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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 44 articles


Ibeji Ibeji

A Yoruba word for ‘twin’, which also gives its name to the figures produced to house the soul of a deal twin. These figures, six to ten inches high, are carved with the family mask, and are well tended.

Ice glass Ice glass

A form of decorative glass, the surface of which has a cracked ice effect. First used in Venice in the 16th century, the technique was revived in Britain in the 19th century. The surface decoration is created by plunging partially blown ...

Ideal Novelty & Toy Co. Ideal Novelty & Toy Co.

A toy company renowned for its bears, especially its claim on the first ‘Teddy’, after Teddy Roosevelt. The New York firm was founded in 1903 by Rose and Morris Michtom. It claimed to have made the first teddy bear in 1903, the idea for ...

Ifugao Ifugao

A tribal people living in the Philippines, who are known for their wood-carving. They are known for their spoons, known as pakko, which have figural handles, rice guardians (bulul), benches and priests boxes (punamhan).

Imari porcelain  Imari porcelain

A type of Japanese porcelain made at Arita, with a characteristic palette of underglaze blue, iron red and gilt. From the late 17th century, the wares were shipped from the port of Imari, hence the name. In the 18th century, Chinese copies ...

Imbricated Imbricated

Having regularly arranged overlapping edges, such as roof tiles or fish scales.