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Antique Collectors' Dictionary (C)

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Cabaret Set: Porcelain tea set, including a tray, for one or two persons.

Cabinet: A case for the storage of papers and valuables which probably originated in Italy and had found its way to France by the early sixteenth century; made in a variety of forms and sometimes mounted upon a stand.

Cabinet-maker: The cabinet-maker came into his own in the 1660's and by the last quarter of the century the term was in common use. A separate society of cabinet-makers had been formed by the middle of the eighteenth century.

Cabochon: A precious stone which is polished but not cut or shaped into a regular figure.

Cabriole: A 'leap like that of a goat', a form of chair or table leg which appeared in England in the early eighteenth century;

Cadogan Teapot: Peach-shaped teapot of Chinese inspiration which filled through a hole in the base. Made first at Rockingham, Yorkshire, in the 1780's.

Caffaggiolo: From about 1506 maiolica was produced at or near the Castle of Caffaggiolo, near Florence, under the patronage of a branch of the Medici family.

Calamander Wood: Hard, fine-grained wood, light brown with black mottling and stripes, from the East Indies, used for veneer and bandings in Regency furniture particularly.

Calendar Clock: Clock that gives the date as well as the time.

Callot Figures: Dwarf figures, frequently grotesque, as made at several porcelain factories during the eighteenth century, particularly at Meissen and Vienna. The name derives from Jacgues Callot (1593,1635), French artist and engraver.

Cambrian: See Swansea.

Cameo Back: One undoubted Victorian contribution to the English chair: open oval back and cabriole legs: from 1840.

Cameo Glass: Glassware carved with relief decoration through one or more layers of contrasting colours.

Canape: The French term for a sofa.

Candelabrum: A standing branched support for more than one candle. What are now called candelabra were in early times called candlesticks and chandeliers, apparently without distinction; it was not till the nineteenth century that the word candelabra came into use.

Candle Box: Box, of oak usually, or some metal such as brass, pewter or even silver, for storing candles. Examples will be found rectangular or cylindrical and will probably date from the eighteenth century.

Candle Stand: A portable stand for supporting a light such as a candelabrum. Often in pairs, and as this fashion seems to have come from France the French nomenclature is often used-Gueridon or Torchere (qq.v.).

Candlestick: A support for a candle, at first by means of a pricket or spike, then, from the fifteenth century, by means of a nozzle. In silver examples the wide platform (to catch the grease) tends to disappear by the middle of the seventeenth century; the removable nozzle dates from circa 1760. The fluted column, the baluster ornament, were the staples until the classical revival came in in the 1760's (urn-shaped sockets, etc.).

Cane: (1) A pliant material made from rattans (a class of palms), introduced into England early in Charles II's reign by the East India Company. When first used the mesh was large but was reduced by the end of the seventeenth century. In 1803, Shenstone mentions a revival of caning for seat furniture. (2) The rods of opaque or coloured glass used in twist-stem glasses and latticino glass-making technique generally are called canes.

Canopy: A covering, a projection, usually intended for ornament rather than utility. Canopies were often built-in to medieval furniture; but they were also a suspended fabric.

Canteen: A small wooden case divided into compartments for carrying bottles. Also: a cutlery case for the traveller.

Canterbury: Music rack of several vertical divisions, with drawer(s) or shelf beneath, of rosewood, walnut, mahogany; the earliest (late-Georgian) are simple but they grow more and more elaborate with brass or ormolu banding and some are bobbin-turned; much esteemed today for holding periodicals and newspapers. Also: supper tray with partitions for cutlery and plate.

Canton: One of the most important ports in China and connected by rivers and waterways with the great porcelainmaking centre of Ching-te-Chen; it was therefore only natural that decorating workshops should be established at Canton to take advantage of the export trade to the West. Canton enamelware dates from about 1725. Most of the 'Oriental Lowestoft' was decorated here and the industry flourished well into the nineteenth century.

Capital: The head (or top) of a column or pilaster.

Capo-di-Monte: A factory for making porcelain set up in 1743 at Capo-di-Monte, near Naples, by Charles, King of Naples. Soft-paste porcelain of excellent quality was made; figures are superb-and very rare. In 1759, when Charles became King of Spain, the factory was removed to Buen Retiro, near Madrid. Early in the nineteenth century the Doccia factory acquired a large number of the Capo-di-Monte moulds and made considerable use of them; but as these Doccia reproductions are hard-paste porcelain their detection should not be difficult. The mark is the $eur-de-lys, also to be used at Buen Retiro (q.v.).

Capstan Table: See Rent Table.

Caquetoire (French): Sixteenth-century chair, with arms and tall back.

Carcase: The main structure of a piece of furniture on which veneer is applied.

Cardinal's Hat: Broad-brimmed pewter dish.

Card-cut: (1) Silver. Designs cut in thin sheet-metal and applied to the body, an ornament introduced in Charles II's reign and fully developed in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. (2) Furniture. Flat ornament applied to or carved on the piece (favoured during the middle years of the eighteenth century).

Card-table: A table designed for card playing appears in rare instances towards the end of the seventeenth century, being developed in the early eighteenth century. It had a folding top covered with cloth or velvet and frequently had sinkings for counters and candlesticks.

Carlin, Martin: Eighteenth-century maitre ebeniste who was patronized by Marie Antoinette.

Carlton House Table: D-shaped writing-table, the back semicircular, the straight front containing drawers, the top built up at the back with further drawers and sometimes surmounted by a gallery. Late Georgian and Regency; of mahogany or satinwood.

Carpenter: Carpenters made most of the domestic furniture in England until 1632 when a committee of the Court of Aldermen gave joiners the exclusive rights to furniture making, a monopoly that carpenters, especially those outside London, disputed for many long years. Carpets Said to have been introduced into England by Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I. Until the mid-eighteenth century the term 'carpet' was applied to coverings for furniture as well as for the floor. There are two basic methods of carpetweaving. In tapestry (or smooth-faced) carpets, a loom is used. For pile carpets, rows of knots are tied on the warp thread of a loom and the ends cut down close to the knots, thus forming a pile. After each row is finished weft threads are run through the knots to secure them. Persia and Asia Minor are and have been the great carpet-producing countries, followed by China, India, Spain and France. In England the main manufacturing centres have been Axminster, Wilton, Kidderminster. Separate entries are accorded the more important types and makes.

Carrara Ware: The Wedgwood equivalent of Parian ware (q.v.); name derives from the white marble of Tuscany.

Cartouche: Originally a roll or case of paper, but also applies to an ornament in the form of a tablet representing a sheet of paper with the ends rolled or curled over.

Carver Chair: A name given to a heavy, square type of American chair of turned oak, named after Governor Carver's chair at Pilgrim Hall; Plymouth.

Caryatid: A standing figure used to support an entablature. Cased or Flashed or Overlay Glass Layers of different coloured glass laid over a basis of clear glass to which had been applied a thick opaque-white coating. Oblique cutting revealed geometric or otherwise decorative designs; sometimes engraving and deep cutting was an added embellishment. The Romans possessed such a technique; the Bohemian glassmakers made a great deal of cased glass in the nineteenth century; but it was never better done than in England from 1845.

Cassel: German hard-paste porcelain factory active 1766-88.

Cassone: Italian for chest or coffer, an important piece of furniture in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and one on which the Italian makers lavished much skill, painted decoration being sometimes superb.

Castel Durante: Famous maiolica centre in Urbino, Italy; the wares produced here in the first half of the sixteenth century are particularly esteemed. Nicola Pellipario, one of the greatest maiolica painters, worked at Castel Durante c. 1712-27.

Castelli: Maiolica producing centre in Abruzzi, Italy, from the sixteenth century.

Caster: A receptacle for sugar and dry condiments such as pepper, having a perforated lid (though sometimes unpiercedfor mustard); silver examples may date as early as the late seventeenth century; the use of glass (often with silver lids) became common at the end of the eighteenth century.

Cast Iron: As distinct from wrought iron (q.v.), cast iron is hard and brittle and has been 'cast' in a mould.

Castor: Small wheel or roller fitted to a piece of furniture to enable it to be moved without lifting. At first of wood, later of leather in the form of a single roller, then in the mid-eighteenth century a system of leather discs came into use, but gave way, towards the end of the eighteenth century, to brass wheels.

Cat: A three-armed, three-legged stand for warming plates at the fire. Some were made of metal but most are of wood, mahogany particularly, and have elaborately turned arms. Made from the middle of the eighteenth century.

Caudle Cup: Another name for a porringer (q.v.). Caudle was a drink composed of thin gruel and sweetened and spiced wine or ale.

Caughley: This ceramics factory established in the 1750's, produced earthenware until 1772 when Thomas Turner, who had been at Worcester, married the proprietor's daughter and instituted the manufacture of porcelain that at first followed the Worcester style. John Rose of Coalport purchased the Caughley factory in 1799 and kept it in being till 1814, when he transferred the business to Coalport.

There were thus two periods at Caughley. In the first blue and white wares predominated; noteworthy were the 'Willow' and 'Broseley Blue Dragon' patterns which originated here (perhaps the work of apprentice engraver Thomas Minton). In the second period nearly all the porcelain produced was sent in the biscuit state to be glazed and decorated at Coalport. The usual mark is the letter 'c', which frequently looks like the Worcester crescent; the letter 's' and the word 'SALOPIAN' are quite common; the marks of several factories were copied.

Cauldron: A kettle, but used for all manner of cooking since earliest times. The cauldron is probably the oldest cooking vessel of all.

Causeuse (French): A small sofa; a love-seat.

Cedar: Soft, fragrant wood used from the middle of the eighteenth century for the lining of drawers, chests, etc.

Celadon: Chinese porcelain or porcellaneous stoneware with pale bluish or greyish green glaze. Dates from the Sung period and is thought to be the result of porcelain makers attempting to simulate jade. In the eighteenth century the classic Sung wares were copied a great deal.

Cellaret: A term that came into use in the middle of the eighteenth century to indicate a case, with partitions, for bottles; usually on legs; found in many shapes.

Cell Glazing or Cell-mosaic: A variation on the cloisonne enamel technique (see Enamel) in that the cloisons or cells are filled with pieces of glass or stone that have been cut to fit. The French term is verroterie cloisonne.

Celour: A canopy for a bed; sometimes used as an alternative term for a tester (q.v.).

Censer: Covered metal bowl for burning incense.

Centre-piece: Silver table piece, often of pierced work, with central basket and several branches; an epergne.

Ceramic: From the Greek keramos, pottery, potters' earth. Ceramics is the generic term that covers all forms of pottery and porcelain.

Chaffers, Richard (1731-65): Potter of Liverpool who made blue and white earthenware and porcelain from Cornish soapstone.

Chaffers, William: Author of the standard work Marks and Monograms on Pottery and Porcelain.

Chafing Dish: A portable metal dish, with handles, for heating food.

Chair-table: Chair with back which swings over to form a table. Examples survive from the sixteenth century.

Chaise Longue (French): A couch or day-bed with upholstered back.

Chalice: Wine cup used at mass; it has a shallow circular bowl and a tall stem.

Chamber Horse: Chair-like contrivance on which to do physical exercises; latter half of the eighteenth century.

Chamberlain, Robert: A decorator at the Worcester porcelain factory who, in 1783, set up his own business, first as a decorator and then as a manufacturer. This venture so prospered that in 1840 Chamberlain & Co. took over the old company (see Worcester). 'Chamberlain's Worcester' is a typical mark; sometimes just 'Chamberlain's'.

Chambers, Sir William (1726-96): Architect and furniture designer; author of Designs of Chinese Buildings and Furniture (1757); architect of Somerset House.

Chamfer: The canted surface that remains after an angle-edge has been bevelled off.

Chamfron or Chanfron: Head armour worn by horses from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century; an iron spike normally projected from the chamfron.

Champion, Richard (1743-91): Porcelain-maker who joined with Cookworthy c. 1770 in the hard-paste venture at Plymouth (q.v.) and Bristol (q.v.) which he took over when Cookworthy pulled out. But the difficulties were too great and in 1781 Champion sold the hard-paste patent to the company that founded the New Hall factory (q.v.).

Champleve Enamel: See Enamel.

Chandelier: This term, of considerable antiquity, has been applied to a number of lighting fittings but is now confined to lights hanging from the ceiling. The early 'candlebeams' remained in use until ousted by metal chandeliers made chiefly in the Low Countries. Brass chandeliers with S-shaped branches were made in Holland and England in the late seventeenth century and for much of the eighteenth century. With the introduction of cut glass, the use of glass for chandeliers became an important English industry from the early Georgian period until the early nineteenth century.

Chantilly: French porcelain factory founded about 1725 under the auspices of Louis-Henri de Bourbon, Prince de Conde, who doted on Arita (q.v.) porcelain and desired that a similar ware be produced in France. Soft-paste porcelain was made, the glaze until the middle of the century being opaque owing to the incorporation of tin oxide, a practice particular to this factory. Decoration was in the Kakiemon style at first; later, Meissen was the model. The mark is a hunting horn. The factory closed in 1800.

Chapter Ring: The brass, sometimes silver, ring set in a clock dial on which the hours and minutes are engraved.

Charger: A large plate or dish.

Chatelaine (French =mistress of a chateau): In medieval times a long waist chain with pendant clasp from which hung purse, keys, etc. Victorian ladies dispensed with the waist chain and favoured, hooked into their waist-bands, an ornamental metal plate from which hung several short chains with swivel endclips for carrying scissors, pencil, keys, scent bottle, penknife, needlecase.