Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


October 9, 2013

What's in a name? Antiquity has its own language


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Delftware- This is a tin-glazed earthenware, usually blue-and-white, originally made in Delft, Southern Netherlands and England during the 17th and 18th centuries.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

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