Old And Sold Antiques Auction & Marketplace
Antiques Digest Browse Auctions Appraisal Home

Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Antique Collectors' Dictionary (H)

[ A |  B |  C |  D |  E |  F |  G |  H |  I |  J |  K |  L |  M |  N |  O |  P |  Q |  R |  S |  T |  U |  V |  W |  Y |  Z ] 

Habaner Ware: Broad term that refers to earthenware made by peasant potters of central Europe (Bohemia, Monrovia) in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Hafner Ware: Pottery tiles for stoves made in Germany particularly, but also in Switzerland and France. The making of these tiles specifically for stoves is an ancient craft that goes back to the fourteenth century.

Hague, The: A hard-paste porcelain factory founded about 1776 and active until about 1790; the mark is a stork; decorated much porcelain from other factories, notably Tournai.

Hall Chair: Formal, upright-backed and square-seated, of mahogany usually; unupholstered; for the caller waiting in the hall.

Hall-mark: The particular mark of the Assay Office at which a piece of plate (q.v.) is assayed. Makers' marks and date letters are not, strictly, hall-marks. Hall-marks were introduced in England in 1300 when the Wardens of the London Goldsmiths were ordered to assay and mark with a leopard's head all plate before it left the goldsmith's hands. The purpose was to indicate quality and prevent fraud. In 1363 it was decreed that all goldsmiths should have a mark. At first emblems, these makers' marks became the two first letters of the surname in 1696, and from 1739 onwards they became the initials of Christian and surnames. Date letters were introduced (in London) in 1478. See Britannia and Sterling Standard.

The London hall-mark is the leopard's head. Others: Birmingham, an anchor; Sheffield, a crown; Newcastle on Tyne, at first a single castle and then (from about 1672) three castles (the Assay Office closed in 1884); Exeter, a Roman 'x' in various forms at first, then from 1701 a triple-towered castle (Office closed in 1882); Chester, from 1686 three wheat sheaves with a sword, from 1701-80 the three lions of England impaling three wheat sheaves, then three wheat sheaves with a sword again; York, from 1559-1698 the mark has been described as 'half leopard head and half flowre-de-layce', and from 1700 a cross charged with five lions passant (the Office closed in 1857); Norwich, until 1624 a castellated tower over a lion passant guardant, then a rose crowned (Office closed 1697); Edinburgh, a triple-towered castle; Glasgow, tree, fish and bell; Dublin, harp crowned. In some towns silversmiths were allowed to apply town marks themselves; it was customary to use the town arms. Plate so marked has been identified as coming from the following cities and towns: Bristol, Carlisle, Gateshead, Hull, King's Lynn, Leeds, Leicester, Lewes, Lincoln, Poole, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, Taunton.

Hamadan Rugs: Persian rugs of rather coarse weave decorated variously in reds, yellows and blues on a buff-coloured ground; three to four stripe border; woven with the Ghiordiz knot. Hanap A standing cup (q.v.).

Hanau: A famous faience factory founded at Hanau, Hesse, Germany, in 1661 by two Dutchmen who made wares in the Dutch-Chinese manner that can be mistaken for Delft. The factory passed through several hands before its closure about 1806.

Hancock, Robert (1730-1817): Engraver responsible for many of the original engravings for transfer-printing which beautified the porcelains of Bow, Worcester, Caughley, Bristol. He also worked at Battersea where he did engravings for enamels.

Hand-and-cup Vase: Small vase of Parian ware, the form being that of a human hand holding aloft a narrow cup.

Handcooler: Usually egg-shaped (also called 'eggs'), of hardstone or glass, used for darning.

Han Dynasty (206 b.c. to A.D. 220): See Chinese.

Harewood: Sycamore, stained with a solution of oxide of iron; used as a veneer in the late eighteenth century.

Harpsichord: First made in England in the fifteenth century but very few examples survive earlier than the eighteenth century. This stringed musical instrument is enclosed in a case like the later grand piano. It is furnished with two keyboards and extra strings which can be operated by stops. Two great makers in England were Kirkman and Shudi.

Harrison, John (1693-1776): Yorkshire-born clock-maker who invented a marine chronometer and the gridiron pendulum.

Hausmaler (German): An Outside Decorator (q.v.).

Heart Case: Usually of lead or pewter; for the embalming and preserving of a heart bound for a distant burial.

Hedingham: Place-name for pottery made by Edward Bingham at Hedingham, Essex, during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Bingham produced massive wares, 'Essex' jugs up to three feet high being typical. Hedingham Castle is the usual mark.

Hepplewhite, George (d?-. 1786): English cabinet-maker and designer. Biographical details are few. He was apprenticed to Gillow (q.v.), came later to London and set up in business at St Giles, Cripplegate. He did not achieve any fame in his lifetime as a cabinet-maker. Rather was his reputation procured posthumously by his wife Alice, who continued the business after his death and in 1788 published his Cabinet Maker and Upholsterers' Guide. (A third edition, with some alterations, was published in 1794.) In this work the neo-classic style inspired by the brothers Adam (q.v.) is seen with its more conscious classic ornament eliminated or adapted to suit English cabinet-making. Such innovations as the oval, shield and heart-shaped chair back are usually credited to Hepplewhite but there is considerable evidence to suggest that they were not his inventions at all. However, the preface of the Guide claims only that it 'followed the latest or most prevailing fashion' and expressly states there had been no intention of originality.

Herculaneum: (1) Furniture. According to Sheraton, an upholstered chair in the extreme classical taste. (2) Pottery. Earthenware and stoneware, and some unpretentious porcelain, produced at the Herculaneum Pottery, Liverpool, from the 1790's to 1840. Some figures were made but earthenware and stoneware jugs are more typical. The name HExcur.nrrEVM, often wreathed round a crown, is the usual mark.

Hereke Rugs: Silk with Persian patterns, from Hereke on the Sea of Marmora, many-coloured, metallic-laced, as fine as 600 knots to square inch. Short-cut pile. Often with the name Hereke in Turkish Arabic on outer stripe.

Herringbone: A banding of veneer formed of two strips, of which the grain, running diagonally, produces a herring bone or 'feather' effect.

Highboy: Term of comparatively recent origin applied to a chest of drawers resting on a stand or frame.

Hilderson, John: Clock-maker active in London in the 1660's and 70's. Very few of his clocks have survived but their quality is high.

Hispano-Moresque Ware: Spanish pottery decorated with metallic lustre pigments; the process introduced by the Moors, though it is said to have originated in Persia. Dates from the fourteenth century but most surviving early pieces are not earlier than the fifteenth century.

Hochst: A porcelain factory founded at Hochst-am-Main, Germany, under the auspices of the Elector of Mainz, about 1750 and continuing in production until 1798. The mark is a wheel. Faience of good quality was made at Hochst during the period 1746-58. Again the mark is a wheel.

Holdship, Richard and Josiah: Part-owners of the Worcester porcelain factory from 1751. Richard Holdship sold his share in 1759 and later offered to sell information regarding the Worcester formula to Duesbury of Derby. Josiah Holdship was perhaps the most important figure in the Worcester partnership until 1762, when Dr Wall took control.

Holland, Henry: Architect and designer active 1780-1800 whose work in the classical and the French Directoire styles had a strong influence on his contemporaries. His interiors at Woburn and Southill are notable.

Hollins, Samuel: Potter of Shelton, Staffordshire, who produced red and chocolate unglazed ware, also jasper ware, decorated in relief, which is often mistaken for original Elers ware. Hollins was one of the partnership that founded the New Hall porcelain factory.

Hollow Stemmed Drinking Glasses: Two brief vogues, midGeorgian and mid-nineteenth century (where the sediment was supposed to go, but difficult to clean).

Hollow Ware: Large pots, tankards, flagons, measures.

Holly: A white wood, hard and close-grained, used in marquetry and inlay.

Hood: The upper part of a clock case, especially the removable top section of a long-case clock.

Hoof-foot: One of the oldest decorative terminals for furniture legs. In England its use dates from the end of the seventeenth century.

Hoop-back: Chair back in which the uprights merge into the top rail to form a hoop. The Windsor chair is often a hoop-back.

Hope, Thomas (1769-1831): Author and connoisseur who in 1807 published his Household Furniture and Interior Decoration which illustrated the furniture of his Deepdene, Surrey, home. Hope was a designer of considerable talent but his furniture is rather too classical and architectural for most.

Horse Brasses: Ornamental brasses used on horse harness; they can be quite valuable if old and genuine, but have sometimes been manufactured lately for use without horses. A few terms: Face piece, amulet worn as a charm against evil either on strap between eyes or on martingale; Bells, first hung on harness to warn wayfarers (to fulfil same function as modern motor-horn), they were attached to a swinger which was screwed into a bridle atop the head, with decoration above, often of horse-hair plume or coloured brush; Brass Rosette, often in the shape of a cone, worn at end of the brow-band, under the ears, plain or with bells or ribbons suspended; Martingale, a strap that extends from belly-band to bridle and particularly decorative, with face-pieces, in the case of cart-horse harness.

Horsehair: The use of horsehair (usually mixed with wool) in upholstery dates from the early years of the seventeenth century. Woven hair from the tails and manes of horses, with a cotton or linen warp, was used as a chair covering towards the end of the eighteenth century. Horseshoe Back Windsor chairs with this shape of back are sometimes so called.

Hutch: A term that has been used to indicate quite different articles-a bin or kneading-trough, a dole cupboard (q.v.), a chest, sometimes on legs and sometimes without them and sometimes with canted lid.