Chasing- This is a method of decorating metal, usually silver, with an embossed or engraved pattern. It is accomplished by using a blunt punch to create a design.
Burr Walnut- A decorative wood veneer made from the malformations that occur when a walnut tree is injured or disrupted from an irritation during it’s growth. This wood is usually found at the base of the tree.
Hallmark-Commonly found on precious metal pieces, this identifies the maker and often the date of production. With older English pieces it also implies an established standard of quality.
Circa-An estimated time frame or era of origin. It is commonly accepted that this allows a ten year grace period wither way. For example a vase circa 1900, would have been manufactured from 1890-1910.
Electroplate- This chemical process, developed in 1840, is when a base metal is covered with a thin layer of another, more desirable metal. You will commonly find this on jewelry, flatware and serving pieces.
Delftware- This is a tin-glazed earthenware, usually blue-and-white, originally made in Delft, Southern Netherlands and England during the 17th and 18th centuries. Beware of reproduction.
Escutcheon-The ornamental shield shaped object around a keyhole.
Gilt and Gesso-Commonly found on frames from the late 1800s and early 1900s, gesso is a type of plaster used as a base for decorative carving. Gilt is the thin layer of gold foil used over gesso for enhancement.
For a crash course in antique and vintage terminology check out the alphabetized dictionary of terms at www.traditionalenterprises.
Until next time,
(Linda Hamer Kennett is a professional liquidation consultant specializing in senior down-sizing and the liquidation of estates and may be reached for question or comment at 317-429-7887 or email@example.com)