Dictionary of Antiques and the Decorative Arts
1 volume: Classified list of subjects and terms, Illustrations, Photographs, Bibliography
This older dictionary (1957) is very useful for its illustrations and descriptions of many of the terms used to describe the decorative arts (i.e. ceramics, glassware, jewelry, silver, textiles and furniture) as well as antiques. There are illustrations of objects and styles on the margins of every page along with short descriptions of things such as Gothic and Romanesque styles, artisans like Benvenuto Cellini, Duncan Phyfe and Paul Revere, objects including the nonesuch chest, hooked rugs, broadswords and commodes, and styles of decoration like the claw and ball foot (cabinetwork) petit point (needlework) and combed ware (ceramics). There are also entries for well-known factories like Sèvres (ceramics), Clichy (glass) and Aubusson (tapestry).
In addition to the illustrations on each page, there are also full-page illustrations and photographs of furniture, carpets, firearms, tapestries, spoons, etc. The full page illustrations and photographs are listed in the contents section for easy reference.
The “classified list of subjects and terms” at the end of the book contains a listing of all of the terms found under a given subject. This makes it simple to find all of the terms on a particular area of interest. Thus if you are looking up information on carpets under the heading carpets and rugs you will find a listing of all of the terms found in the dictionary that deal with carpets arranged by carpet-making region.
The coverage includes not only American and European decorative arts, but also Asia and the Islamic world. An unusual inclusion is the full description and illustration of Japanese sword mounts, the often elaborately decorated fittings found on the hilt or scabbard of a Japanese katana or wakizashi.