Ormolu – non-furniture definition


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.

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.

Baleen – definition

Baleen, Plastic of the 18th Century

Baleen comes from a suborder of whales, Mysticeti, which includes, among others, humpback whales, gray whales, right whales and blue whales. What sets these whales apart is baleen. These whales do not have teeth, but have upper jaws filled with two rows of baleen plates fringed with fine baleen hair. These plates are so closely aligned that they act like a comb or a sieve; whales pull water [...] Click here to continue reading.

Battleship Maine – Spanish American War

The Battleship Maine

Construction of the U.S.S. Maine was authorized in August of 1886, and she was launched in 1889 and commissioned in 1895. After several years spent patrolling the East Coast and Caribbean, orders sent the Maine and her crew to Cuba in response to continued civil unrest on the island.

The photograph above is a 1896 image of the ship framed in a sheet iron frame made from remnants of [...] Click here to continue reading.

Dan & Marty Campanelli Samplers

By Their Samplers They Will Know Them

By EVE M. KAHN Published: July 5, 2012, New York Times.

“Our girls,” Dan and Marty Campanelli call them. Each girl was a sampler embroiderer, mostly in the early 1800s, along the East Coast. Each one now has her own biographical research binder on shelves at the Campanellis’ farm in western New Jersey. The couple have spent a decade tracing the sewers’ genealogies and identifying the stitched [...] Click here to continue reading.

Estate of Peter L. Rosenberg of Vallin Galleries – Skinner 3-18-2014 Prov Note

Estate of Peter L. Rosenberg of Vallin Galleries, Wilton Connecticut

Discerning collectors, dealers, and museum curators of Asian art regularly made pilgrimages to a charming 18th century saltbox home in Wilton, Connecticut: Vallin Galleries. Owned and operated by Peter L. Rosenberg for nearly thirty years until his sudden death in December of 2013, Vallin Galleries was widely regarded as an outstanding source for the best of Asian art and antiques. Skinner is proud to [...] Click here to continue reading.

Linsey-Woolsey – definition


Linsey-woolsey is a fabric that is exactly what it sounds like: a combination of linen and wool woven together to create a coarse, durable fabric, sometimes woven plain or as a twill (for twill, think the diagonal weave pattern often seen on denim). “Lin” is an old term for flax, the plant whose fibers are used for linen. Occasionally, it’s referred to as “woolsey-linsey” or by the blending of the two terms, “wincey.”

[...] Click here to continue reading.

Collection of Gertrude Dittmar – Pook Provenance 10-2013

Collection of Gertrude Dittmar, Colts Neck, New Jersey

In 1943, from the army camp where he was stationed, my father wrote to my grandparents asking them to store for him an 18th century table and corner cupboard he’d just purchased for the home he would make with my mother after the war. Once in that home, these two pieces were gradually joined by others, until the farmhouse my parents share for over half a [...] Click here to continue reading.

Collection of Joanne and Jeffrey Klein – Provenance Keno 1-22-2013

Collection of Joanne and Jeffrey Klein

Collectors Joanne and Jeffrey Klein enjoy the eclectic mix of American folk art, painted furniture and modern sculpture and paintings. They love the juxtaposition of modern with traditional ranging from symbolism to widely varying textured painted and weathered surfaces. Their appreciation of form, color and texture is exhibited in their collection of exceptional painted furniture, weathervanes, redware pottery, hooked rugs and wood carvings.

Information courtesy of Keno Auctions, January 2013.

Shakudo Definition

Shakudo – Definition

Shakudo is the Japanese term for a copper and gold alloy consisting of 2% to 7% gold and the remainder copper. This alloy can then be treated to achieve a blue-black color sometimes resembling lacquer. It was historically used to make and/or decorate Japanese swords. Contemporary jewelry makers have revived the use of shakudo for its unusual and beautiful coloring.

p4A editorial staff, March 2013

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