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Metals (W) - Encylopedia Of Antiques

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WAITER: A tray for dishes; also a salver.

WARMING-PAN: An article of common domestic use in this country in the 17th and 18th centuries, usually placed between the sheets for warming the beds. The pan was of brass or of copper, the lid perforated to allow the heat from the hot cinders inside the pan to escape more readily, and with a turned, rather long, wooden handle. In England, the warming-pan dates from the time of Elizabeth.

WATCHES: Watches cannot claim the antiquity of clocks, although they can be traced as far back as the 14th century. The early watches were shaped like an egg. They were introduced into England in the 16th century and by the middle of the 17th century they were quite common. Thomas Tompion, Daniel Quare and George Graham were distinguished early English watch-makers.

WEATHERVANES: The vane denotes any flat surface attached to an axis and moved by a fluid, as air or water. Vane was originally fane, a flag, from the Anglo-Saxon "fana." The most common designs in old American weathervanes are the Indian, the ship, and various animals and birds. The foreign vanes often have grotesque designs. Some early vanes were connected with a dial or map in the building below so that every turn of the vane was shown on the dial.


WHITE METAL: Any of several white alloys, especially one of tin, antimony, copper and zinc in imitation of silver. In the late 18th century James Vickers of Sheffield, England, used a similar metal, so like silver that the casual observer would never question its identity as such. The articles which Vickers produced were all made in the best period of design, and closely followed the silver of the time in both form and ornamentation. Most of his pieces are plainly marked Vickers. Competition of Sheffield plate shortened the life of the Vickers enterprise and, as a consequence, examples are rare.