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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 463 articles


C-scroll C-scroll

The curved forms of c- and s-scrolls are used to create a fancy framework for other motifs. The c-scroll is a variation on Classical scrolled ornament, developed in the Rococo period.

Cabaret Cabaret

1. A two-seater sofa designed in an S-shape, so that two sitters can be seated almost face-to-face. 2. A small tray, often made of porcelain, with a matching tea or coffee set. If designed for one person it is referred to as a ‘solitaire’; ...

Cabinet Cabinet

A type of case furniture with drawers, pigeonholes and shelves. They were designed for storing and/or displaying valuable or small decorative objects.

Cabinet ware Cabinet ware

Richly decorated small pieces, such as plates, cups and saucers, that were designed for display, not use, in a cabinet, as above. This 19th-century concept was popular throughout Europe and the US.

Cable moulding Cable moulding

Carved ornament resembling twisted rope, sometimes called ropework. A typical Romanesque form used on arches and arcading. It was used in the 18th century as an edging on silver and ceramics and also as imitation ropework legs and ...

Cabochon decoration Cabochon decoration

A French term for a smooth, domed gem that is not cut with facets. In Gothic and Gothic Revival architecture, the cabochon was frequently used for carving and stonework. As a raised oval or circular ornament, it was also favoured for ...