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Antique Collectors' Dictionary (K)

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Kabistan Rugs: Caucasian, of fine weave, making use of the Ghiordiz knot; the wool pile is soft and silky. Designs are usually geometrical, cones, stars, the basic colours being blue and red supported by green, brown and ivory.

Kakiemon: A style of decoration that derives from Japanese porcelain-vigorous designs of animals and flowers in bright colours with that asymmetry particular to Japanese art. The Japanese wares were first imported into Europe from the East by the Dutch in the seventeenth century. The style was much copied by the early European porcelain factories, including such English factories as Chelsea and Worcester. The name comes from a Japanese family of potters who worked at Arita (q.v.).

Kandler, Johann Joachim (1706-75): Porcelain modeller, the foremost such craftsman in the history of European ceramics, appointed chief modeller of the Meissen porcelain factory in 1731, which position he held until his death in 1775. Kandler may be said to have invented the porcelain 'figure' as far as the West is concerned.

Kaolin: China clay. See Porcelain.

Karaja Rugs: Persian, of coarse weave and using the Ghiordiz knot, the wool pile being long and lustrous. Blue and red are the basic colours, supported by brown, yellow and white, the favoured decoration being close floral patterns.

Kashan Rugs: Persian, of very fine weave, Senna knot, thick, short wool pile. Curved medallions are the usual main design, the floral borders being in red, brown and dark blue with supporting colours. Design of Kashans is particularly graceful; silk examples are to be found. Durability is notable.

Kauffman, Angelica (1741-1807): Swiss painter of Chur and decorative artist who came to London from Venice in 1766. In 1769 she was elected a member of the Royal Academy. She was employed by the brothers Adam to supply decorative paintings, and many painted medallions on contemporary furniture are copied from engravings after her work. She left England in 1782.

Kazak Rugs: Caucasian, of coarse weave, Ghiordiz knot, coarse wool pile. Characteristic are the brilliant colours-red, green and yellow supported by blue, brown and white-and large bold patterns of many varieties. The border may have from three to five stripes. Very durable and strong.

Kent, William (1686-1748): Painter, architect, furnituredesigner, landscape-gardener-and probably the first English specialist in interior decoration. As a young man he went to Italy to study painting, returning to England in 1719. His first big opportunity came in the early 1720's when he did paintings and decorative work at Kensington Palace. He held a unique position in English art and architecture for the first twenty years of George II's reign. Some examples of his furniture are included in Vardy's Designs of Inigo Jones and Kent (1744).

Kelsterbach: German hard-paste porcelain factory founded in 1761 with the aid of C. D. Busch who had been at Meissen. Wares of quality were produced until 1768, at which date the factory seems to have ceased production. But in 1789 new staff took over and produced inferior wares until 1802. 'HD', sometimes crowned, is the occasionally encountered mark.

Keshir Rugs: A country type of rug from Kir-Shehr, patterned with flowers and geometric forms in red and green and other supporting colours, the light green being predominant and characteristic. Wide borders have a yellow stripe usually. Coarse weft and only thirty to ninety knots to square inch.

Kick: The cone, as found in most modern wine bottles, drawn up inside many old glass vessels.

Kidderminster Rugs: Kidderminster was probably the first rug-making centre in England, a factory being founded as early as 1735; by c. 1750 the first loom for making Brussels carpets was set up and the industry grew to become very prosperous.

Kidney Table: Table with top shaped like a kidney; late eighteenth century.

Kingwood: Brazilian wood of a rich violet-brown shading into black and showing distinct streaky markings, not unlike Rosewood. It was much used in parquetry and veneer in the late years of the seventeenth century, and again for cross-banding in the second half of the eighteenth century. Also known as Princewood-an earlier term.

Kirman Rugs: Persian, closely woven, Senna knot, short wool pile; colours are soft-white, pink, grey-and floral and bird patterns are typical.

Kloster-Veilsdorf: This German (Thuringian) hard-paste porcelain factory founded in 1760. A monogrammatic 'cv' in various forms is the mark.

Knee: The broad upper part of a cabriole leg.

Knee-hole Table: Writing tables and dressing tables with recessed centres to accommodate the knees of the sitter date from the early eighteenth century. By the second half of the eighteenth century the Library table with matching pedestals (containing drawers) at each end had evolved from the kneehole table.

Knibbs, The: A family of English clock-makers. The earliest of whom records exist was Samuel Knibb of Claydon, Oxon., who worked in London from 1663 to about 1670. His cousin, Joseph Knibb, also of Claydon, was one of the greatest English clock-makers. He came to London c. 1670 and worked there till 1697; he introduced 'Roman striking' in England, also (perhaps) night clocks. His brother, John, was another gifted clock-maker; worked at Oxford but continued to collaborate with Joseph when the latter came to London. Peter and Edward were younger members of this clock-wise family.

Knife Box or Case: A case with its interior divided into small compartments in which knives and forks and spoons were inserted, the knives and forks handles upwards, the spoons bowls upwards. The sloping top and serpentine front are usual till the second half of the eighteenth century when a new type was introduced. This new type was of vase form and the partitions were arranged round a central tube or stem to which the lid or cover was attached. The lid could be kept up, when required, by means of a spring. These 'knife-vases' were often made in pairs.

Knop: Archaic for knob, a disc, bulge or swelling, the usage being mainly confined to such decoration on glass stems. The principal types are as follows (only the first few are described; the remainder are self-explanatory). Annulated, flattened, with similar, progressively smaller, matching knops above and below it; bladed, flattened and sharp-edged; bullet, small, globular; cushion, largish, spherical but flattened at top and bottom; cusped, with an often irregular edge where fluting or facet-cutting from above and below meet at the widest point of the knop; drop, inverted cone; merese (or collar), flat, like a button; quatrefoil, with four wings or lobes, pinched into shape. The others: acorn (which may be inverted), angular, ball, beaded, bobbin, button, compressed ball, cone, cylinder, dumb-bell, egg, melon, mushroom, triple ring (the simplest form of the annulated), urn-shaped. There are many, many combinations of the knopped stem. Of interest is the knop with a coin enclosed; examples have been found with coins dating from the late seventeenth century, but the coin is all too likely to be older than the glass.

Knulling: See Gadrooning.

Konieh Rugs: From the Whirling Dervish city of Konieh, ancient Iconium, with many geometric and floral designs in rich colours, notably red and blue; coarse weave.

Ko Ware: Stoneware of the Sung dynasty comprising a dark body and variously shaded grey glaze with a fine-meshed crackle. Similar to Kuan Ware (q.v.).

Krater (Greek): Vase-shaped vessel with two handles.

Ku (Chinese): Ancient, slender, bronze wine vessel greatly esteemed for its proportions; not unlike an upturned trumpet, it has a base about half the diameter of the mouth, a slender knop and a wide, flaring mouth. The design was copied by Chinese makers of porcelain in the late Ming and early Ch'ing periods.

Kuan Ware: Stoneware of the Sung dynasty comprising a dark grey body and thick greyish-green or greyish-blue glaze which usually has an irregular crackle. Made early in the twelfth century at K'ai-feng-fu and then at Hang-chou. Very rare and much esteemed.

Kuei (Chinese): Ancient bronze bowl, deep, low, often with convex sides and usually with two handles.

Kulah Rugs: Turkish rug noted for its fine floral borders; mostly prayer rugs; coarse.

Kurdish Rugs: Rather vague term for colourful rugs made by nomadic tribesmen of Kurdistan.

Kutani Porcelain: Porcelain made at this Japanese factory since the mid-seventeenth century; 'Old Kutani', brilliantly coloured in Prussian blue, green, yellow and purple, as made until c. 1750, is much esteemed.

Kyoto: Japanese ceramics-making centre in Yamashiro Province. Pottery made until the eighteenth century, then both pottery and porcelain; the best of the latter was made in imitation of Sung celadons.