Apocryphal – definition

Apocryphal – Definition

Apocryphal, the adjective form, means “of doubtful authenticity,” according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. Apocrypha, the noun form, means “writings or statements of dubious authenticity,” again according to Merriam-Webster.

Apocrypha is actually a Greek word that means something closer to “obscure” or “hidden away.” The original meaning of the word, the Apocrypha in the proper noun sense, refers to religious texts outside of the traditional or accepted religious canon. Through connection with [...] Click here to continue reading.

Chief Sitting Bull – Sioux – Tatanka-Iyotanka

Sitting Bull, Sioux Chief (circa 1831 to 1890)

Sitting Bull, the man who would later become the Hunkpapa Sioux chief, was born in South Dakota, near the Grand River. His Lakota name was Tatanka-Iyotanka. In his thirties, he began to build his reputation as a warrior, leading war parties in Red Cloud’s War against a number of Dakota Territory forts. Although the U.S. negotiated with the Sioux in order to end the war and [...] Click here to continue reading.

Ormolu – non-furniture

Ormolu

Ormolu, an 18th-century English term, is from the French phrase or moulu, with “or” indicating gold and “moulu” being a form of an old French verb moudre, which means “to grind up.” (This French term for this technique is bronze dore.) This idea of “ground-up gold”refers to the production process of ormolu, where high-quality gold is finely powdered and added to a mercury mixture and applied to a bronze object. Modern usage often [...] Click here to continue reading.

The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

Derived from the Greek sarx, meaning flesh, and phagein, meaning eat, a sarcophagus is, essentially, a container for a body, much like a coffin or casket. Historically, sarcophagi were typically made of stone (though sometimes of other materials, such as wood or metal), with a relief-carved or pediment top, and designed to be above ground, and have been used by many cultures since ancient times.

An ancient [...] Click here to continue reading.

Canning Jars

Canning Jars

Canning jars, also called fruit jars, because early versions were primarily used for fruit, or Mason jars, after the best-known manufacturer, are one of those technological advances that have become so ubiquitous we’ve forgotten just how revolutionary the development of food preservation really was. Many of the greatest empires, events and discoveries of the 19th century were largely aided by the development of the canning process. Supplying armies, expeditions and explorations was [...] Click here to continue reading.

Jacob Medinger

Jacob Medinger Pennsylvania Sgraffito decorated redware plate with deer decoration, p4A item B185545 Jacob Medinger

The Pennsylvania German potter Jacob Medinger was the son of William Medinger, who immigrated in 1854 to Pennsylvania from Wurttemberg, Germany, where he had served his potter’s apprenticeship. The Medingers settled in Neiffer (Limerick Township) in Montgomery County where he set up his own pottery in 1855, an area selected for the local clay deposits that were suitable [...] Click here to continue reading.

Cassolette – definition

Cassolette

“Cassolette,” the diminutive form of the French word “cassole,” means small container. While the word has other meanings, in the world of decorative arts, it refers to a small covered vase meant to hold perfumed substances or incense. A cassolette normally has holes pierced in the shoulders and in the cover to allow the scent to drift out. Frequently, mounted vases that were not originally designed as cassolettes have had a pierced metal [...] Click here to continue reading.

RumRill Pottery – Ohio

RumRill Pottery

While not as famous as the Roseville, McCoy, or Hill potteries, perhaps due to its shorter lifespan, RumRill Pottery still played an interesting role in the rich history of Ohio potteries that sprung up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and has a story filled with twists and turns.

In 1930, George Rumrill, a Texan with a flair for sales, started a company in Arkansas to sell various art [...] Click here to continue reading.

Newcomb College Art Pottery

Newcomb College Art Pottery

Before it was revered for its art, and more specifically for its art pottery, Newcomb College was the country’s first degree-granting college for women within a major university. Its founder, Josephine L. Newcomb, envisioned an environment in which women would learn both practical skills and academic knowledge when she proposed the creation of the college in the memory of her daughter H. Sophie Newcomb, who died at 15. New Orleans’s [...] Click here to continue reading.

Viktor Schreckengost

Viktor Schreckengost (1906-2008)

Creator of Groundbreaking Designs for Everything from Bikes to Bowls.

Artist and industrial design giant Viktor Schreckengot’s contributions to American product design was on par with the likes of Raymond Lowey and Walter Teague. Schrekengost was a major force on the American Industrial design scene since the early 1930s.

Schrekengost Attended Cleveland School of Art Born into a family of Ohio potters, Schrekengost entered the Cleveland School of art [...] Click here to continue reading.

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