory in France and move to England due to the onslaught of the Franco-Prussian war. In 1870 Solon began a long and prosperous relationship with the Minton porcelain factory in Stoke-On-Trent, becoming the premier pate-sur-pateartist.
spinel -
Gemstone which occurs in a variety of colors including deep reds, blues and greens. Significant sources of spinals include Burma, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Kenya, Pakistan and Vietnam.
splat -
The flat central support on a chair's back
sprigged ware -
Ceramics which have ornamental decoration applied to its surface. A sprig mould is used to produce a relief decoration with a flat back in order for it to be scored and slipped ("sprigged") for application. Wedgwood jasper ware features sprigged decoration.
stoneware -
A hybrid of earthenware and porcelain, made of clay and a fusible substance, such as sand or flint. It is not porous after firing.
Storr, Paul -
Paul Storr (1771-1844) - The most celebrated and prolific silversmith of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Storr captured the attention of the world's aristocracy particularly the Prince of Wales, the future King George IV. His works graced palaces and mansions all over Europe.
Tantalus -
The Tantalus is a cellarette with decanters tucked inside, their contents visible but not obtainable without a key. The name derived from the Greek myth of Tantalos, son of Zeus and King of Lydia.

Tantalos was admitted to the society of the gods, but his abominable behavior aroused their anger leading Zeus to condemn him to suffer eternally in Tartarus. As punishment, Tantalos was forced to stand neck-deep in water, which receded from him when he would attempt to drink. Over his head hung the bough of a fruit tree that the wind wafted away whenever he tried to grasp them. It is from his name that the word tantalize also originated.
tapestry -
A heavy hand-woven fabric panel, often used as a wall decoration. Aubusson weavers are renowned for their fine tapestries.
tea bowl -
A small Oriental cup without a handle, also made widely in Europe (with a saucer) in the 18th century.
tea caddy -
A decorative box created for storing tea leaves, many with two compartments one for black tea and the other for green tea. Some of the finest tea caddies created in England were crafted of exotic woods, adorned with tortoise shell, ivory and mother-of-pearl.
Tiffany's Chrysanthemum -
One of the most popular designs created by Tiffany and Co.'s Charles T. Grosjean in 1880. Though it was the most expensive pattern to produce for tea services and flatware, it soon became the most highly prized and luxurious of all Tiffany patterns.
tin glaze -
An opaque white glaze containing tin oxide used on faience, delftwares and majolica.
Toby Jug -
An 18th or 19th century jug representing a seated Englishman with three-cornered hat and mug of ale.
tortoiseshell -
Often used as an inlay or a decorative overlay on wood surfaces, tortoiseshell is a mottled, nutty brown shell material with a spotted, striped, or sometimes even speckled pattern.
underglaze -
Decoration or mark applied to a ceramic ware underneath a transparent glaze.
veilleuse -
Derived from the French word veiller (to keep a night vigil), veilleuse initially referred to any night lamp. Eventually the word became used for any food or drink warmer intended for bedside use. Also referred to as tisaniere.
Wedding Cup -
German Jungfrauenbecher meaning "maiden's cup." The wedding cup originated in Germany during the 16th century, but only a few examples survive from that early time and is now often referred to as the wedding cup for the role it plays in nuptial feasts. The bridegroom drinks a toast out of the larger cup and then rights the figure, without spilling the wine in the smaller pivoted bowl, which is then to be drunk by the bride. The Jungfrauenbecher has also been known as the "wager cup" - the challenged having to drink from both cups without spilling the contents of either.
Wedgwood & Bentley -
In 1768 Josiah Wedgwood partnered with Thomas Bentley establishing a factory named 'Etruria' for making ornamental wares.
zebrawood -
An orange to dark brown wood with variegated stripes and a straight, fine grain. Used for high-quality veneers and available only in small quantities.