Antiques and Collectables
Judith Miller

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A to Z

Our jargon-busting Dictionary helps you to understand specialist antiques and collectables terms. Also included are the histories of factories, designers, and style movements across the centuries.

Showing 1 to 6 of 4024 articles


A. & F. Parsons A. & F. Parsons

Arthur Martin Parsons and Frank Herbert Parsons continued the business of Edward Tessier (or Vender & Hedges, as it was also called). Registered marks in 1910 and 1911. The company became Tessiers Ltd in 1920, with the Parsons as first directors. It continues today as one of the ...

Alvar   Aalto Aalto, Alvar (1898-1976)

Finnish designer and architect Alvar Aalto was one of the leading figures in 20th-century design. Aalto’s name is synonymous with the Modern movement but his designs reflected a strong Humanist influence, utilizing natural ...

Aaron’s rod Aaron's rod

An 18th- and early 19th-century plasterer’s term for a leaf-entwined staff. The term is also used to refer to a ‘caduceus’ or winged staff with two coiling serpents forming a double helix. It represents the Roman messenger god, ...

Abacus Abacus

An architectural term describing the flat slab at the top of a column, resting on the capital and supporting the weight of the entablature above. The abacus may be simply decorated with molding or chamfered edges. Also a counting frame ...

Abalone Abalone

An edible mollusc, the hard shell of which has an iridescent lining, known as mother-of-pearl. Lining colors vary from silvery-white, green-red, and combinations of pinks and reds with blues, greens and purples. Mother-of-pearl has ...

Abbotsford style Abbotsford style

A term used to describe 19th century furniture inspired by the decorative style of Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford. Abbotsford, in Scotland, was decorated in 1824. The characteristics of this style were inspired by Elizabethan ...