Learn about and understand the items, manufacturers, designers and periods as well as the specialist terms used in describing antiques and collectables. Either click one of the letters below to list the items beginning with that letter, or click on a category on the left side of the screen to list the items under that category.


A series of lobes usually as a border. In furniture gadrooning is found as carved decoration around the edges of table tops in the Chippendale and Jacobean style furniture. Gadrooning is also found as decoration on the rims of silver and ceramics.

Gainsborough Chairs

A George III mahogany Gainsborough armchair.

Made in England in the 18th century, a Gainsborough chair (also called a "Hogarth chair") is a type of chair with a wide rectangular padded back, a wide upholstered seat and open wooden arms. The legs were either straight, and joined by stretchers, of Chippendale ball and claw style.

Chippendale designed chairs in this style and named them "French chairs". Supposedly the modern name came into use because they resembled the chairs in the paintings of Thomas Gainsborough.

The design is classic and timeless and chairs in this style are still made today.

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Galle, Emile

Emile Galle, (1846-1904) was a French designer of glass, furniture and jewellery and leader of the Nancy School in the applied arts. He was undoubtedly the most outstanding of the French glassmakers of the late nineteenth century.

Born in Nancy, the son of the owner of a prosperous glass and faience factory, he studied botany, drawing and landscape painting and from 1862 to 1864, the techniques of glass production at Weimar Art School in Germany. After further travels, study and work he returned to Nancy in 1873, and began to produce fine pottery, jewellery, and furniture in his own glass studio. In 1874 he was given control of the family glass business.

Galle began experimenting with coloured glass, attempting to improve the range of colours without diminishing the transparency of the material. These early experiments culminated in the vivid blue glass, created by means of cobalt oxides, which came to the attention of the discriminating public at the Exposition Universelle in 1878 in Paris, where he received four gold medals.

At the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris his glass art became the icon of the Art Nouveau movement.

He also opened a carpentry shop employing cabinet makers to produce furniture, specialising in marquetry using botanical themes as his inspiration.

In the ensuing decade, he continued to experiment with various colours, eventually achieving success with the full range of colour from deep purple to bright orange. Throughout his long career, however, Galle was pre-occupied with the decoration of glassware rather than the manipulation or transformation of the substance itself. The earliest type of embellishment consisted of enamelling, a technique which he gradually improved. Galle's finest glassware was produced at the turn of the century.

By the time of his death in 1904, his workshop had become a highly successful business with a considerable output, though quality was never sacrificed to quantity.

Galle always signed his works "Galle". The signature may be engraved, acid-etching or enamelled.

Up to the time of the First World War, the factory continued under the guidance of Galle's friend, the painter Victor Prouve, and glass made in this ten-year period (1904-14) continued to bear the word "Galle" preceded by a small star.

Production was halted by the course of the war, but some attempts at reviving the business afterwards were only partly successful and the Galle factory finally closed in 1935.

Because of the popularity and high prices of Galle glass the field is attractive to copyists and forgers. If the item is not a genuine Galle piece, and the seller recognises this, the description will include terms such as "in the style of Galle", "bears the signature of Galle" or "in the style of Emile Galle". If the seller is trying to pass off the item as genuine Galle, experience gained in handling Galle glass is the best way to tell a forgery from an original

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On furniture, a gallery is a small upright section, frequently pierced and decorated, around the tops of small items of furniture, such as davenports, side tables, and so forth. Galleries are made in brass or bronze,and be fretted, pierced or solid timber. A three-quarter gallery is one that surrounds three of the four sides of a table, desk or other top.

Games Table

A small table equipped with an inlaid chess board and sometimes a backgammon board. They are often fitted with drawers to hold games pieces, pencils, score sheets and so on. The tops of these tables are sometimes reversible, sometimes opening to reveal the chess board beneath. Examples dating from the 18th century are known, but most still available are of Victorian origin. Many Australian games tables have survived, with the chess board made of stained woods or sometimes consisting of many different inlaid native timbers. Card tables are a variant of the games table.

Gateleg Table

A dropside table with deep flaps, of which one or more legs is hinged, able to be opened to support the flap when raised. Numbers of legs varied from eight to twelve. Most dining tables of the Jacobean and early Georgian periods were round oak gateleg tables, usually with barley-sugar twist or baluster turnings. Some card tables and most Sutherland tables work on the gateleg principle.

In the early 20th century the gateleg table again become popular as a small dining table, in a revived Jacobean style. The gateleg revivals generally have barley twist turned legs and egg-shaped oval tops. They are also usually finished in a dark coloured polish and have brass or steel butt hinges.


The first model railways had a track width of 48mm (1.89 inches) which was named 1 gauge. With smaller key-wind locomotives a narrower gauge was introduced, call 0 gauge, and then in the early 20th century "half 0" (or HO) gauge was introduced. In Britain and the Commonwealth countries this was called "00" gauge.

Gaunt, Thomas

A cased silver gilt bishop's pectoral cross by made by Thomas Gaunt & Co., c1900, in original velvet lined case, marked 'Gaunt's/Stg.Sil.'

Thomas Gaunt (1829-1890) was born in London and arrived in Melbourne as a trained clockmaker and optician about 1856. He opened a business at the top of Bourke Street and as well as making and retailing clocks and watches, sold clocks, jewellery and silver.

In about 1870 he moved his business to a corner shop in the Royal Arcade.

He was the official timekeeper for the Victorian Racing Club and occupied the judge's box, although he had no interest in horseracing. He donated a chronometer to the VRC which displayed the time of a race to an accuracy of .25 of a second. Through his timing duties he was able to build up a large clientele from the racing fraternity.

He had strong religous beliefs and connection to the Catholic Church, and supplied much of the church's ecclesiastical plate. On his death it was noted that 2 of his 4 daughters were with the church as nuns.

He made many of the clocks in Melbourne's public buildings, including those for the Melbourne Post office lobby, and the Hotham and Emerald Hill town halls, the latter for which he won an award at the 1880-81 Melbourne International Exhibition.

Thomas Gaunt died in 1890 and his executors continued the business after his death. In 1893 the name of the business was changed to T. Gaunt & Co.

In a supplement to "The Argus" newspaper in Melbourne in 1837 it was noted the business was still operating; the date it closed is not known.

Gazzard, Marea

Marea Gazzard, large jar, hand-built stoneware with brown glazed interior, diameter 40 cm, height 26 cm

Marea Gazzard was born in Sydney in 1928, and studied ceramics at the National Art School, East Sydney from 1953 to 1955, and then at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London from 1955 to 1959.

After a period of travelling, she returned to Australia in 1960 to set up her own workshop inn Paddington, a suburb of Sydney.

Working in both clay and metal, her designs are influenced by Aboriginal culture.

Her work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, most state art galleries and a number of regional and local galleries.

Marea Gazzard died in Sydney on October 28, 2013.

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Gentleman's Chair / Ladies Chair

A gentleman's chair, gent's chair or grandfather chair is a term usually applied in Australia to a deep upholstered Victorian easy chair, often button-backed and with upholstered arms. The chair generally stood on short cabriole legs and had a 'spoon' or a wide balloon back. The 'show wood', that is, the polished frame, was usually mahogany or walnut, although many examples in Australian red cedar have survived.

There are Australian versions of the gentleman's chair, ladies chair and matching settees, usually made from cedar, and occasionally from blackwood. As cedar is a softer timber than walnut, mahogany and rosewood, from which the English versions were made, the carving is usually not as crisp as in the imported version. However the Australian blackwood gentleman's chair is often difficult to distinguish from a good quality English walnut example.

The Edwardian form of the gentleman's chair is much squarer in outline, with short turned legs and the arms are often supported by spindles. There was sometimes a row of spindles, like a gallery, beneath the top rail. The chairs were frequently upholstered in leather.

The cost of re-upholstering seating furniture such as a gentleman's chair, can be substantial, and it is financially prudent to pay a little more for a chair that is newly upholstered, rather than purchasing a well-loved example which will require re-upholstering in the short term.

A ladies chair or grandmother chair is smaller version of a grandfather chair, but without arms, sometimes, though misleadingly, referred to as a nursing chair. The grandfather and grandmother chairs were usually part of a drawing room suite consisting of the two chairs, a couch or chaise longue and four or six single side chairs.

George Ii

George II (1683 - 1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1727 until his death in 1760.

George Iii

George III (1738 - 1820) was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1760 to 1820.

George Iv

George IV (1762 – 1830) was king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and king of Hanover from 1820, until his own death in 1830. From 1811 until his accession in 1820, he served as Prince Regent during his father's final mental illness.

George Jensen

Danish silversmith Georg Jensen (1866 - 1934) served his apprenticeship under Holm of Svartgade, Copenhagen and became a journeyman in 1884, at the same time taking classes in art, modelling and engraving. From 1897 he studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and briefly worked for Bing & Grondahl

In the 1890s, he came under the influence of Mogens Ballin and spent some time in his workshop in 1899. In 1900, he won a scholarship which took him to Italy and France. On his return, he established a small porcelain factory with Joachim Petersen but this proved unsuccessful and he opened his first workshop in 1904 producing a small selection of silver jewellery.

He specialised in semi-precious stones and enamelware set in silver, and his designs for brooches, buckles and pendants were inspired by nature and the ideals of the Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts movement.

In 1907, he began collaborating with the painter Johan Rohde in translating the forms of post-Impressionist painting into the medium of silver. The cutlery and table silver for which he is renown today belong to the latter part of his life (1914-1935). The earliest pieces by Jensen, from 1908 to 1910, when he won a gold medal for silverware at the Brussels International Exhibition, are much sought after.

After his death, the George Jensen brand continued, assisted by a group of talented designers he had recruited and nurtured. As one of the most talented, original, and influential silversmiths of the 20th century, Georg Jensen silver designs live on today as an international luxury brand with 94 fully owned stores and over 1200 employees.

In 2012 the Georg Jensen company was purchased by venture company Investcorp for $US140 million.

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George V

George V (1865 – 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 1910 until his death in 1936.

George Vi

George VI (1895 – 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 1936 until his death in 1952. He was the last Emperor of India, and the first Head of the Commonwealth. he was the father of Queen Elizabeth II.


As an English stylistic period, Georgian is usually taken to cover the period from George I (1714) to the Regency of Prince George (1811-20), although the period from 1800 to 1830 is sometimes designated as the Regency period. During the Georgian period the great English cabinetmakers and designers such as Chippendale, Hepplewhite, Adam Sheraton etc., were all active.

Therefore there isn't a single 'Georgian style' as such and to say something is 'Georgian', usually means it was made between 1714 and 1830. This assumes we discount George V and George VI, both being from the 20th century.

The styles popular at the time of each reign were:

George I (1714-1727) saw out the last years of the Baroque period.

George II (1727-1760) reigned during the Rococo period.

George III (1760-1820) saw the last gasp of the Rococo, all of the early Neo-Classic 'Adam style' and most of the later neo-Classic 'Regency style'.

George IV (Prince Regent 1820-1830)encompassed the last of the 'Regency' style.

William IV's reign (1830-1837) was something of a no man's land (stylistically) and he wasn't a 'George' anyway. He covered the last glimmerings of 'Regency' and the start of the 'Victorian' style.


A mixture of plaster of Paris and gypsum mixed with water and then applied to the carved wooden frames of mirrors and picture frames as a base for applying gold leaf. After numerous coats of gesso have been applied, allowed to dry and then sanded a coat of "bole", a usually red coloured mixture of clay and glue is brushed on and allowed to dry, after which the gold leaf is applied. In painting, gesso is also used to prime a canvas prior to applying paint.

Gilbert Albert

Gilbert Albert was born in Geneva in 1930. After studying Jewellery and Designing at Geneva's Ecole des Arts Industriels, he joined Patek Philippe as designer and head of the workshop. During the seven years with the celebrated manufacturer, he created the firm's most daring designs, most notably the asymmetrical models from the celebrated "Ricochet" series. His outstanding creations gained the prestigious 'Oscar' award at the Diamonds International Awards no less than ten times, three for Patek Philippe, two for Omega and five times under his own name. In 1962 he opened his own workshop in Geneva, specialising in the design and manufacture of unique jewels and objects.


Gilding is a method of ornamentation whereby a thin sheet of gold metal is applied to items made of wood, leather, ceramics, glass and silver for decorative purposes.

For furniture including mirrors, the sheet of gold is usually applied over a coating of gesso. Gesso is a mixture of plaster of Paris and gypsum mixed with water and then applied to the carved wooden frames of mirrors and picture frames as a base for applying the gold leaf. After numerous coats of gesso have been applied, allowed to dry and then sanded a coat of "bole", a usually red coloured mixture of clay and glue is brushed on and allowed to dry, after which the gold leaf is applied. Over time parts of the gilding will rub off so the base colour can be seen. In water gilding, this was generally a blue colour, while in oil gilding, the under layer was often yellow. In Victorian times, gilders frequently used red as a pigment beneath the gold leaf.

Metal was often gilded by a process known as fire gilding. Gold mixed with mercury was applied and heated, causing the mercury to evaporate, the long-term effect of which was to kill or disable the craftsman or woman from mercury poisoning. The pursuit of beauty has claimed many victims, not the least of which were the artists who made those pieces so highly sought after today.

Gillow Furniture

Gillow & Company were an English furniture company, founded by Robert Gillow (1704-72) in Lancaster about 1727. Robert's younger son, also named Robert, (1745-1795) established a branch of the business in Oxford Street, London around 1769. In 1813 the firm was taken over by a partnership of Redmayne, Whiteside and Ferguson but continued to trade under the Gillow name.

During the nineteenth century, Gillows became the leading manufacturers of furniture for the rising middle and upper class market due to the quality of the materials used and craftsmanship in manufacture. For major clients it was supplying complete interior decorating schemes including metalwork, stained glass, wallpapers and the whole range of upholstery and soft furnishings as well as furniture

The company encountered financial difficulties towards the end of the 19th century and this led to a loose association with Waring of Liverpool from 1897. In 1903, Waring took over Gillows, and Waring & Gillow was established, marking the end of the Gillow name as a benchmark for quality.

Trading as Waring and Gillow the firm survived the depression and in 1962 it was taken over by Great Universal Stores. It merged with Maples in 1980 and in 1990 maple Waring & Gillow as it was then named was taken over by Allied Maples Group.

Gillow furniture is keenly sought by enthisiasts, not only because of its fine quality, but because many of the pieces they manufactured were signed with the Gillows name. The Gillow orders and designs were recorded in the "Estimate Sketch Books" which are preserved in the City of Westminster archives enabling historians and collectors to establish a provenance, the who and when, of some pieces that come onto the market. In 2004 Christie's London held an auction of "The Glory of Gillows and Fine English Furniture" which included 81 lots by Gillow.

In July 2008, Bonhams London held a sale of "Fine English Furniture and Works of Art including the Bracewell Collection of Furniture by Gillows and Holland & Sons", which included 43 lots by Gillow, of which 35 were sold at the auction.

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Giltwood is used to describe a gold finish on furniture and other decorative wooden items, whereby a thin sheet of gold metal, called gold leaf, is applied to the surface for decorative purposes.

Unlike gilding, where the gold leaf is applied over a coating of gesso, with giltwood the gold leaf is applied direct to the surface, or over a coat of linseed oil gold leaf adhesive.

Most gold-finished mirrors will be gilded, whereas furniture with gold highlights will have the gold applied through the giltwood method.


On a ship, a gimbal is a pivoted mounting for the compass, clock, chronometer, stoves, drink holders and other equipment which keeps the item horizontal, no matter which way the vessel is leaning.


An ornate candle sconce, usually with several lights and combined with an ornate mirror to reflect the light, made to be attached to the wall. Sometimes also used to refer to a mirror with sconces.

They reached their height of their popularity in England and France in the second half of the 18th century,

Glastonbury Chair

A Glastonbury chair is a term applied to a type of English folding chair where, from a side view, the legs form an "X". They were supposedly named after a design of a similar chair by the Abbot of Glastonbury in the16th century.

Contrast this with a Savonarola or "X" chair, traditionally made in Spain and Italy, where the 'X" of the legs is visible from the front or rear of the chair.

Glazing Bars

Thin astragal mouldings, almost always of timber, behind which glass panes in bookcases, china cabinets, kitchen dressers, and so on are fixed. The glass is either puttied in or held by thin beads. Old hand-made glass should show imperfections, such as bubbles and ridges when looked at obliquely against the light, something which is not found in modem factory-made glass. The joints of the glazing bars should always be neatly mitred.

A cheap shortcut is to apply false glazing bars over a single pane of glass, and this indicates either an item of modern manufacture, or a later conversion, where the panelled door of a press or wardrobe has had a glass front fitted, and the article turned into a 'bookcase'.

Globe Wernicke

Stacking bookcases, also known as "barrister bookcases", were introduced in the early 20th century.

They consisted of a series of glass fronted and almost dust proof cabinets each of which held one row of books, together with a cornice which was fitted to the top cabinet, and plinth which fitted underneath the bottom cabinet and finished off the bookcase.

The number of cabinets could be varied depending on the customer's requirements, but most comprised between 3 and 6 cabinets.

About 1900 there were over 20 companies producing stacking bookcases, but the largest and best known manufacturer was the Globe Wernicke Company, a United States company with factories in the US, Canada, Britain, France and Germany. Their book cabinets were produced to a standard length, with variable depths.

A Globe Wernicke bookcase always carries the manufacturer's name, either on a paper label, an ivory coloured tag, a metal plate or a stamp on each sectional piece.

The fashion for stackable bookcases only lasted about 30 years, and by the 1930s production and sales were in decline.

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Carlton Ware 'Golly piano player' limited edition
An Old English Golliwog iron money box. Maker John Harper Ltd, 1910-1920s.

The golliwog was a character illustrated by British/American author and artist Florence Upton (1873-1922) in a children's book published in 1895. As drawn by Upton, he is a friendly character derived from the tradition of the blackface minstrel with black face, bright red lips and woolly hair and he wore a red bow tie on a white collar, a blue jacket and black trousers.

Her books were extremely popular in England and this carried through to Europe and the United States.

Upton did not trademark the character and others adopted it, including toy and doll manufacturers, jam manufacturers James Robertson & Sons, and Enid Blyton in some of her books, where he is portrayed as an evil character.

In 1928 James Robertson & Sons introduced paper labels on their jams and marmalades which could be exchanged for enamel badges featuring a golliwog, and this became one of the longest running collecting schemes in the United Kingdom. The promotion continued until 2002 and in the approximately 80 years it was in operation, it is estimated that 20 million badges were distributed.

The word golliwog was adopted in popular usage as a slang descriptor for a black person, but by the early 1980s this was considered inappropriate so the use of the golliwog both as an marketing tool and as a doll, and its prominence has declined since that time.

No doubt the political incorrectness of the character is one of the reasons why very few golliwog dolls are offered in the auction rooms.

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Gordon Andrews

Gordon Andrews (1914-2001) is probably Australia's best known international designer of the mid fifties. Born in Ashfield, New South Wales, he trained at the Sydney Technical College, and worked in England and Italy.

In England he helped design the Festival of Britain science pavilion, and redesigned Olivetti's showrooms. He established a practice in Sydney in 1955. He designed Australia's decimal currency notes.

He has also designed jewellery, fabrics, ephemera, offices, shops, sculptures, pottery and furniture, being especially well-known for his Rondo chair. In the mid 20th century he worked closely with Marion Best who was the interior designer for the Boyd house.

From: Carter's "Collecting Australiana", William & Dorothy Hall, published by John Furphy Pty. Ltd. 2005

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William Henry Goss (1833-1906) through his pottery company W. H. Goss of Stoke-on-Trent made a substantial contribution to souvenir and commemorative ware. The company made articles of very thin moulded porcelain, which was particularly translucent.

They made ornaments rather than functional items, and in the earlier years of the business, from about 1860 to about 1890, they produced fine, beautifully coloured ware, including vases, jewellery, and dressing-table articles.

Then, not long after Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee of 1887, they branched out into much cheaper souvenir ware, much of it in the form of statuary. These articles were shaped like Cleopatra's Needle, Marble Arch, Nelson's Column, or more mundane things, such as wheelbarrows, cottages, and animals, and decorated with the heraldic crests (termed "crested china") of various towns or resorts.

They were produced in huge numbers, and thus do not command high prices in the marketplace.

The company was taken over by Cauldon Potteries Ltd. in 1929 and then by Doulton in the 1980s

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The Gothic style was the dominant style of ecclesiastical architecture from the middle and late medieval period, that is from the 12th to the 16th century. It is characterised by the pointed arch, elaborate ornament and delicate tracery. The furniture of the period closely followed the architecture. The Gothic style in furniture has been revived several times: in the 18th century when designers such as Chippendale incorporated Gothic themes into their designs and in the 19th century by the architect, designer and artist A. W. Pugin, whose career was at its peak when he designed the palace of Westminster, the present British Houses of Parliament in the Gothic Revival style.

Gout Stool

A stool usually with an adjustable sloping top and a right angled "back", for resting a foot or feet afflicted with gout, the symptons of which is a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. They were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Graduated Drawers

A bank of drawers, where the top drawer has the least depth, and the depth of the each drawer is greater than the drawer above.


Decorative painting applied to furniture to imitate the natural pattern of fibres in timber. In the Victorian period it was used to simulate more expensive timber finishes such as rosewood and walnut.


His Masters Voice Gramophone, with exhibition soundbox, side wind handle and rear mount brass horn

In the evolution of mechanical music, the gramophone followed the phonograph and the graphophone, each of which was invented in the United States. For the gramophone, the music was recorded on a flat disk, unlike the phonograph and graphophone. However in modern usage, the words "gramophone" and "phonograph" are both sometimes used to describe a gramophone or a gramophone record.

The phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison in 1877, and its major disadvantage was that, as well as the reproduction being poor, each cylinder lasted for only one play.

The graphophone was an improved version of the phonograph and went into commercial production in about 1885. Invented at the Volta Laboratory established by Alexander Graham Bell, it used wax cylinders which lasted for multiple plays. However each cylinder had to be recorded separately, preventing mass reproduction, and also resulting in differences in sound between each.

In 1887, Emile Berliner, a German born American inventor working in Washington patented a successful system of sound recording on a disk, where the sound information was etched into the surface. The disk or record was rotated on a turntable and a needle in the arm of the gramophone read the information in the grooves and transferred the sound to the speaker. The first records were made of glass, later zinc, and then plastic.

Berliner sold the licensing rights to his patent for the gramophone and method of making records to the Victor Talking Machine Company, founded by the engineer who assisted Berliner to develop the turntable and mechanism.

The use of the trademark of the dog listening the gramophone ("His Master's Voice") helped make it a successful product in the United States, and although the company was not called by that name, their records were marketed under the His Master's Voice" label.

Berliner founded the Berliner Gram-o-phone Company in Montreal, Canada, the Deutsche Grammophon in Germany, and the U.K based Gramophone Co., Ltd.

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Grande Sonnerie

Fine 19th Century continental grand sonnerie mantel clock, with eight bells and Westminster chimes.

A grande sonnerie is a clock which strikes each quarter hour, striking one, two three or four times, followed by striking the hour on a different toned bell.

Grandfather Clock

More correctly known as longcase clocks, these are clocks with a hooded pendulum, housed in a tall enclosed case, about seven feet high.

Introduced during the latter part of the 17th century, the longcase clock has remained popular to the present day.

As a general rule, the designs of the clock cases followed the stylistic developments of the past three centuries. Late 17th and early 18th century clocks inspired the cabinetmaker to extraordinary heights in the art of marquetry inlay, very often in the complex and intricate 'seaweed' patterns.

Other clocks were lacquered and decorated with gilded chinoiseries. Chippendale's designs followed the prevailing flowing lines of the Rococo, with quantities of scroll work, frets, pagodas, urns and rams' heads. Those of the Neoclassical period showed a return to simpler, straighter lines, often enhanced with panels of well-figured inlay, lines of stringing, swan-neck pediments and brass finials.

The finest clocks were often veneered in walnut or mahogany, but many country clocks made from honest oak have survived.

Until the late 18th century, most clocks had brass or silvered dials highly chased or embossed in the spandrels (that is, the corners of the clock face). During the last quarter of the century, however, the painted enamel face was introduced, and by the 1820s had gained predominance among clockmakers.

Longcase clocks built in the 18th century manner usually have fairly long cases between the hood containing the dial and mechanism and the base plinth. During the 19th century, the plinths tended to become larger and the vertical pendulum case much shorter, thus altering the proportions. Longcase clocks made during the 1830s and 1840s often look quite stubby, even though the overall height remained much the same.

Australian longcase clocks dating from the colonial period are very scarce and very expensive. The best known of the early colonial clockmakers was James Oatley, but even of his work little more than a dozen clocks are known to have survived.

If purchasing, it is important to verify that the hood, works, and dial are original to the remainder of the case. A careful check is required for the fit of all components, old screw holes, and timber additions or repairs.

'Grandfather clock' did not come into general use until the popularity of the song 'My Grandfather's Clock', written in 1878. A grandmother clock is a smaller version of a grandfather or longcase clock, usually late Victorian or 20th century.

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Grant Featherston

Grant Featherston was Australia's leading 'post modernist' furniture designer. He was born in 1922 in Geelong, and gained prominence in 1947 when he produced his relaxation chairs. They were made from plywood and webbing, although some were upholstered with sponge rubber and fabric.

Featherston's philosophy that a chair should follow the body's contours was confirmed in the design of his contour chairs, which were produced for five years from 1951, Plywood was used for the chair's frame, which was upholstered. Examples are shown.

Mild steel and cane were used for the cane-metal chair, designed in 1954. This was followed by the easy chairs of 1955 that were constructed from plywood, iron, rubber webbing, and were upholstered. The townhouse suite followed in 1956.

From 1957 to 1970 Grant Featherston was consultant to metal furniture manufacturer, Aristoc Industries. Chairs were designed and mass-produced, and may still be seen across Australia. Some designs are still being made today. The Delma stacking chair, in particular, was copied by other manufacturers.

The Scape armchair, made in 1960, was highly sculptured and manufactured from a small number of separate parts. These parts were made from plywood and steel. The back and the seat were covered in foam and fabric.

Grant Featherston's name sprang into media prominence in 1967 when his 'talking chair' was displayed at the Australian pavilion at Expo '67 at Montreal. This was followed by the Stem chair in 1969, made mostly from high density polyethylene. Grant worked with his wife Mary to produce some of Australia's most beautifully designed chairs.

From: Carter's "Collecting Australiana", William & Dorothy Hall, published by John Furphy Pty. Ltd. 2005

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Greek Key

Moulding, found around cornices and sometimes tables, in the familiar Greek key pattern. The pattern was commonly used as brass inlay in furniture of the classical revival period


Lattice work, generally in brass, popular in door fronts during the Regency period, especially on such salon pieces as chiffoniers, small bookcases and so on. Very often, the grille was backed with silk to produce an elegant effect. Early grilles were notched at each crossover and the joint may be hidden by an embossed stud. Grilles are uncommon on Australian furniture of the period, doors being either glazed or panelled.


A New Hall transfer-printed saucer, circa 1815, decorated en grisaille, a scene of a squire and a peg-legged beggar.

Decorative painting in monochrome, usually shades of grey, olive green or buff, painted on wood, plaster, ceramic or stone surfaces to imitate marble figural sculpture or relief ornament. From the French "gris", or grey (colour).


A grotesque Martin Brothers bird jar and cover, dated 1899, the bird perched on a circular bar.

Grotesque decoration is any fanciful ornament applied to furniture and decorative arts, and includes distorted faces, mythical animals such as satyrs and sphinxes and less frequently fantastical fruit and flower forms.

The Martin Brothers who set up their pottery at the end of the nineteenth century in Southall, Middlesex derived their fame from their hand made models of grotesque stoneware birds.


A carved oak panel attributed to Robert Prenzel, boldly relief carved in relief with a gryphon

A gryphon is a mythical beast with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion.

This fictional character was devised by Lewis Carroll in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", written in 1865.


The French term originally the name for a small stand for a candelabrum, but now used to describe any small circular topped table or pedestal, often with an intermediate shelf and on three legs..

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A form of classical decoration consisting of a repeating ornament of interlacing curved bands, sometimes forming circles, and further decorated with rosettes or other flower forms.

The name is derived from the inventor, French engineer Guillot, who invented a mechanical method of inscribing fine repeating patterns on to metallic surfaces.

On enamelled items with guilloche decoration, the surface is firstly engraved with the repeating pattern, and then covered with several layers of enamel, each of which is fired.

Where the item has not been enamelled the form of decoration is usually called "engine turned".


A gul is a motif commonly used in Oriental carpets, originally based on a rose, usually of stylised geometric (octagonal) form. The different tribes each have their own versions of the gul, enabling association of a rug with a particular tribal area.

Gutta Percha

Gutta percha, introduced to Britain in 1843, is a synthetic plastic-like substance made from the latex of a several types of Malaysian trees, similar to a rubber tree, and used for a variety of purposes including jewellery, dolls, golf balls and cable insulation.