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Antique Collectors' Dictionary (D)

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Damascening: Metal decorated by inlays of gold and/or silver wire, the design being undercut into the surface to be decorated and the precious metals hammered into the grooves. This form of decoration is of great antiquity and is often found on weapons.

Daniel: Family of Staffordshire potters, the most notable being Henry Daniel (1765-1841) who founded the firm of H. & R. Daniel in the early nineteenth century and made stone china and creamware and some porcelain.

Darly, Mathias: A man of many talents and trades including those of designer and engraver. His publications include A New Book of Chinese, Gothic and Modern Chairs (1751), A New Book of Chinese Designs (1754) and The Compleat Architect (1770). He engraved most of the plates for the first edition of Chippendale's Director.

Davenport: (1) A small writing desk, intended for the use of ladies, comprising a chest of drawers with a sloping top. Date from about 1800; the earliest examples are high and square and sometimes have brass galleries. The desk portion can extend on a train. Often the drawers pull out at the side and the other side will be fitted with dummy knobs. (2) The ceramics factory founded at Longport by John Davenport in 1793; pottery only made at first, but good quality porcelain, and 'stone china' for a larger market, produced from the early years of the nineteenth century. The printed name 'Davenport', often with an anchor, is the usual mark; the crown appears after 1830 (the firm made lavish services for royalty). The factory closed in 1882.

Day-bed: Dates from Jacobean times; was popular during reign of William and Mary when it usually had caned seat and back (the back rest often adjustable).

Deal: Term given to two varieties of the Scots pine, yellow and red deal, used for the carcase of veneered furniture; the yellow was in use until the middle of the eighteenth century, the red after that. Deal is also a piece (or a number of pieces) of sawn pine or fir wood measuring more than 7 in. wide and not more than 3 in. thick.

Decanter: 'Crystal' decanters, then called bottles, were being made in 1677, and the word appears in 1701 and is defined in 1715 as a bottle made of clear flint glass for the holding of wine, etc., to be poured into a drinking glass. The ordinary form between 1675 and 1750 has a narrow neck and globular body. Shortly before 1720 a form with sloping shoulders and shorter neck was introduced. The finest date from 1790-1820.

Delft (England): Tin-enamelled earthenware made from the mid-sixteenth century, first at Norwich and then at Lambeth and Southwark in London, and then, from the mid-seventeenth to the mid-eighteenth century, at Bristol, Wincanton, Liverpool. Though the first makers were probably Dutch or Flemish, the name delftware was not given to the ware until well into the seventeenth century, by which time Delft in Holland was a famous pottery centre. (See next entry.)

Delft (Holland): Tin-enamelled earthenware made at Delft from before 1600 but notably from the mid-seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth. The ware was an attempt to copy Chinese and Japanese porcelains at first and decoration was in the Oriental manner; but later European subjects were used and the baroque and rococo styles are to be observed. Marks divide into two classes, those based on the signs of the breweries in Delft that housed the first great potteries such as De Blompot (the Flower Pot) and De Vergulde Boot (the Golden Boot), and marks which represent the initials of the potter, 'a.x.', 'x.s.', 'M.r.' A clearly marked piece, especially if it has the name 'Delft', is probably modern.

Derby: The origins of porcelain-making at Derby are obscure; some authorities suggest the year 1745. By 1756 the enterprise was under the direction of William Duesbury and John Heath. In 1770 the Chelsea factory was purchased; in 1776 (or 1778) Bow was the victim, being closed down. About 1780 Heath went bankrupt and Duesbury continued as sole owner till his death in 1786 whereon his son, another William, took over and ran the factory until his death in 1796. But the latter had thoughtfully taken a partner in 1795, and this partner, Michael Kean, married his widow and continued the business for some years. William Duesbury III was briefly at the helm, for a time with a partner, William Sheffield, but then the concern passed into the hands of Robert Bloor and stayed there until Bloor's mind failed him about 1827. James Thomason took over the management, later jointly with Thomas Clarke, and kept things going till the factory closed down in 1848. The extant Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company was established in 1877.

Early Derby shows the influence of Meissen via Chelsea and then Meissen direct. About 1770 bone-ash was introduced into the paste. Figures were a speciality, at first based on Meissen originals, then on Sevres (the notable biscuit figures) ; many have 'patches' under the base, due to the fact that the figures were placed on pads of clay (three, sometimes four) in the kiln. Painted decoration of a high order was characteristic right up till the end of the eighteenth century. Japan patterns were favoured, and revived successfully by the Crown Derby Company. It is usual to speak of a deterioration after the turn of the century. Note that strictly speaking 'crown Derby' are wares produced by the Crown Derby Porcelain Company.

Marks are rare on early Derby, but 'n' and 'Derby' have been observed, a 'n' with an anchor running across it (ChelseaDerby?); the crown seems to date from the late 1770's, with various devices beneath it-an anchor, a 'n', a cross with dots, the monogram 'nx' (Duesbury & Kean), a 's' (Bloor). The Meissen mark is often found.

Derbyshire Chair: See Yorkshire Chair.

Deruta: Pottery centre on the Tiber in Umbria, Italy, famous for its wares since medieval times. During the first half of the sixteenth century maiolica produced here was of excellent quality. Deruta lustre wares are notable.

Desk: The feature of a desk is that it has a sloping front to support a book or writing materials, and until the first half of the seventeenth century the desk (pure and simple, as it were) was the only piece of furniture made specifically for writing. As distinct from the desks in university and cathedral libraries, the domestic desk as a personal possession was a small portable box with sloping lid until the introduction of bureaux in the last quarter of the seventeenth century.

Dessert Glass: Glasses for dessert were made from the beginning of the eighteenth century. Those with deep bowls were intended for such sweets as ice-cream and custards, whereas those with shallow saucer-like bowls were for such sweetmeats as could be picked up in the fingers. The scalloped rim was popular.

Diaper: (1) A fabric woven in a small pattern consisting of lines crossing diamond-wise enclosing a space filled with simple ornament. (2) This pattern used as decoration.

Dishrowe, Nicholas (?1612-72): One of the earliest American furniture makers; born in Essex; emigrated in 1630's; worked and died at Hartford, Conn.

Dished Corner: Depression near corner of table-top to hold counters (or a candlestick).

Dish-top: Table top with raised rim.

Divan: Low, cushioned seat of Eastern origin; a backless sofa deriving from Eastern styles and intended to be placed against a wall.

Doccia: Porcelain factory near Florence, Italy, founded about 1735; made soft-paste porcelain at first but a harder paste was introduced towards the end of the eighteenth century. The wares of other factories were much copied at Doccia, particularly those of Capo-di-Monte (q.v.). The mark often includes the name 'Ginori', which family were associated with the factory from the beginning.

Dole Cupboard: Term applied to a food cupboard as was to be found in churches in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for storing food to be doled out to the poor.

Dolls: Wax. First made in England at end of sixteenth century, the base usually of wood or metal; in the early nineteenth century papier mache, and later, composition bases were used. The best wax dolls have a flesh-tinted colour, glass eyes inset, and hair (human) of head, eyelashes and eyebrows inserted hair by hair. China. Few pre-nineteenth-century examples survive. Most nineteenth-century china dolls were made in France and Germany. Two outstanding makers, both French, were Jumeau and Bru. Wooden. Made from very early times; some that have survived look like skittles. Good hand-carving indicates quality. Ball-and-socket joints are a quite recent innovation. General. The first 'walking' doll, the first 'talking' doll, the first with eyes that opened and closed, all made in the 1820's. Weighted eyes introduced in the 1870's. Dolls were formerly called 'babies' but not till the nineteenth century were actual baby dolls made.

Dolls' Houses: The earliest English examples that survive date from the first half of the eighteenth century.

Dolphin Foot: The head of a dolphin as terminal for legs of furniture was used in the eighteenth century, and the head and body were used for decorative effect in late Georgian and Regency times.

Donaldson, John Edinburgh-born (1737): Porcelain painter, a noted miniaturist whose work on Worcester vases is highly esteemed. He also did some work at Chelsea.

Don Pottery: A factory at Swinton, Yorkshire, founded about 1790 and continuing, mainly under the direction of the Green family, till the 1890's. Creamware of good quality was made, pierced work in the manner of Leeds, also stoneware and china.

Doulton: Ceramic wares produced at Vauxhall and then at Lambeth, the driving force behind the business of Doulton & Watts being John Doulton (1793-1872). Typical are reliefdecorated stoneware jugs, salt-glazed stonewares, particularly ornamental pieces; but, of course, even more typical are the sanitary products of this well-known firm.

Dovetailing: A cabinet-maker's favoured method of joining two broad, thin pieces of wood together at right-angles by means of bedding the end of the first member (comprising small, cut-out tenons shaped like a dove's spread tail) into prepared cavities in the end grain of the second member. There are two basic types of dovetail, the 'through' dovetail in which the ends of the tenons go through to the far side of the cavities and are thus visible on the outside of the second member, and the 'stop' dovetail in which the tenons stop short a little way from the far edge of the second member and are thus invisible from that side as the cavities are made exactly to fit. The second method was employed on quality work from the end of the seventeenth century, the first method having been usual before then.

Dowel: A headless pin or peg which serves to fasten two pieces of timber together by piercing some distance into the connected members.

Dram-glass: A short drinking glass with, often, the lower half of the bowl solid. Made from the latter half of the seventeenth century-for strong waters. Also called dram-cup, dram-pot, dram-dish, joey, ginette.

Draw Table: The earliest form of extending table. The leaves lie beneath the main top and when pulled out are made to rise and come flush with the main top by means of tapered bearers. From Elizabethan times, and still one of the most reliable of extending table forms.

Dresden: The English name for Meissen (q.v.). Best used for later Meissen, the nineteenth century figures particularly. Throughout the centuries there have been many potteries at or near Dresden, notably Bottger's faience manufactory established at Neustadt in 1708.

Dresser: Originally aboard or table on which food was dressed; later, (1) a table from which dishes were served, and (2) a provincial side table, usually surmounted by rows of shelves.

Dressing Box: A box for toilet requisites, often with a mirror in the lid.

Dressing Table: Dressing tables are listed as a distinct variety in inventories of the middle of the seventeenth century. In the early Georgian period, tables of knee-hole pedestal type often had a drawer fitted with compartments and a mirror, and by late Georgian times small tables with a hinged box lid were made in quantities.

Drinking Glasses: Two main classes, (1) beer glasses, usually of tumbler shape, and (2) stemmed glasses intended for wine, ale and cordials. The evolution of the English wine glass from the late seventeenth century is extremely complicated, but, simplified, the trend is from capacious bowls and short stems to smaller, slimmer bowls and longer, more sophisticated stems. Decoration on stems from 1680 to 1725 includes the true and inverted baluster, often with enclosed 'tear', and many variations and combinations of the knop. Air-twist stems were an important development of the late 1730's; and opaque-twist stems came into favour in the next decade, followed by colourtwist stems. Cut and faceted stems date from about 1745, hollow diamond patterns being much used till c. 1770, then fluted patterns till c. 1800, when raised diamond patterns and prismatic cutting came in.

Drop-handle: Pear-shaped handle of the late seventeenth century.

Drop-in Seat: The removable chair seat dates back to the early eighteenth century.

Drop-leaf Table: Table with one or two hinged leaves as extensions.

Dropped Seat: Chair seat shaped to fit the body.

Drum Table: See Rent Table.

Dubois,Jacques: Eighteenth-century French cabinet-maker noted for his lacquered furniture. His son, Rene, was also a maitre-ebeniste and made furniture for Marie Antoinette. The two are often confused (the son used the father's stamp).

Duchesse: According to Hepplewhite (his Guide, 1788) a duchesse was formed of 'two barjier (bergere, q.v.) chairs of proper construction with a stool in the middle'. It is a couch with tub-shaped ends, usually removable, linked by a square stool.

Duesbury, William (?1725-86): An important figure in the evolution of English porcelains. The son of a Longton (Staffordshire) potter, he was, in the early 1750's, running an outside decorator's business in London, and by 1756 he had control of the Derby factory. He purchased the Chelsea concern in 1770, and also took over what was left of Bow.

Duelling Pistols: As distinct from ordinary twin or ornamental sets, these lack over-bright or over-heavy ornamentation and have perfect balance so that they will 'come up' accurately when fired according to the strict rules of the duel.

Dumb Waiter: A stand with tier of circular trays from a central stem, probably an English invention where it was in use as early as the 1720's. Three trays are normal, though some, examples have four, and they grow progressively larger from top to bottom.

Du Paquier, Claude: Arcanist and founder of the Vienna Porcelain Factory (q.v.). Porcelain made at Vienna under his directorship (1717-44) is sometimes called 'Du Paquier porcelain'.

Duvivier: Family of Belgian porcelain painters who worked in England. William came to England about 1743 and worked at Chelsea; his son, Henri Joseph, born at Tournai, learned the craft at Chelsea and later returned to his birthplace to practise there. Fidele Duvivier, cousin of Henri Joseph, did work for various English factories-Chelsea, Derby, Worcester, Pinxton, New Hall.

Dwight, John (?-1703): In 1671 John Dwight of Fulham was granted a fourteen-year patent for making stoneware and he seems to have been the first to produce in England a semitranslucent ware that approaches porcelain. A few superb busts and figures survive (a measure of their excellence is that they have been attributed to Grinling Gibbons). Dwight also made red ware, Cologne ware (a grey earthenware imported from Germany for domestic use), and various stonewares decorated in relief. His Fulham factory remained in the family till 1863.