Definitions

americana – ə-mĕr’ ə-kă’ nə

All objects made in and for the American market prior to one hundred years ago; those that come later are collectibles.

antique – ăn-tēq’

Something made over 100 years ago.

bakelite – bā’ kə-līt’

One of the first plastics ever made, invented in 1907 by the Belgian-born scientist L.H. Baekeland; this plastic could take extremely bright colors that don’t fade over time; it’s also hard and durable and can be carved; dipping bakelite into hot-steaming water will reveal its identity which has a very strong acrid smell.

bangle – băng’gəl

A type of ornamental bracelet of a rigid circular shape, often made of metal, glass, or plastic, and formed to slip over the hand or clasped on; A rigid bracelet or anklet, especially one with no clasp; An ornament that hangs from a bracelet or necklace.

baroque – bə-rōk’

Of, relating to, or characteristic of a style in art and architecture developed in Europe from the early 17th to mid-18th century, emphasizing dramatic, often strained effect and typified by bold, curving forms, elaborate ornamentation, and overall balance of disparate parts. Natural pearl or cultured pearl of irregular shape.

bisquit– bĭs’ kĭt

A clay which has been fired but not glazed. Also called Bisque.

cabochon – kăb’ə-shŏn’

Opaque stones in which the top is rounded (or dome-shaped), and the bottom is flat, no facets; appear in various shapes and sizes, though oval or circular cabochons are most prevalent.

carnival (glass) – kãr’ nə-vəl

Carnival Glass is a colored, pressed glassware with a fired-on iridescent finish made in the United States from about 1905-1925. The manufacturers, who had all kinds of names for it like “Iridill” and “Rainbow Lustre”, did not use the name “Carnival Glass” originally. When the market for carnival glass slumped in the twenties, second-quality carnival glass was given away as prizes at carnivals, hence the name.

It is made by exposing the newly formed hot pressed glass to sprays, fumes and vapors from heated metallic oxides. These form a lustrous coating at the surface of the glass. It looks as if it has rainbows on it, like the colored patterns sometimes seen when petrol floats on water; like the rainbow colors on the surface of a soap bubble. What you are actually seeing is light interference patterns produced by constantly shifting wavelengths.

collectible – kə-lēk’-tə-bəl

Artistic and historical treasures less than 100 years old, almost certain to remain valuable after they hit the century mark and technically become antiques. Something that is mass-produced but that may not have any individual artistic merit; for most of these products, the makers built as many as they could sell, they were made to sell a product to the marketplace.

An object that gains value because of its associations; (i.e. A Marilyn Monroe dress became a collectible almost as soon as she took it off; the sequined one she wore while singing “Happy Birthday” to former President John F. Kennedy is even more valuable because of this association)

depression glass – d ĭ-prĕsh’ən

Machine pressed, tinted glassware, mass-produced in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Common colors were crystal (clear), cobalt, green, blue, pink, yellow, amber, ruby red.

epergnes – ĭ-pûrn’, ā-pârn’

A large table centerpiece consisting of a frame with extended arms or branches supporting holders, as for flowers, fruit, or sweetmeats. Series of small bowls and baskets.

ephemera – ĭ-fĕm ər – ə

Anything short-lived or transitory; It includes anything that was produced—whether in 1720 or 1920—that was not meant to last. It includes: 18th-century broadsides announcing political meetings and auctions; 19th-century Valentine’s Day cards; invitations to Hollywood film openings; inaugural ball tickets; even promotional rulers given away by the local hardware stores. Political campaign memorabilia, including badges, buttons and even bumper stickers, is another major area of ephemera.

first edition – fûrst ĭ-dĭsh’ə n

A first edition is the first press run of a book.

foxing – fŏks’ ĭng

Foxing describes the brown spots that gradually form on paper; foxing is often caused by high humidity and temperature extremes where books and paper are stored.

limited edition – lĭm’ ĭt-tĭd ĭ-dĭsh’ə n

An edition that is restricted to a specific number of copies; a print has to be intrinsically good to have value. It has to have quality; in modern times a marketing tool.

marquise – mär-kēz’: (or navette)

A cabochon or rhinestone that is elliptical in shape and pointed at both ends.

memorabilia – məm’ ər-ə-bĭl’ē-ə

Things that are remarkable and worthy of remembrance; things that stir recollection.

militaria – mĭl ĭ-tâ’ rē – ə

Objects, such as weapons and uniforms, that are connected with warfare or military service and are usually collected for their historical interest.

moriage – more-ee-a-gay

Refers to applied clay (slip) relief decoration. On Nippon items ‘slip trailing’ or hand rolling and shaping the clay on an item usually did this.

openwork – ō’pən-wûrk’

A style of decoration in which open areas — those void of decoration — become part of the decoration or design pattern inherent in the item; can exist in the form of filigree or pierced designs.

papyrus – pə-pī ‘rəs

Paper made from the papyrus plant by cutting it in strips and pressing it flat; used by ancient Egyptians and Greeks and Romans. A document written on this material.

pavé – pă-vā’, păv’ā

Closely matched or evenly set stones, placed so no metal is visible to give the appearance of paving; in fashion jewelry pavé is usually glued.

provenance – prov-uh-nuhns, -nahns

Place or source of origin: The provenance of the ancient manuscript has never been determined. esp that of a work of art or archaeological specimen.

reproduction vs. fake – rē’ prə – dŭk’ shən vs. fāk

A fake is any object made or sold with the intent to deceive a buyer. A reproduction is a copy of an original, advertised as a copy.

rhinestone – rīn’ stōn’

A rhinestone is lead crystal originally sifted from the Rhine River, or a faceted chunk of glass, usually backed with foil.

variegated – vâr’ē-ĭ-gā’tĭd

Coloring that contains more than one hue or intensity; Having streaks, marks, or patches of a different color or colors; varicolored.

vaseline (glass) – văs’-ə – lēn’

A kind of petroleum jelly; the greenish-yellow color of Vaseline; glassware of this color; also vaseline glass.

vintage – vĭn’ tĭj

A year or period of origin; a group or collection of people or things sharing certain characteristics; Characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal; classic.

vitreous – vĭ t’rē-əs

Relating to, resembling, or having the nature of glass; glassy. Obtained or made from glass.