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Antique Collectors' Dictionary (U)

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Unaker: China clay from America. `The material is an earth, the produce of the Cherokee nation in America, called by the natives, Unaker' (The Heylyn and Frye patent of 1744). This clay may have been used at Bow; Cookworthy knew about it, as did Champion; samples were tested at Worcester.

Underglaze: Decoration applied to pottery and porcelain in its biscuit state before the application of the glaze.

Upholder: The old name for an upholsterer.

Upholstery: Textile or leather covering, padded and/or sprung, for furniture. Upholstery was in early times confined to beds, hangings and cushions. But by the sixteenth century upholstered furniture was coming in to its own with the use of such materials as hide, ornamental leather, velvet, satin, tapestry and needlework. Fringed upholstery was a feature of the Jacobean and Carolean periods when padded seats first came into general use.

Urn: Classically-shaped vase, two-handled and with domed cover. The urn was used as a decorative finial (q.v.) on furniture in the eighteenth century.

Urn Stand: A small table to take the tea kettle or urn (sometimes with an accompanying small slide on which to place the teapot); eighteenth century.

`Useful Wares': Term often used of ceramic wares to indicate that they were made for use rather than for ornament.