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Antique Collectors' Dictionary (R)

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Rabbet: A recess made along the edge of a piece of timber to allow lodgment for another piece. Sometimes spelt rebate.

Rack and Snail Striking: Horological term for the system of striking the hours and the quarters invented by Edward Barlow in 1676 and first used by Tompion. It was this system of striking that made repeating clocks possible. One advantage is that the hour hand can be moved round without pausing at every revolution to allow the striking sequence to strike as the `snail' (a cam-shaped disc) moves with the hour wheel.

Rail: Constructional member in a horizontal position.

Ratafia Glass: Name given to a cordial glass of flute form popular in the second half of the eighteenth century. Ratafia was a brandy flavoured with fruit cordials.

Ravenscroft, George (1618-81): English glass-maker, made flint glass 1674; improved on it with his `glass of lead' 1675.

Rebate: See Rabbet.

Red Ware: Red stoneware as made by the Elers (q.v.), Astbury (q.v.) and other Staffordshire potters from the late seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth. Wedgwood called his improved red ware Rosso Antico.

Reeding: Ornament comprising a group of two (or more) beads i n parallel lines.

Refectory Table: Term for a long table such as might have been used in the refectory of monasteries but applied to long oak tables from the halls of domestic buildings.

Reform Flasks: Salt-glazed stoneware flasks made in the form of political figures at the time of the Reform Bill (1832).

Regence: French period of the Regency of the Duke of Orleans, 1715-23, a period of transition, stylistically speaking, from Louis XIV to Louis XV, from the baroque to the rococo.

Regency: Strictly, the period 1811-20; but an extension has been allowed and the period 1800-37 is generally understood and accepted. Regulator A precision, long-case clock, usually made for scientific purposes.

Rent Table: Circular or polygonal-topped table with drawers in the frieze. First made in the middle of the eighteenth century and popular well into the nineteenth. Also cal.!-.d Drum or Capstan table.

Repeater: Clock or watch with a 'pull-repeating' mechanism by means of which the hours and quarters can be struck at will by pulling a cord.

Repousse (French): Relief decoration on metal by hammering the reverse side.

Reredo: See Fire-back.

Resist: Overglaze ceramic decoration making use of silver or other metallic lustre, the pattern being painted upon the glaze with a substance that `resists' the pigment then applied. See Lustre.

Revere, Paul (1735-1818): Born in Boston, U.S.A., son of a French silversmith who had emigrated to America. The third of twelve children, Paul took over his father's business on the latter's death in 1754 and became the greatest American silversmith of his day. (Earned a different reputation for the part he played in the Boston Tea Party and by the famous ride celebrated by Longfellow.)

Ridgway: Staffordshire family-the brothers Job and George, and Job's two sons John and William-who made much pottery and porcelain, particularly at the Cauldron Place Works, Shelton, and the Bell Bank Works, Hanley, from the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Riesener, Jean Henri (1734-1806): One of the greatest of French cabinet-makers; worked in Oeben's (q.v.) workshop, of which he took over the management on Oeben's death and subsequently married the widow; probably made more furniture for the Crown than any other maker. He was much more successful financially than Oeben. Marquetry was his speciality, but he made every type of furniture then in vogue.

Rifling: Arquebuses were produced with grooved bores as early as 1460; rifled weapons of high quality were being made throughout Europe by 1525, thus doubling range and accuracy.

Rocaille (French): A form of decoration based on small rock and shell shapes, whence comes the term rococo (q.v.).

Rockingham: Pottery was made at the Rockingham Works, Swinton, Yorkshire, from the mid-1740's, the names of Edward Butler, William Malpas, Thomas Bingley and others being associated with these early ventures. In 1806 the Bramelds, trading as Brameld & Co., took over and made earthenware till about 1820 and then bone-porcelain until 1842. Rockingham bone-china comprised a clear white paste with a good glaze, often decorated lavishly with gilding. Highly decorative table-services were a speciality. The name `Brameld', sometimes impressed, is a common mark, as is the griffin, from the crest of Earl Fitzwilliam, Marquis of Rockingham.

Rococo: A style in art that evolved on and replaced the baroque (q.v.); it had its beginnings in the 1720's, in France, and on its introduction into England in the middle years of the eighteenth century it was known as `the French taste'. As decoration the style found expression in asymmetrical ornament, favouring shell, rock and floral forms. Thus most of the English porcelain factories produced rococo wares; much English silver of the period is in the rococo style (e.g. Paul de Lamerie); and furniture designs in the rococo style were published by Chippendale, Matthias Lock, Thomas Johnson, Ince and Mayhew. As distinct from baroque, the rococo emphasizes ornament at the expense of form. The severe judgement of Fowler states `that rococo is regarded as a form taken by baroque when it aimed no longer at astounding the spectator with the marvellous, but rather at amusing him with the ingenious'. The vogue for the rococo lasted till the classical revival of the 1770's.

Roentgen, David (1743-1807): One of the most celebrated of French cabinet-makers, his marquetry pieces being particularly esteemed. He worked not only in France but also in Germany, Italy, Russia.

Roman Striking: A power-saving system of clock striking, probably introduced by Joseph Knibb about 1685, which made use of two bells, a smaller and a larger, the former striking I, II, III, the latter striking V and twice for X. In this system only 30 blows in all are needed as against the normal 78 in the run of 12 hours.

Romayne Work: Medallions of heads; derived from Italian Renaissance forms.

Romer: A German drinking glass first made in the fifteenth century and still being made today. The glass may be tall or stubby, but in most examples the brim will be narrower than the widest swell of the bowl and the stem is usually studded with prunts or small knops, and `threading' is usual where the bowl meets the stem, which is frequently hollow.

Rose du Barry: See Rose Pompadour.

Rose, John: Founder of the Coalport porcelain factory (q.v.).

Rose Mating: Painting on peasant furniture, Norwegian, characterized by rose motif, also human and military figures, buildings, acanthus leaves.

Rose Pompadour: Rose pink ground colour first used on porcelain at Sevres about 1757. Also called (incorrectly) rose du Barry.

Rosewood: Name given to several distinct types of ornamental timber of dark blackish-brown colour, finely marked, which is chiefly used in veneering. The wood was known in the late seventeenth century, used sparingly in the middle years of the eighteenth century, but much favoured during the Regency period.

Rossi Antico: The name Josiah Wedgwood gave to his red stoneware.

Roubiliac, Louis Francoise: French sculptor who worked in England from 1720 till his death in 1762. He may have been connected with the Chelsea Porcelain Factory.

Rouen: Important French centre of the faience industry. Italian potters settled here in the sixteenth century, but the truly French product was made from c. 1650 when Edme Poterat established a factory. The fame and popularity of Rouen wares lasted until the end of the eighteenth century. (Experiments in the making of soft-paste porcelain were carried out at Rouen as early as 1673.)

Roundabout Chair: Type of armchair, usually of mahogany or walnut, with the legs arranged one at front, one at each side and one at rear, thus enabling the chair to be placed in a corner. Made from early in the eighteenth century. Also known as Corner Chairs, Writing Chairs.

Roundel: A decorative medallion; bull's-eye glass or bottle glass in early windows and door lights.

Rummer: Name given to several types of English drinking glasses: the English version of the rofner (q.v.); a larger-bowled Georgian goblet; the toddy-rummer (q.v.).

Runner: Piece of wood on either side under drawers to support the latter. Also another name for lopers on which the dropfronts of bureaux are supported.