Sgraffito – definition

Sgraffito

Sgraffito derives from graffiare (Italian for “to scratch”) and graphein (Greek for “to write”) and is yet another example of a term that has been slowly adapted (or corrupted, some might say) for use in the American marketplace. Technically and historically speaking, sgraffito is used to describe a method of fresco used on walls (amazing examples still survive on even the exteriors of old buildings throughout Europe) and a means for decorating ceramics. [...] Click here to continue reading.


Cartouche – Definition

Cartouche – Definition

The decorative arts world has many “squishy” and vague vocabulary words, but few are “squishier” and vaguer than cartouche. Originally, the term comes from Egyptology and is used to describe a oval enclosing hieroglyphics and having a horizontal line at one end. (The line denotes royalty.) The oval had significance not unlike that of a closed circle, in that it was believed that an oval around a person’s name provided protection [...] Click here to continue reading.


Grisaille – definition

Grisaille

Grisaille, from the French word gris meaning grey, is a term used to describe works of art painted entirely in a monochromatic palette. Technically speaking, there are other terms that apply when the monochromatic palette used is of a different color (brunaille for brown, verdaille for green, for instance), but grisaille is often misused to cover all monochrome works, regardless of hue. There are also plenty of works that are considered grisaille that [...] Click here to continue reading.


Lithophanes – Definition

Lithophanes

Lithophane comes from two Greek words: lithos, meaning stone and phainein, which has a more shaded meaning that is close to making something appear quickly. The term refers to an image or scene that is etched or molded into very thin porcelain, so that the intaglio image “pops” when light is placed behind the porcelain. (Because of their windowpane-like appearance, they are sometimes mistakenly referred to as “lithopanes.”) This makes lithophanes three-dimensional, unlike [...] Click here to continue reading.


Mustard

Mustard

The word mustard is thought to come from two words: “mustum,” a Latin word for young wine, which is called must, and “ardens,” a Latin word for hot. It was a hot condiment made by grinding mustard seeds up with must to form a paste, and still today as a condiment made from mustard seeds (whole, ground, or cracked) and mixed with a liquid like water or lemon juice to create a paste, [...] Click here to continue reading.


The Moravians

Moravians

In the late 14th century, Jan Hus, a Roman Catholic priest in Prague who had been heavily influenced by reformer John Wycliffe, began to attract followers as he spoke out about indulgences (a key practice Martin Luther would attack again in 1517) and his belief that church members should be able, permitted, and encouraged to study the Bible themselves. Hus’s continual agitation would put him at odds with the Catholic Church and in [...] Click here to continue reading.


Sewer Tile – Definition

Sewer Tile

Since the dawn of time, as long as there have been people, there has been sewage. And for almost as long, we’ve apparently been concerned with it. There is concrete (or clay, at least) evidence of this dating back as far as 4000 B.C.E. Babylon, known for many things – gardens, law, sin…, was also known as the birthplace of pipe, pipe that was formed of clay and baked.

Nearly six thousand [...] Click here to continue reading.


Transferware

Transferware

Transferware Pottery Transformed an Industry

The invention of the transfer printing technique brought the look of expensive, hand painted pottery to the middle class in the 1750′s and collectors still treasure it.

As early as the 13th Century, the Chinese began hand painting decorations on porcelain that featured landscapes, flowers, and animals among other decorative motifs. This blue and white ware became popular in Europe and the United States in the [...] Click here to continue reading.


Jim Murphy

James Murphy

James L. [Jim] Murphy (1941 to 2012) of Grove City, Ohio passed away on Oct. 8, 2012. Murphy published widely in the field of archeology and in 2008 was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Archeological Society of Ohio. He was known to Ohio collectors as one of the state’s foremost experts on the topic of Ohio pottery. He was also an avid collector who was always willing to share his [...] Click here to continue reading.


Garden Museum

Garden Museum Collection of Art Nouveau Masterpieces

This sale comprises 130 lots of Art Nouveau masterpieces by Emile Galle, Louis Majorelle and Rene Lalique formerly in the Garden Museum, Nagoya, Japan.

Quoting from the Sotheby’s press release for this sale:

This exceptional collection was assembled by Takeo Horiuchi, a real estate magnate and prominent collector with a passionate interest in the Japanese influence on Western art around 1900. Horiuchi teamed up with [...] Click here to continue reading.


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