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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.
James Hadley (1837-1903) was apprenticed to Kerr & Binns of Worcester, (the predecessor firm to the Royal Worcester Porcelain Company) and then worked on a contract basis for the Royal Worcester Porcelain Company from separate premises as principal modeller from 1870 to 1895. That year his contract was terminated due to falling demand and he set up his own business.
With the aid of his three sons, and trading as Hadley & Sons, he began producing decorative porcelain in 1896, with the assistance of a group of young artists. James Hadley died in December 1903 and the business was taken over by Royal Worcester in July 1905, though distinctive Hadley ware continued to be produced under the supervision of Louis Hadley for many years.
Many of the floral designs found on Hadley ware were painted in monochrome, but were always of a very high quality. Much of the Hadley output consisted of high-class earthenware decorated with transparent glazes.
A wooden or brass and iron bed, which has tall posts only at the head, supporting a canopy or curtains, and with short posts or no posts at the foot.
The tester or canopy thus covers only the top part of the bed. On brass and iron beds the curtain rails are supported by brackets fitted over the top of the posts and held firm with the threaded brass knob.
The canopy may be either a half round hoop or have straight arms usually made from brass rod. The half tester bed was sometimes referred to as an 'Italian canopy bed' though the term does not seem to have survived in general use.
A wooden chair usually without arms, with a wooden seat and an upright shaped back, sometimes including a carved family crest.
They were placed in the entrance halls of large houses and are exceedingly uncomfortable and present day purchases are for decorative rather than practical use.
Suggestions that they were purposely made uncomfortable, to discourage the servants from sitting down on the job, are probably exaggerated. Hall chairs were designed by Chippendale among others, and the general style continued for at least the next century.
A form of console table although usually much heavier in form and design. Generally rectangular in shape, with scroll or turned legs at the front and flat rear supports. Often fitted with drawers. Many large side tables are nowadays described as hall tables, and the collector should be careful of the converted or incorrectly labelled Victorian washstand.
A mark stamped on articles of precious metals in Britain, since the 14th century, certifying their purity. It derives its name from the Guild Hall of the Goldsmiths' Company, who recieved its Charter in 1327 giving it the power to assay (test the purity) and mark articles of gold and silver.
The hallmark will consist of several marks, including the:
- silver standard mark, indicating the purity of the metal. Sterling silver is .925 pure silver.
- the city mark indicating the city in which it was assayed eg London, Birmingham, York etc.
- the date mark, usually a letter of the alphabet in a particular font and case,
- a duty mark, indicating whether duty had been paid to the crown, and only in use from 1784 to 1890
The piece may include an additional mark, the maker's mark, although not forming part of the hallmark, will be located in the vicinity of the hallmarks.
Sometimes silver plated items will bear faux hallmarks, often confusing those not familiar with silver markings.
A 19th century innovation, the earliest hallstands usually consisted of a straight or shaped upright, sometimes with a drawer and with rounded wooden pegs or hooks on which to hang coats and hats. Some versions also contained umbrella stands, eith in the central section or to each side.
Hallstands became proportionately larger during the course of the century, sometimes being equipped with lift up seats and arms, and later models had brass hooks that tended to replace the wooden knobs. Early versions were usually wooden, although wonderful cast iron hallstands are to be found from the middle of the century, richly cast and ornamented.
The best known manufacturer of cast iron hallstands was Coalbrookdale Company of Shropshire England, founded in 1709. In the 1840s the company developed a range of cast iron furniture, which, once the moulds had been created, could be mass produced. Coalbookdale items are marked either with the full name of the company or an abbreviation such as 'C-B-DALE Co'
Cast iron hallstands will often also include the date lozenge, often cast into the base of the drip trays indicating the year in which the design was registered.
Some were made in Australia featuring native plants as their dominant motifs.
Towards the end of the century, hallstands were made in bamboo and lacquer work in the Japanese taste. Hallstands continued in fashion until the 1920s and were sometimes made in the prevailing Jacobean revival fashion or the plainer styles inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement.
A variant on the hallstand is the hall tree, usually made of timber with a central stem and three or so arching branches to each side, fitted with knobs or hooks for coats and jackets.
Another variant is the umbrella or stick stand, usually about waist height or lower, in cast iron, with a loop in the upper section and a drip tray below to hold the walking sticks, canes or umbrellas. The backs are sometimes cast in the form of animals, testifying to their connection to the great outdoors.
Deborah Halpern was born in 1957 in Melbourne.
She studied journalism at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, painting at the Caulfield Institute of Technology and Fine Arts at Latrobe University.
She trained in ceramics as a student at the 'Potter's School' and as an apprentice at her mother's workshop, Sylha Ceramics.
She is represented in the National Gallery of Victoria and numerous regional galleries.
At an auction the hammer price is the price achieved on the fall of the hammer. In most auction the buyers premium is then added to the hammer price to calculate the amount the purchaser must pay.
For a seller, the vendor's commission and sometimes insurance, photography and lot charges are deducted from the hammer price to calculate the amount payable to the vendor.
The hammer price is different from the auctioneer's estimate, the reserve and the bought-in price.
Any small cupboard intended to be attached to the wall, often of a triangular shape for corners. Used as food and storage cupboards from early times, some were fully panelled, others were fitted with glazing bars. Collectors should rely on stylistic evidence to determine age, although hanging cupboards with large plate glass fronts usually date from the 20th century.
This style was popular under George I, between 1700 and about 1770, and was characterised a simple form consisting of a long bowl and central spine running up the face of the spoon, with the handle widening towards the top, and the end of the spoon curving upwards instead of downwards as with most patterns.
Production of spoons and forks in the Hanoverian style was revived in the 19th century.
Hard paste porcelain is true porcelain made of china stone and kaolin. The formula has been known by the Chinese since 800BC, but was kept secret until the early 1700s when a chemist at the Meissen factory discovered it, and the formula has since become known throughout the west.
A general term applied to the metal fittings on an item of furniture, such as locks, hinges and handles. Whilst most furniture will usually have brass hardware as it does not rust, some earlier rustic objects such as coffers sometimes have iron hardware.
Harewood is sycamore which has been stained a green colour and is used in veneer form as an inlay.
The Harlequin is a character from the Italian commedia dell'arte, a form of theatre typified by characters wearing masks, and acting out unscripted performances. There are corresponding characters in the French and Spanish theatre.
In dress, he is characterised by his hat, mask, and colourful diamond-pattern tunic.
Columbine is the mistress of Harlequin, and the wife of Pierrot.
A "harlequin set" or "matched set" of chairs, is a set in which the chairs are similar, but not identical in design and construction, as in a true set. At a time when complete sets of chairs are increasingly difficult to find, dealers often have to rely on assembling a matched set from various sources. The world 'Harlequin' derives from the Italian comedy figure who traditionally wears a diamond-patterned costume. It is sometimes used to describe a pattern of inlay in this design.
The Harrach glass factory is located in Harrachov, a small town in what was Northern Bohemia, but is now the Czech Republic, near the Polish border. It has been producing glass since 1712, with peak production in the 1850s. In the 19th century, their output was so widely regarded that a large part of their business was selling glass blanks (undecorated glass) to other major Bohemian glass manufacturers.
Heal & Co. was established in London 1810 as a feather dressing factory by John Harris Heal, and in 1818 opened a store in Tottenham Court Road trading as general furnishers.
The business expanded and by the time John Harris Heal's great grandson, Ambrose Heal (1872-1959) joined in 1893, it was one of the largest stores in London.
Ambrose Heal published a catalogue entitled 'Heal's Plain Oak Furniture' in 1898 displaying oak furniture in a cheaper Arts & Crafts style enhanced by ebony and pewter decoration with the oak sometimes darkened by smoking.
The business stayed with the family until 1983 when it was purchased by designer and businessman Sir Terence Conran, and became part of the Storehouse Group. The recession in the late 1980s led to a management buyout which revitalised the company. There was a further change in ownership in 2001 when the business was acquired by Wittington Investments Limited, Heals is still trading from Totenham Court Road at the present time.
The best known member of the Heal family is Ambrose Heal (1872-1959) who was an important patron of the Arts & Crafts movement.
He joined the firm in 1893 and extended its business to include the full range of interior furnishings. he favoured simple well designed furniture that appealed to the emerging middle classes.
He supported upcoming Arts & Crafts designers and co-founded the Design & Industries Association in 1915, which campaigned for "Fitness for Purpose" in industrial production
The Hellenistic period includes art produced in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE to the conquest of Egypt by Rome in 30 BCE. A number of the best-known works of Greek sculpture belong to this period, including Laocoon and his Sons, Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
Poul Henningsen (1894–1967) trained as an architect in Copenhagen but specialized in lighting design. Employed by Louis Poulsen in 1924 he developed a three shade lamp known simply as the PH lamp. This hanging lamp, still in production today was joined by table, floor and wall lamps, with the PH lamp becoming a household name and to this day remaining one of the finest incandescent lamps. At his death in 1967 Poul had designed more than 100 lamps including the classic PH5.
The shield back chair is a design attributed to Hepplewhite with the back shaped like a shield often accompanied by a wheat sheaf or Prince of Wales feathers motif in the splats.
The shield back chair is a design attributed to Hepplewhite with the back shaped like a shield often accompanied by a wheat sheaf or Prince of Wales feathers motif in the splats.
Currie was the maker of this wide silver and amazonite bangle which belies the heaviness of the silver by the fineness of the Australian fern motif giving the effect of laciness. The bangle carries the influences of the Arts and Crafts period that carried through to the 1950's. The bangle is secured by a fine pin through the side hinge so that it is discreetly disguised. The inside panel of the bangle is inscribed KC for Kitch Currie and stamped Sterling Silver Herbert Kitchener Currie was born in Perth in 1915.
After his education at Wesley College, Kitch Currie attended the Perth Institute of Art. There he worked part time as an assistant for jeweller J.W.R Linton but received no formal apprenticeship until 1936 when he joined Linton's workshop in the evenings learning the art of jewellery making and silver smithing. For over a decade, Kitch Currie joined his brother on a gold refinement plant in Wiluna before returning to Perth in 1945 to resume his position with James Linton until Linton's death in 1947. Kitch Currie continued the skills taught to him by Linton, and with his sister Betsy, moved to Greenmount. He joined the Fremantle Technical College as a teacher of jewellery and design founding a new generation of prolific jewellers. The work of Herbert Kitchener Currie is displayed in the Art Gallery of Western Australia.
Sam Herman was born in 1936 in Mexico City.
He studied at Western Washington State College, Bellingham,
USA, and University of Wisconsin.
A Fullbright scholarship took him to Britain where he worked at the Edinburgh College of Art.
During 1967-8 he was a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art, London, and the following year was Visiting Lecturer at Stourbridge College of Art
In 1969 he also established 'The Glass House', Covent Garden, London.
In 1974, after four years as tutor in charge of the Glass Department, School of Ceramics and Glass, Royal College of Art, London, he came to Australia and established a glass workshop for the South Australian Craft Authority in Adelaide.
In 1978, while retaining consultant status with the Jam Factory, he built his own workshop in Adelaide.
In 1980 he returned to England and established a workshop in London, where he worked until 1990. In 1983 he became an honorary member of the Royal College of Art, London.
He established a studio in Spain in 1992 and since then has focussed on creating paintings, architectural glass commissions, sculpture and stained glass and lighting pieces from his studios in London and Spain
A tall chair designed especially for children sitting at the table. There are several varieties. One of the most interesting, though uncommon, versions is the small elbow chair standing on a low table, to which it is attached by thumbscrews. A bar across the front prevents the child from falling out and when not in use the piece can be dismantled and used as a separate table and chair. These versions date from the early 19th century and a few Australian made examples have survived.
Most chairs, however, were similar in design to standard parlour chairs, though with longer legs and a cross piece for the child to put its feet on. As a rule, most 19th century high chairs were made to stand at normal table-height and the separate fold-up tray was not introduced until towards the end of the century. There are some quite remarkable high chairs made by American manufacturers during the Edwardian period on the same principle as the embossed spindle back chair. These pieces are not only high chairs, but convert to perambulators, strollers, and even rocking chairs.
It is important to distinguish between high chairs made for children and the tall office stools and chairs, often made from bentwood, on which innumerable Bob Cratchits scratched a miserly living at their clerk's desks, the victims of many Scrooges and high Victorian 'humbug'.
"His Master's Voice", abbreviated HMV is a trademark in the music business, the image coming from a painting of the same name by English artist Francis Barraud. The American rights to the picture were purchased about 1899 by the Victor Talking Machine Company founded by the inventor of the gramophone, Emile Berliner after the painting had been modified to show the dog named "Nipper" listening to one of Victor Talking Machine Company's gramophones.
Further capitalising on the logo, an additional trademark, "Little Nipper" was later registered and used for children's records and radios.
Ownership of the HMV trademark was transferred through a number of companies in the music business during the 20th century including RCA (Radio Corporation of America) and EMI.
Barraud, the artist died in 1924 and the painting is now in the public domain, although the trademark is still valid.
An abbreviation for "hallmarked sterling silver".
The ho ho bird is a mythological bird of the East, that in appearance is a composite of many birds including the head of a pheasant, the body of a mandarin duck and the tail of a peacock.
It is used as a decorative motif in both European and Eastern furnishings and decorative arts, especially on ceramics and as part of the carved frame of mirrors.
Hock wine glasses are the only wine glasses that have a coloured bowl, usually pale gree or golden on a long stem. Usually wine glasses are made of clear glass so that the colour of the wine can be studied.
Hock was the name adopted by the British for German white wines, in the 17th century specifically from the Rhine region and later used to refer to any German white wine. The name "hock" was derived from the name of the town of Hochheim am Main in Germany.
Nowadays the term "hock glass" is applied loosely to wine glasses that have bowls of any colour, including multicoloured sets, often with wheel-engraved decoration.
Some 18th century wine glasses had a hollow stem for collecting wine sediment, but now the hollow stem is sometimes incorporated into the design of champagne glasses to emphasise the effect created by the effervescence.
A term used in describing silver and pewter items that are containers, such as teapots, jugs, bowls, tureens, baskets etc. as distinct from "flatware" which includes plates and cutlery.
In longcase clocks, the hood is the wooden case that surrounds the works and dial, and includes the glass front, which is usually hinged, so the door can be opened to wind the clock or adjust the time. In 18th and 19th century longcase clocks the hood usually slides forward for removal, allowing access to the works.
Full horns were used for making drinking vessels and powder horns. A number of larger horns or antlers could be combined together to make furniture and decorative items such as chairs and lamps.
As a material, horn was formerly used in all types of objects such as snuff boxes, lanterns, musical instruments, items for personal grooming, cutlery handles, walking sticks. Some items of horn are finely decorated with silver or mounted in silver.
Oriental antique descriptions occasionally refer to "hornbill" or "hornbill ivory" as the material from which the object is made. In fact the hornbill is a large bird, the helmeted hornbill, found in a few South-East Asian countries, and the name is also applied to the material obtained from a growth on the upper section of the beak of the bird, known as a casque.
In its natural form it is a yellow colour, but when the hornbill rubs its beak while preening its feathers, the growth turns a red colour.
As well as being used as a carving material in areas where the bird is found, hornbill became popular as a carving medium with the Chinese in the 19th century, and it was prized (and priced) ahead of ivory and jade.
The helmeted hornbill is listed in Appendix 1 of CITES, (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) meaning that trade in hornbill objects requires import and export permits.
the s natural ivory from the bird, native to Indonesia. The hornbill is now an endangered species, but due to the apparent age of the jewelry, this item would be legal for trade. Hornbill ivory is not a true ivory as it is not a dentine material, but rather a keratin. Hornbill ivory of this nature was often carved from the lower layer of the hornbill casque for the western market. The upper area, with a strong red coloration, was traded to the Eastern market. The upper areas of these pieces yet show some of the red coloring. The rest is in the strong yellowish color of natural hornbill.
Frank Hornby (1863-1936) the inventor of 'Meccano' was also responsible for the introduction in about 1915-20 of the clockwork train sets that bear his name.
Electric powered Hornby trains first appeared in 1925. The Hornby trademark was used until 1940 when all construction of Hornby trains was halted with the onset of World War II.
Production of the toy trains resumed in 1946, though in the immediate post-war years, a general shortage of raw materials restricted production. Hence, new toy trains items were not introduced until the early 1950s.
By the late 1950s, when construction of plastic toys begun, sales began to decline, and in 1965, Hornby was taken over by Tri-ang (Lines Brothers), who incorporated some items from the Hornby line into its catalogue.
Victoria Howlett was born in London in 1945.
Studied ceramics at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
After several years lecturing in ceramics at Prahran College of Advanced Education, she travelled and worked in Canada, the United States of America, Mexico, Africa and England.
In 1977 she established a studio in Melbourne and began potting and drawing full-time.
In 1980 she undertook a lecture tour in the USA.
Her first solo exhibition was held in 1977. Since then she has regularly held solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.
She is represented in the Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, as well as regional and municipal collections.
Huanghuali is the most sought-after timber used in the construction of Chinese furniture because of its fine colour and grain.
During Ming and early Qing dynasties, most of the best furniture was made from huanghuali wood.
It is a member of the rosewood family and over time the surface mellows to a yellowish brown tone with the exposure to light.
In recent years, furniture made from huanghuali wood has increased exponentially in value.
Harold Randalph Hughan was born in Mildura, Victoria, in 1893 and educated at Hamilton in the Western District of Victoria.
At the outbreak of World War I in 1914 he joined the Australian Infantry Forces as an apprentice engineer and spent from 1916 to 1918 with Australian troops in France. At the end of the war he pursued further training as an engineer in England and returned to Australia in 1920.
Previously interested in the crafts of weaving and woodworking, in the early 1940s Hughan became involved in his wife’s and son's attempts at pottery, his knowledge as an engineer enabling him to build and refine the kilns they used.
Hughan's early efforts were influenced by the advice of F. E. Cox (‘Jolliffe') another amateur Melbourne potter. Becoming fascinated by the collection of Chinese ceramics in the National Gallery of Victoria and guided by, among others, Bernard Leach‘s A Potters Book published in 1940, he soon began to use the wheel, making experiments in stoneware that were far in advance of any other Australian pottery of the time.
Hughan held his first exhibition in 1950 at the gallery in Georges, the Melbourne department store. That exhibition marked him as a most important Australian potter, a reputation that his second exhibition in 1968 confirmed and magnified.
In 1970 the National Gallery of Victoria honoured Hughan with a retrospective exhibition. His commitment to useful objects, possessing an honest dignity and refinement makes Hughan outstanding amongst Australian potters.
Harold Hughan died in 1987.
A Hulihee is a type of beard distinguished by its fat chops connected at the moustache.
Figures with cherubic grins and blushed cheeks you would just love to pinch, how could anyone not fall in love with the adorable little figures of boys in lederhosen and girls with pigtails that are known as 'Hummels'?
M I Hummel figures are produced by renowned German porcelain manufacturer W Goebel Porzellainfabrik ('Goebel').
In the last few years these figures have gained a large collecting base in Australia and New Zealand. The figures are based on the caricatures of Maria Innocentia ('Berta') Hummel- an extremely talented German art student who went on to became a nun.
Hummel figures have been produced by Goebel since 1935 and production continues today. All figures are readily identified by the engraved script MI Hummel trademark somewhere on the figure, usually on the base rim.
Interestingly, the ownership of the designs and approval of production of all figures, still rests with the estate of Maria Innocentia Hummel (deceased) and the Convent of Siessen, even through to current releases.
Hunt & Roskell, were a firm of manufacturing and retail jewellers and silversmiths, founded in 1843 by Robert Roskell a famous pocket watch maker from Liverpool, and John Samuel Hunt who had previously been in partnership with silversmith Paul Storr, trading Storr & Co. (1819-22), Storr & Mortimer (1822-38), Mortimer & Hunt (1838-43) and then Hunt & Roskell (1843-97).
Hunt & Roskell had retail premises at 156 New Bond Street and a manufacturing workshops at 26 Harrison Street, near Clerkenwell.
They were among the finest of the Victorian silversmith, manufacturing in the high Victorian style, and their craftsmanship was recognised by their appointment as silversmiths and jewellers to Queen Victoria.
John Samuel Hunt continued as a partner until his death in 1865, when he was succeeded by his son, John Hunt (d.1879). Robert Roskell remained in the firm until his death in 1888. In 1889 the firm was taken over by J.W. Benson and continued in business as Hunt & Roskell Ltd until c.1965.
A hunter pocket watch is the type where the case includes a spring-hinged circular metal lid or cover, that closes over the glass face of the watch, protecting it from dust, scratches and other damage or debris. The majority of antique and vintage hunter-case watches have the lid-hinges at the 9 o’clock position, suiting the right handed user.
Named after the Frenchman who discovered the Huon River in Tasmania, it is an extremely slow growing and long living tree. Huon pine is native to Tasmania, and it can grow to an age of 3,000 years or more. The wood contains oil that retards the growth of fungi, hence its early popularity in ship-building in convict-era Tasmania. The timber is a warm yellow colour, finely grained, and was popular for household furniture in the Victorian era. Interestingly, much Huon pine furniture was made in South Australia. Huon pine is a protected species and only limited quantities are available nowadays, for craftsmen to manufacture small items such as platters, sculptures and other decorative objects.
A term without a strict definition, but generally used to describe a food or storage cupboard with doors in the top section, standing on legs with shelves below.
Peter Hvidt (1916–1986) born in Copenhagen. After completing his training at the Design School in Copenhagen, he worked at various design firms before setting up his own studio in 1942. In 1944 he opened the Hvidt & Mølgaard studio which he ran with Orla Mølgaard-Nielsen until 1975. They created a number of pioneering sets of furniture including Portex (1945) and Ax (1950), using a laminated technique for production by Fritz Hansen. During their collaboration they also designed many pieces for France and Daverkosen (latterly France and Son and CADO)