A to Z

Glossary 
De-mystifying the terms used by antique dealers, auctioneers and specialists.
 
Search for glossary terms (regular expression allowed)
Term Main definition
Aliphatic Resin Glue

A popular yellow wood working glue.

Ale Warmer
Copper or brass vessel, tinned internally, shaped with a conical or bulbous foot suitable for use in a fire or grate to warm ale.  Copper Ale Warmers are found in various shapes and sizes but the most popular are those of shoe or conical shape. They were thrust into the ambers to prepare a welcome drink for a cold winters night.
Ale Flute

A tall, trumpet shaped glass with a long or short stem and spreading foot, used in the 1700´s Britain for beer and ale drinking. If engraved, the most common motif is the hop vine.

Alder

A light brown hardwood from the Birch family.

Albert Watch Chain
The Prince Consort (1819-1861), Queen Victoria´s husband, is commemorated in the name for a gold or silver watch chain, and also for a Flatware pattern.
Alabastron
Originally a small ancient Egyptian or Greek cosmetic bottle carved from alabaster. Later examples were made of glass, pottery and other materials. Cylindrical, with a round base and spreading rim, they are often iridescent after being buried for years.
Alabaster

Alabaster is a fine grained white, grey, yellow or reddish lime-stone, or form of the mineral gypsum which can be cut so thinly as to be translucent and polished to a smooth and waxy finish. It was even used for glazing small church windows in the Middle Ages. From the middle of the 1300's Nottingham was known as a centre for small-scale religious carvings in alabaster, but the British industry was killed in the 1500's by the Reformation. Often used in sculpture, decorative stone panelling, beads and cabochons.

Ajouré

Pierced, used to describe the surface of an ornament or element. Literally 'to let the light pass through.' feminine: ajourée.

Air Twist

A 1700's British method for stretching bubbles into single or double spirals in the stems of glasses. Sometimes the spirals were coloured.

Air Trap
An air-filled void, which may be of almost any shape. Air traps in stems are frequently tear-shaped or spirally twisted. Somtimes refered to as an Air Lock.
Ageing

Loose term covering some surface treatment techniques used to make objects look old. Also a metallurgical term to describe hardening an alloy by heating to a temperature where a precipitate forms from a super-saturated solid solution.

Age Hardening
The process of hardening spontaneously over time at ambient conditions. Some steels age-harden as do other alloys. The process was first studied in aluminium-copper where coherent precipitates of different structure form as the first stage of the process. 
Agate Ware

An agate like pottery made with blended clay by the Romans, and latterly by Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters.

Agate Glass Jewellery
A Renaissance technique of blending molten glass of two or more colours to imitate semi-precious stones. The mixture was then turned into decorative objects, depending on the mix.
Agate Glass

A Renaissance technique of blending molten glass of two or more colours to imitate semi-precious stones. The mixture was then turned into decorative objects, depending on the mix.