faceted steel Decorative steel studs cut with the facets which were fashionable in the 18th and 19th Century and used for buttons, belts and sword hilts. Matthew Boultons factory in Birmingham and Woodstock near Oxford, were the main centres of production.

facets Small, flat surfaces ground onto cut gemstones. Some cuts enhance ccolour at the expense of perfection.

facon de Venise High- quality, late 16th and 17th Century glasss made in the

Venetian style, mainly in Britain, also in Germany and the Netherlands.

faience The name given to the French Tin-glazed earthenware which developed from Italian Maiolica. The term is also used from tin-glazed earthenware products from Germany and Scandinavia, the British equivalent of faience is Delftware.

fairings Procelain groups of animal or human figures, that were cheap and were made for sale or as prizes in fairgrounds 1860 – 90. They were

often comic in theme with innuendo captions written on them. All fairings made during this time in Germany and Austria were made for the British Market and were made in moulds and had solid bases. From 1890 hollow imitations

were being mass-produced.

fairyland lustre LUSTREWARE by Daisy Makeig Jones, decorated with fairyland scenes. Design registered by Wedgewood factory in 1915 and retailed throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

fake A genuine object which is altered, but not necessarily to deceive.

fall-front The lid on a desk or bureau that folds down to form writing surface, often supported by pull-out lopers. Also known as a drop front.

famille-rose, famille-verte French term for palates, or ‘families’ of enamel colours used on Chinese porcelain. Famille-verte, introduced in the mid-17thC, dominated by green but later replaced by famille-rose.

fan An essential accessory for women, especially in 18thC Europe, used to create a breeze and to communicate modesty, coyness or discrete flirting. Rigid fans of the ancient civilisations and Renaissance Europe have a long handle topped by a leaf of parchment, fabric or feathers within a rigid frame. Brise fans are made of overlapping ribs of ivory, mother of pearl or bone with a ribbon threaded through the upper ends. A cockade fan can be pleated or brise but opens out into a complete circle.

farmer’s watch Type of pocket watch produced in the first half of the 19thC, the dial often painted with a rural scene.

farthing A quarter of an old British penny. It was issued in silver in the 13thC, in copper from 1672 and in bronze 1860-1956. Farthings ceased to be legal tender in 1961.

fauld See AMOUR

faux bois A French term for a painted wood that simulates an exotic wood. An effect used in the early 19thC.

Faux-montre A French term for a pill or patch box in the form of a dummy watch. Some are made of BILSTON ENAMEL.

Favrile glass An iridescent ART GLASS, mainly used for vases, developed by the US designer Louis Comfort Tiffany c.1892. Made in a variety of colours, the oil-on-water effect created by spraying the hot glass with metallic salts, or by applying acid or metallic lustres to a cooled surface.

feather-edge Patterns of fine, slanting lines that decorate the edge of silverware, engraved or brightcut. Used on FLATWARE c.1760-90 and on the handles of silver CUTLERY from the late 18thC onwards.

feet See boxes.

feldspar porcelain A type of BONE CHINA , which replaces Cornish CHINA STONE with pure feldspar. The first feldspar body was produced at COALPORT. In 1820 SPODE was the first to name the body and mark pieces.

fender A rail or screen of cast iron, copper, brass, or steel made to prevent to coals rolling out of the hearth. Fenders were introduced in the late 17thC when raised baskets or grates lifted the fire of the ground.

festival dolls English term for hinaningyo , Japanese dolls made for doll festivals at which Japanese boys and girls were initiated into traditional customs.


fielded panel A raised flat panel, with bevelled edges, in a wall or a piece of furniture.

figure 1. The grain or pattern on a wood. 2. The pattern of figures or naturalistic shapes on fabric. 3. Animal or human form.

filet Netting with a pattern or design embroidered into it to resemble lace.

filigree Lace-like decoration, which used fine gold or silver wire. Widely used in Europe from the late 17thC.

Fillet A small ledge supporting a shelf. 2. A small narrow band found on furniture.

finial See KNOP

firangi An Indian sword for use with both hands. The blade was usually imported from Europe, which explains the use of the word Firangi or ‘foreigner’.

fire Bright flashes of coloured light shown by gemstones. The fire is increased by faceting. A correctly faceted diamond has more fire than any other natural colourless gemstone.

Fireback Decorative cast iron panel at the back of a fireplace to protect the adjacent wall and to retain and radiate heat.

firedogs See ANDIRONS

fire gilding SEE GILDING

fire irons Tools for stoking and cleaning a domestic fire. The set includes tongs, poker, shovel, brush and sometimes a fork. 18th C fire irons were usually made of polished iron or steel and often larger than 19th C sets, which were mostly made in brass.


fire polishingMethod used to give pressed glass greater brilliance. Moulded objects at the mouth of the furnace are heated to remove the dullness caused by the trace elements in the ironmould.

firescreen See POLE SCREEN

firing The baking of ceramics in a kiln. An initial or BISCUIT firing results in a chemical reaction in the clay paste, forming a hard, rock-like body. Further firings are used to fuse the GLAZE or ENAMEL colours onto the body.

firing glass See DRAM GLASS.

Fisher, Alexander (1864-1936)

British sculptor, painter and silversmith who specialised in enamelling and known for his use of CELTIC motifs. He created a technique that gave an illusion of depth in translucent enamel.

fish pattern See HERATI PATTERN.

Fitzhugh pattern CHINESE EXPORT PORCELAIN with a trellis border in underglaze blue or overglaze iron red, and inner flower clusters, thought to named after a family who commissioned the design. Many English factories reproduced it.

Fitzroy barometer A mass-produced stick barometer which was made from c.1870. Similar to earlier marine barometers, designed by Admiral Fitzroy, it included paper weather-forecasting charts based on ‘Fitzroy rules’.

flagons Large flat-bottomed vessels for serving wine or beer. They were made throughout Europe, usually in pairs. They were rare before the 17thC and had slightly tapering sides and a handle and thumbpiece, sometimes with a hinged lid. Initially made to hold communion wine, towards the end of the 17thC their use increased in taverns and households.

Flambé’A French word to describe a ‘flamed’ rich crimson red glaze with flashes of brilliant blue. The technique, which was created by FIRING a copper glaze in a an atmosphere that removes oxygen, was used on Chinese porcelain of the late 17th and 18th centuries. It was rediscovered and widely used in the late 19thC.

flame stitch See BARGELLO.

flange neck A Doll’s neck with a ridged base used to secure a bisque, china, or composition head to a cloth body.

flashed glass A glass object that is dipped into molten glass to produce a fine outer layer. The flashing is sometimes cut or ground away to expose the bottom layer.

flask A stoppered container made to hold liquids, often alcohol. Usually made from glass, ceramic or silver. Table flasks have a bulbous body and a short neck, while smaller flasks for carrying tend to be a flattened ovoid.

flatbacks Ceramic figures intended as decorations for cottage mantelpieces. Produced mainly in the 19thC by STAFFORDSHIRE POTTERIES. Made for viewing from the front only: the backs were flat and undecorated. Reproduced in moulds and decorated in underglaze blue with bright enamel colours used as embellishment over the glaze.

flatware A silverware term which refers to articles of tableware made from a flat sheet without a cutting edge, such as spoons, forks, sifters and slicers. Also refers to other objects of a flattened form, including: plates, saucers, shallow dishes and salvers.

flatweave Term used for any form of tapestry-like carpet or rug without a pile. Includes the KILIM and SUMAKH.

Flaxman, John (1755-1826)

NEOCLASSICAL sculptor and artist who designed and modelled for WEDGWOOD, creating friezes and portrait medallions. In the late 18thC he worked mainly as a marble sculptor.

flecked glassware A form of glass decorated with random coloured specks. First developed by the Romans in 1st AD, the technique involves rolling a GATHER of molten glass over the broken chips of glass on a MARVER, and then blowing it. Flecked ware is also called NAILSEA glass, but it was also made at other factories.

Flight & Barr See WORCESTER.

flint glass See LEAD CRYSTAL

flintlock An firearm ignition mechanism used from early 17thC until the early 19thC.

flock A wallcovering made from paper or cloth. A stencilled design is picked out in glued-on-powdered wool to give a contrasting velvety texture. First used in the 17thC in both France and Britain.

Florentine mosaic See PIETRA DURA.

Florentine stitch See BARGELLO

florin First issued in Britain in 1849, a silver florin had a face value of 2s. The original gold florin existed in Florence in the 13thC.

flow blue Refers to the blurred cobalt-blue transfer prints on Staffordshire earthenware.

flower-brick Brick-shaped container with holes pierced in the top for cut flower stems. DELFTWARE versions were popular in the 18thC.

flower table Table or stand intended for holding plants or cut flowers. Sometimes made with an inset, wire-covered tray filled with wet sand.

flute Tall, stemmed drinking glass for wine with a slender bowl which flares out or narrows at the rim.

fluting Semicircular parallel grooves which run up a column.

Flux A substance added to a glass or ceramic body that lowers the temperature at which the fusion or melting of base materials takes place during firing or smelting. Potash, bone-ash, borax, lime and soda are common flux materials.

fly braid A decoration of knots and bunches of floss silk – popular on 18thC dresses and christening gowns.

fly leaf and bracket Parts of a drop-leaf extending table: the fly or drop leaf of which is supported by a hinged fly bracket or rail.

fob chain 18thC term describing the chain used to secure a small pocket watch. The term originated from the fob pocket (in the waistband of men’s breeches), and the word fob came to refer to any small ornament attached to a fob chain, such as a fob seal. In the late 19thC, ladies’ ornamental watches suspended from a brooch on a short chain or strap were known as fob watches. The watch face was sometimes displayed upside-down so it could be read easily by the wearer.

Foley China Works Staffordshire pottery founded 1860 and initially operated by Wileman & Co. The pottery was known for its simple, bold designs and brightly coloured decoration. The firm was renamed Shelley Potteries in 1925 and from the 1930s became a leading producer of art deco china, and children’s crockery. Tea sets and dinner services are notable for their distinctive shapes, and floral, geometric and banded patterns – many by leading British artists such as Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Laura knight and Graham Sutherland. The inverted cone-shaped cups and sharp triangular handles of the ‘Mode’ range and the square plates of ‘Vogue’ are typical.

foliated A cabinet-making term referring to leaf-shaped ornament.

folio stand See portfolio table.

Follot, Paul (1877-1941) French interior decorator and early art deco designer of furniture, textiles, carpets and metalwork. His furniture is finely made with expensive materials such as ivory and shagreen. Early examples showed an art nouveau influence in their curving lines, and c. 1929 came a more geometric, Art Deco style.

Fontaine & Percier French architect-designer team who were mainly responsible for establishing the empire style of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Pierre-François-Leonard Fontaine (1762-1853) and Charles Percier (1764-1838) were employed by the Emperor Napoleon to provide an interior-design style that reflected his life and empire. They designed furniture, silverware, textiles and were the first to coin the term ‘interior decoration’.

foot-rim Slightly projecting rim on the base of an object, also called a foot-ring or basal rim.

foot-warmer Portable container of hot coals or water, used throughout northern Europe to keep feet warm. Most foot-warmers consist of an inner container made of stoneware or metal with a perforated outer case of wood, wrought iron, copper or brass, and were sometimes wrapped in carpet.

forgery A deliberate attempt at deception. See also fake.

forks See cutlery.

form watch Watch made in the form of another object. Early examples of the 17thC were intended as a memento mori (reminder of death), often in the form of a cross or a skull. 19thC revivals included stringed instruments, shells and flower heads.

Fouquet, Alphonse (1828-1911) French jewellery designer who specialised in enamelling and was inspired by renaissance designs. Many of his designs are carved onto precious stones. His son Georges (1862-1957) joined the firm in 1881 and took it over in 1895, designing pieces in art nouveau style.

foxing Brownish-yellow spots or stains, or other discoloration on paper, a form of fungal growth caused by damp.

Franck, Kaj (1911-89) Finnish designer who did much to bring modern Scandinavian design to international status during the 1950s and 60s. He was an independent designer of lighting, furniture and textiles, noted for his disciplined functionalism, and was artistic director of Finland’s leading ceramics factory Arabia, 1946-78.

Frankenthal German porcelain factory founded 1755 which produced a type of hard-paste porcelain with a glaze able to absorb enamel colours. Frankenthal produced tablewares in the style of meissen and sevres. Figures and statuettes in various styles including commedia dell’arte and chinoiserie were a speciality. The factory closed in 1799.

free pendulum clock See electric

free-blowing Glass-making process in which the glass is shaped in its molten state by blowing air through a blowing iron without the use of a mould.

freedom box See seal.

French jet see jet.

French polish Form of lacquer used on furniture consisting of shellac dissolved in a solvent giving a harder, shinier finish than beeswax. It was introduced late 18thC and became popular in the early 19thC.

fretwork 1 Geometric, trellis-like pattern of intersecting vertical and horizontal lines repeated to form a continuous band. 2 The technique of cutting thin pieces of wood with a fine-bladed saw (fret saw) to form shapes or patterns. The fretwork pattern might be left open, as on table galleries, or blind, in which the fretwork is carved upon or applied to a solid surface and cannot be seen through. It is sometimes seen backed by fabric such as pleated silk, as on a decorative panel on a door or a cupboard. See cut-card work.

frieze 1 An ornamented, horizontal band of painted or sculptured decoration. 2 The horizontal band beneath the cornice of a bookcase or cabinet. A convex horizontal band beneath a cornice is known as a cushion frieze. A frieze rail is the horizontal length of wood beneath the top of a table or desk stand, and is also known as a curtain piece. 3 See column.

friggers Unique novelty glassware items such as bells, pipes or toys made by glass-makers, not for use, but to demonstrate their skills.

frit 1 Powdered glass which is melted, allowed to solidify and then re-ground and used as a fusible substance in the manufacture of soft-paste porcelain. 2 The ingredients that are mixed and fired to make glass.

frizzen See flintlock.

Fromanteel family Large Flemish family of clock-makers working in London in the 17th and early 18th centuries. In 1658-9 John Fromanteel visited Holland to learn the art of pendulum clock-making. The family proceeded to make the first pendulum clocks for the London market c. 1659.

frosted glass See ice glass.

frosted silver Decorative effect on silverware produced by acid treatment. All commercial silver contains a proportion of copper. If the article is heated and dipped into a suitable acid, the copper component is eaten away, leaving a textured surface. This process was used to decorate silver articles in the 19thC, especially as a background for highly polished decoration on silver or silver gilt.

frozen Charlotte A doll cast or modelled as a single complete piece. Frozen Charlottes were usually made of glazed porcelain and were also known as solid chinas. They were produced from the mid- 19thC to c. 1910. Some have a flesh-coloured china face and neck and a white china body. celluloid versions appeared from the early 20thC.

fubako Long, rectangular Japanese lacquer box designed for carrying letters or messages.

fuchi See kodogu.

fuddling cup A vessel often with three or more small cups and interlinked handles. It was offered in jest as a challenge to drink from one cup without spilling the contents of the others. Fuddling cups were made in tin-glazed earthenware, specially in the West Country, in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Fulham Carpet Manufactory The London site where the first large, Turkish-knotted woollen carpets were made in Britain. It was founded in 1750 by a Frenchman, Pierre Parisot, with the expertise of two savonnerie weavers. The high prices charged for the carpets forced the factory’s closure in 1755, but the techniques were adopted by Thomas Whitty, founder of the axminster Carpet Manufactory.

Fulham pottery See de morgan, William.

fuller Groove in a blade of a sword or dagger designed to strengthen and lighten the blade. See sword.

fumed oak The result of exposing new pieces of oak to ammonia solution to give them an appearance of age. The wood turns grey before fading to yellow-brown. The technique was popular in the 1930s and 40s and was used by the British designer Sir Ambrose heal.

Functionalism Austere, early 20thC design movement based on the premise that ‘form follows function’. The movement’s ideas were best expressed in the book Ornament and Crime (1908), by architect Adolf Loos (1870-1933). Functionalism’s impact on industrial design was particularly effected through the bauhaus school.

Fürstenburg Small Bavarian porcelain factory founded 1747 which produced hard-paste porcelain from 1753. Early wares include Rococo-style vases and tableware in rich colours and gold, painted with landscapes, birds or figures. From 1770 the factory was influenced by berlin and sÈvres and produced busts, statues and painted wall plaques with ornamental Rococo frames. From c.1790 Fürstenburg followed » the neoclassical style and later the empire style products of Sèvres.

fused plate See sheffield plate.

fusee Coned-shaped device in clocks to even out the decreasing force of a going spring on unwinding. The device was invented c. 1500, used to the late 17thC in continental clocks and to c. 1750 in continental watches. In Britain its use in clocks and watches continued until c. 1880-1900. See also barrel and train.

fusil A lightweight musket with a flintlock mechanism used in the 17th and 18th centuries.

fustian The name for various textiles woven in a similar way to velvet with a short piled surface. They include a coarse material of cotton and flax used for bed-hangings and clothes in medieval Europe, a wool fabric made using the same weaving technique in the 14thC, and from the 16th to 19th centuries, coarse twilled cotton cloth, velveteen and corduroy.