What are some different types of pottery decoration?

When you are out and about at a flea market, antique store or even local auctions, you will run across a wide variety of pottery with different decorations.  Here is a few of the decoration types that you will run across:

Tin-glazing—this is the process of giving ceramic items a tin-based glaze that is white, glossy and opaque, and it is normally applied to either red or buff pottery.  The whiteness of the tin glaze itself encourages its frequent decoration with color.  Majolica, delftware and even faience are some of the names used for some of the common types of this type of pottery.

Blue and white pottery—this covers a wide range of white pottery that is decorated under the glaze with a blue color. The decoration can be applied by hand, but it’s now usually applied with a stencil or by transfer-printing.

Lusterware—this is a type of pottery with a metallic style glaze that gives the effect of iridescence.  It’s produced by using metallic oxides in an over glaze finish and then fired in second firing at a lower temperature.

Salt-glaze—this is a pottery (usually stoneware) that has a glaze of a glossy, translucent finish with a slightly orange peel-like texture.  This finish is formed by throwing common salt into the kiln during the higher temperature part of the firing process.

This is only a few of the types of decoration that you will find on pottery.  What other types have you run across?

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All the different colors of glassware can make your head spin!

Whenever you are shopping for vintage glassware, hearing all of the different colors of vintage glassware can make your head spin.  Here’s some of the colors that you can run across:

Ice blue—this is a very pale color of blue, and it can have a pastel iridescence if it is on a piece of carnival glass.

Vaseline glass—this is a glass color that has had uranium salts added to the molten glass mix.  When you look at this type of glass under normal lighting, the glass will appear to be yellow or even a yellow green.  When this glass is hit with an ultraviolet light (a blacklight), the glass will fluoresce in a very bright green (it looks like it could be glowing).

Reverse amberina—this is a type of glassware that is the opposite of amberina.  The central part of the glassware is red and it blends out to yellow at the edges (amberina is yellow at the center and it turns red at the edge).

Amber—this type of glass can vary from almost a yellow to a brown.  The best way to visualize the color of amber that is used when jewelry is made.

Horehound—this type of glassware is an amber color with a gray hue to it.  Some collectors call this color of glassware “Root beer”.

This is a small sample of what you can find on glassware.  What other colors have you run across?

Vintage furniture pieces that you may not run across everyday

When you are out and about shopping for vintage items, you will run across some vintage furniture that you may not know what it is.  Here’s a couple of pieces that you might run across:

Tallboy—this is a piece of furniture that incorporates a chest of drawers with a wardrobe on top.  The tallboy was considered to be the wardrobe of the 1700’s.

Highboy—this is a piece of furniture that consists of a double chest of drawers (it’s also known as a chest-on-chest).  This piece of furniture has a lower section that is usually wider than the upper section.

Pie safe—this is also referred to as a pie cabinet, pie safe cupboard, or even a pie chest.  It is a piece of furniture that is typically used to store pies.  The cabinet will have sections that consist of either pierced metal or screen to help the pies cool.  In the past, some people also stored meat, perishables, and other items inside of their pie safes.

Hoosier cabinet—this is also known simply as a “Hoosier”.  It is a type of cupboard (or even a free–standing kitchen cabinet) that also serves as a workstation.  It was popular in the first few decades of the 1900’s.  This was because most of the houses did not have built–in kitchen cabinetry.

This is just a few of the vintage furniture pieces that you may not run across everyday.  What other pieces have you run across?

What are some of the different colors of glass that you will run across?

It will not take long for you to run across a wide variety of colors that you will find on glass.  There are so many in fact that the variety will make your head spin!  Here’s a couple of colors that you will find when out shopping for antiques:

Burmese glass—this is a type of colored art glass that shades from yellow to pink.  Burmese glass is found in either the rare original “shiny” finish or the more common “satin” finish.  Burmese is a uranium glass—the uranium is to help with the color of a piece, and it will glow bright green under a black light.

Carnival glass—carnival glass is a molded or pressed glass.  It always is found with a pattern and always has a shiny, metallic iridescent finish to the surface.

Black Amethyst–black amethyst glass appears to be a black color until it is held to a bright light source.  Once held to a light source, you will then be able to see a dark color.  The glass has been made in many factories from 1860 to the present.

Millefiori Glass—this is an Italian word meaning “a thousand flowers.” This commonly refers to glass items that are made from a lot of murrini slices.

This is only a small portion of the assorted colors of glass on the market.  What have you run across?

What are some of the glassware colors called that you will run across?

When I started selling glassware, I quickly found out that any glassware that had color to it sold better than its crystal counterpart.  Opalescent glass, forest green and amberina glass were colors that I have heard, but what exactly are they?  Here’s a description of some of the more common glass colors that you will hear:

Amberina glass—this is a type of art glass that has a color that goes from amber (or even a yellow color) to ruby on the same piece.  This shaded effect is due to the gold being added to the glass when it is being made.

Cameo glass—this is a type of glass that has layers of glass that have contrasting colors.  The outer layers are either acid-etched, carved, cut, or even engraved to produce a design.  Since the layers are different colors, this will help the design stand out from the background.

Opal glass—this is glass that resembles an opal.  Opal glass will be a translucent and white, and it will also have a grayish or bluish tinge to it.

Cranberry glass—this is a type of glass that is made by adding gold salts or colloidal gold to molten glass (tin is sometimes added as a reducing agent), and this makes the glass turn a pink color.

This is only a small example of some of the glassware colors that you will run across when you are out shopping.  What colors have you run across?

Look at all the different names that coins go by!

When I picked up my first copy of the Guide Book of United States Coins Book by Richard S. Yeoman (this is also called the “red book”), I noticed that there were tons of names and nicknames that coins go by.

It really made my head spin—I had to stop and figure out what was what.  I realized that coins often get nicknames that are more popular than their real name.  Here’s some of the nicknames that you will hear:

Half eagle—this is another name for a United States $5 gold coin.

Eagle—this is a nickname for gold $10 coins that were made up until 1932.  The reason for the nickname is that the coin featured an eagle design on the back.

Trime—this is a nickname for the US three cent coin.  The US mint made this coin in the 1800s.

Double dime—this is a nickname for the 20-cent coin made by the United States mint during the mid-late 1800’s.

Iron dollar—this is a nickname for the US silver dollar from the 1800’s.  The phrase was primarily used in the northeastern portion of the United States, and this phrase was used by people who disliked carrying silver dollars due to their heavy weight.

Mercury dime—this nickname was for the US 10 cent piece that was made between 1916 and 1945.  Even though it was called the Winged Liberty Head dime at the beginning, the name “mercury” dime quickly caught on with the public when it was compared to the Roman god Mercury.

This is just some of the nicknames that you will hear.  Which ones have you heard?

What are some of the different types of plates that you will run across?

One of the first auctions that I attended, I found out that there are different types of plates when it comes to a set of dishes.  Here are some of the more popular ones that you will run across:

Dinner Plates—they are flat and usually round (there are other shapes like square out there).  Dinner plates range in size from 9 ¾ inches to 11 inches in diameter.

Salad Plate—these are also known as a side plate.  They are flat and usually round and range in size from 7 ¾ inches to 8 ¾ inches in diameter.

Bread & Butter Plate—these are also known as a dessert plate or even a cake plate.  Like salad plate, this type of plate is flat and usually round.  They range in size from 6 inches to 7 ¾ inches in diameter.

Luncheon Plate—they are often confused with the dinner or salad plates.  Luncheon plates are flat and usually round, ranges from 9” to 9 3/4” in diameter.

This is only a sample of all the different types of plates that you will run across.  What other types of plates have you seen?

Here’s some different type of dealers that you will find

There are several types of dealers that you will find, and some of the different types could be great for you to do if you are just getting started with antiques and collectibles.

Weekend dealers—these are dealers who shop at yard sales, garage sales, auctions and even estate sales on Fridays and Saturdays and then sell at flea markets on Sundays.  You can also find them in an antique mall occasionally, and this type of dealer is also called a “weekender”.

Vest pocket dealer—this is someone who buys and sells in coins but does not have a coin shop or store.  They also do not set up at coin shows, and they are often a part time coin dealer.  This type of dealer may not do a large volume of business, and they carry their coins that they are going to sell in their pockets.  Many coin dealers got their starts as vest pocket dealers.

Greeddobo—(greed-dough-bough) this is a term that is used by southern coin dealers for someone who is so caught up in making profits that they do stupid things or bad ideas to make money.  This term can be applied to just about any type of dealer who does this.

Wholesaler—this is a dealer who sells goods in large quantities at low prices to be sold off by others.

This is just a few of the different types out there.  What kinds of dealers have you run across?

Some of the terminology you hear about cleaning coins

When I first started to collect coins, I found several articles talking about cleaning coins.  I found out that there was a special vocabulary when it comes to this area.  Here’s some of the words that you will run across quite a bit:

Slider—this is a term meaning the coin simulates a higher grade than it really is. Often, a slider has been cleaned, treated, or whizzed to give it the appearance of being uncirculated or even Mint State.  This type of coin is worth less than the coin that has not been cleaned.

Whizzed—this is a coin that has been buffed or polished to give it the appearance of the luster found on a mint coin.  More often than not, whizzing is done on a slightly lower-grade coin to try to sell the coin at a higher grade than it really is.  This is sometimes done by using a fine brush attachment on a high-speed drill.  Doing this may hurt the value of a coin rather than help it.  This is because it causes wear to the surface of the coin.  See buffing.

Brushed—this is a coin that has been brushed with a wire brush or some other material.  The surface will show fine lines, or hairline scratches from the cleaning.

Buffing—this is a polishing of a coin with an abrasive that leaves a finish that attempts to counterfeit mint luster.  See whizzed.

Artificial toning—this is when you change the color or surface tone of a coin by applying chemicals, heat, or treating a coin with something.  This is done to make the coin appear natural or unusual.  It’s also done to cover up signs that the coin has been cleaned.

This is just a small list of what you will run across when it deals with cleaned coins.  What have you heard?

Different names of furniture that you might run across

There are many different names of a certain furniture item (or a certain part of that piece of furniture) that you will run across.  There will be times that it will literally make your head spin on what the word could mean.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that furniture definitely has its own vocabulary.  This is especially true when you are dealing with items from overseas.  There are many places in Europe that have made furniture, so you will run across words that are from another language.

You never know what you may run across, and here are some of the words that you may scratch your head over:

Pietre Dure—this is decorative work that uses inlaid, semi-precious stones to depict scenes.  These scenes are geometric patterns, floral motifs, farm scenes, and many more.  More often than not, you will see this on a table top.

Lit de repos—this is a day-bed.

Gueridon—this is a small, round table. It was made to support a candlestick or even a candelabrum.  It could almost get away as being called a side table.

Gesso—this is made from a composition material, it’s often made with chalk and parchment.  It’s made in a size that is commonly applied to furniture, picture frames and even mirrors.  This is a base upon which gilding (or even silvering) was applied to.

Coquille—this is a seashell or scallop shape.  The shape will often be seen on the top of a table or chair leg.

This is just a small sample of the vocabulary words that you might hear.  What have you heard?