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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 165 articles


Dagger Dagger

A short-bladed stabbing weapon, the dagger is one of the oldest weapons and occurs worldwide. Through the ages, the dagger has been made from a range of materials: flint, bone, wood, copper, bronze, iron and even plastic. Main types of ...

Daguerreotype Daguerreotype

The first practical photographic process, the Daguerreotype is a direct positive image on a polished, reflective metal plate. Invented by L.J.M. Daguerre in 1839. Daguerreotype was the main means of processing until the 1850s. A metal ...

Daisho Daisho

The term for long and short swords carried by Japanese samurai (warriors). From the Japanese: ‘long and short’; ‘pair of swords’. The katana, or ‘daito’, is the longer sword, and the wakizashi, or ‘shoto’, is the ...

Millers Dalton, Isaac

British silversmith. Apprenticed to Isaac Davenport in 1711. Registered two marks in 1711.

Damascening Damascening

A technique used for decorating metal, usually steel, in which silver or gold or copper wire is inlaid into a pattern of fine grooves and hammered flush with the surface. The method was developed by metalworkers in the Near East, and was ...

Damascus twist Damascus twist

A technique for making gun barrels. Iron and steel wire are beaten into a ribbon, wound around a mandrel, and then hammer-welded at white heat to form the barrel tube.