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Article

G. Lloyd-Morgan

Male figure (sometimes known as telamon, and equivalent to the female caryatid) used architecturally since the Classical period to replace a column, and for decorative effect in metalwork and furniture since the 16th century. It is usually represented standing with its hands behind its bowed head, as if supporting a heavy weight on its shoulders, and is probably modelled on the mythical Atlas, who was said to hold up the sky. Unlike caryatids, surviving examples from the Greco-Roman world are scarce. The earliest and most famous, in the huge ...

Article

Margaret Lyttleton and Quentin Hughes

Type of panelling on a ceiling, in which beams are interspersed with crossbeams; the spaces created between them are called the coffers.

Margaret Lyttleton

In ancient Greek architecture flat ceilings were usually made with long beams of stone or wood interspersed with short crossbeams; the coffers between carried elaborate decorations, such as the rosettes found in the east cella of the ...

Article

Fillet  

Narrow, flat, raised moulding used to give emphasis in architecture. The term is employed, for example, for the ridges (stria) between the flutes of an Ionic column, for the ribbon-like ornament between the echinus and necking of a column and for the uppermost step of a cornice. In the decorative arts fillets are used to hide the edges of wallpaper or hangings. In leatherwork (especially bookbindig), the term denotes a wheel tool used to impress a straight line or the straight line made by the tool. (...

Article

Finial  

In architecture, the crowning ornament on the point of a spire or pinnacle. In the decorative arts, in which it commonly takes the form of an acorn or un, finials are used on canopies, on the ends of open seats in a church and on the covers of tableware in silver or pottery....

Article

Trevor Proudfoot

In 

See Stucco and plasterwork

Article

See Stucco and plasterwork

Article

Trevor Proudfoot, Massoud Azarnoush, M. Rautmann, Geoffrey Beard, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom, Ye. V. Zeymal’, Monique Maillard, Anna Maria Quagliotti, Elizabeth Ann Schneider, David M. Jones and Fiona Allardyce

In 

See Stucco and plasterwork

Article

Trevor Proudfoot and Fiona Allardyce

In 

See Stucco and plasterwork

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

Technique for imitating Asian Lacquer. Once Dutch and Portuguese traders imported lacquer ware from the Far East after 1700, Europeans became fascinated by this technique. Originating in ancient China, it spread to Japan where it is still practiced in the 21st century. The process involved the application of up to a hundred coats of lacquer produced from the sap of the ...

Article

Lunette  

In architecture a semicircular space on a wall or ceiling, framed by an arch or vault; in manuscript paining a similarly shaped, framed space often containing figural imagery or text. In cabinet-making the term is used more loosely to denote a fan-shaped decoration. Carved, painted or inlaid lunettes often appear on 18th-century furniture....

Article

Gordon Campbell

Copper-green stone. In ceramics, the term denotes a glaze used to create pottery with the copper-green colour of malachite. Powdered malachite was long used in wall painting, but is only rarely used in easel painting. Deposits of malachite were discovered in Siberia in 1635, and thereafter malachite vessels were produced in the Kremlin workshops. Objects made of malachite were fashionable in the first half of the 19th century, reaching their technical height from ...

Article

Decorative grotesque mask, in architecture usually over a door or fountain and in furniture on gilt-bronze mounts (see also Grotesque). The espagnolette is a type of mascaron.

C. D’Onofrio: ‘Fountains of Rome’, F.M.R. Magazine, 81 (Aug 1996), pp. 50–66 G. Manganelli: ‘The Many Faces of Water’, ...

Article

Morocco  

Fine flexible leather made (originally in Morocco, Kingdom of) from goatskin tanned with sumac, used especially in bookbinding, shoemaking and upholstery. The term is also used to denote imitations made in sheepskin or lambskin.

Article

Gordon Campbell

Decorative work in a fine material (e.g. glass, porcelain, semi-precious stones, silver or gold) that is attractive because of its antiquity, beauty and quality of workmanship. ‘Vertu’ (It. virtù) refers to a taste for curios or other works of art. The traditional form objets de vertu...

Article

Plinth  

Term applied to the square or rectangular base of a building, column, piece of furniture or pedestal (e.g. for a statue).

Article

Gordon Campbell

Term that denotes two distinct types of skin used in the decorative arts. It can refer to a type of untanned leather (often dyed green) with a rough granular surface, prepared from the skin of the horse or ass; the indented surface is created by trampling seeds into the skin and then shaking them out when dried. Alternatively, the term can refer to the skin of sharks and rays, which is covered with close-set calcified papillae, forming a hard rough surface. Shagreen has been used since the 17th century for bookbinding, watch cases, and coverings for small boxes; in France, where shagreen has been used for upholstery, it is known as galuchat (dogfish skin)....

Article

Ellen Callmann

Term applied to Tuscan 15th- and early 16th-century painted wall panels. Originally the term denoted panels that were set into the wall panelling at head or shoulder height above the backrest of a piece of furniture. It was later extended to include panel paintings set into the wall and was an integral part of the wainscoting. With few exceptions, ...

Article

Trevor Proudfoot, Massoud Azarnoush, M. Rautmann, Geoffrey Beard, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom, Ye. V. Zeymal’, Monique Maillard, Anna Maria Quagliotti, Elizabeth Ann Schneider, David M. Jones and Fiona Allardyce

General terms for a decorative art that, at its simplest, is a render of mortar designed to decorate a smooth wall or ceiling and, in its more sophisticated form, is a combination of high-relief, sculptural, and surface decoration. The words stucco and plaster are used virtually interchangeably and, most flexibly, can be applied to mixtures of mud or clay (...

Article

Decorative carved architectural feature, also used on Baroque and Rococo furniture, consisting of a bust- or half-length human, mythological figure or animal that appears to spring from the top of a pillar, pilaster, pedestal, bracket etc. The name derives from Terminus, the Roman god of boundaries (...

Article

Tile  

Bernadette Nelson, M. Leticia Sánchez Hernández, Bruce Tattersall, Hans van Lemmen and Cleota Reed

Thin slab of fired clay used for covering roofs, floors, walls, stoves and chimney-pieces; they can be either square, rectangular, hexagonal, cruciform or star-shaped, so that they can be fitted together to form a mosaic or tile-panel. The most commonly used material for decorative tiles is glazed ...