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Antique Collectors' Dictionary (J)

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Jackfield: The term applies to a black-glazed red earthenware, some of which was made at Jackfield, Shropshire, where potting has been carried out for many centuries.

Jacob, Georges (1739-1814): French cabinet-maker whose chairs are particularly esteemed. He did much work for the Crown.

Jacobite Glasses: Drinking glasses bearing propaganda decoration, the significance of which is largely hidden to all but the initiated. Portraits of Bonnie Prince Charlie are readily comprehensible but the Jacobite rose, the butterfly, the stricken and burgeoning oak, etc., are less easily interpreted. These glasses have been faked a lot.

Jacobite Pottery: Pottery, salt-glazed stoneware particularlv decorated with Jacobite propaganda (see previous entry).

Japanning (Metal): See Pontypool.

Japanning (Wood): Lacquered or japanned furniture from the Orient began to arrive in England in the second half of the seventeenth century. The best came from Japan. By 1688 Stalker & Parker had brought out their 'do-it-yourself' work, Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing, and by the end of the seventeenth century most lacquered furniture was being japanned in England. The ground of the piece to be decorated was coated with layers of 'varnish' and polished when dry. The ornament (in the Oriental style) was drawn on the surface with gold size or vermilion mixed with gum water, and the raised portions put on with a paste composed of whiting and gum arabic. (See Bantam-work for a note on incised designs.) The taste for japanned furniture extended to the end of the eighteenth century. See Lacquer.

Jardini6re (French): A pot or other container for flowers.

Jasper Ware: Fine stoneware made by Wedgwood, after experiments, from 1774-5. It contained a substance never before used by a potter, namely barium sulphate. The body was slightly translucent and Wedgwood was able to stain it throughout, first with blue and then with shades of green and then other colours, notably black. Cameos, medallions and plaques were the main products, but vases were also manufactured. 'Jasper dip' was different from 'Jasper solid' in that the body was coloured on the surface only by dipping; this dipped ware is less esteemed.

Jensen, Gerreit (?-1715): Cabinet-maker who supplied furniture to the Royal Household from the reign of Charles II to that of Queen Anne. Examples of his work that survive prove him to have been a master craftsman-in marquetry, japanned furniture, boulle-work. Mirrors were a speciality.

Jesuit China: Term sometimes applied to Chinese porcelain decorated with religious (Christian) subjects and intended for the European market. Jesuit missionaries were instrumental in bringing about trade between China and the West.

Jew's Porcelain: The Berlin porcelain factory (q.v.) was subsidized in various ways by the ingenious Frederick the Great. One scheme was to force Jews who wished to marry or deal in property to purchase 300 dollars worth of royal porcelain before permission was given. Hence the term.

Johnson, Thomas: Furniture designer and noted wood-carver active in London during the third quarter of the eighteenth century. His first book of designs, Twelve Girandoles, was published 1755; One Hundred and Fifty New Designs came out in parts 1756-8.

Joiner: A maker of furniture before the days of the cabinetmaker (who came into his own at the end of the seventeenth century). Originally known as an arkwright, there is a reference to 'the Joyners of the City of London' as early as 1400. The joiner did in fact join pieces of wood together by means of mortise and tenon, dowels or wood pins, whereas the cabinetmaker was to bring with him a new technique which involved the use of different joins and metal fasteners such as nails and screws, also glue.

Jones, Henry (1632-95): Notable English clock-maker; was apprenticed to Edward East in 1654; made clocks and watches of exceptional quality.

Jones, Inigo (1573-1651): Architect who introduced later Italian Renaissance or Palladian work into England during the Jacobean period. It is probable that he personally designed some furniture. Ju Ware Stoneware of the Sung dynasty comprising a yellowish body and crackled, pale lavender glaze. This ware, which closely approaches porcelain, was made in the early years of the twelfth century; it is very rare and highly esteemed.