What are some of the parts and pieces of vintage furniture?

Slipper feet, veneer and leafs are a small selection of some of the parts of a piece of vintage furniture that you will run across when you are looking at furniture.  You never know what you might find when you are out at an auction, estate sale or even an antique mall.  Here are a couple of pieces that you may run across:

Top rail—this is the horizontal rail at the very top of a chair back.  There are as many designs of a top rail as there are designer.

This photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Manchette—this is an upholstered arm that is found on a wooden-frame chair.  This portion of the arm will be upholstered with the same material that the seat has.

This photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Stretcher—this is a horizontal support piece that is found on a table, chair or other item of furniture.  This piece ties vertical elements of the piece together.  A stretcher can be seen in the bottom of the photo:

This photo is courtesy of Wikipedia.com

This is only a small portion of what you will run across.  What have you seen?

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Vintage furniture pieces that can still be found being made today

There are designs of vintage furniture pieces that are still being made today.  I know this might sound weird, but it could be that the item is an extremely popular form or that it has found a new use.  Here are some of the designs that you might find:

Tuffet—this is a piece of furniture that’s used as a footstool or even as a low seat. It can be distinguished from a stool in that it is completely covered in cloth so that no legs are visible.  It is essentially a large hard cushion that could have been made with an internal wooden frame for rigidity.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Cheval mirror—this is a large full-length mirror that is usually standing on the floor on its own.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Writing desk—this acts as a kind of compact office. Traditionally, a writing desk is for writing letters by hand. It usually has a top that folds to hide current work (it also makes the room containing it look tidy).  The closing top may contain several joints so that it can roll closed or even fold closed.  They often have small drawers that are called “pigeon holes”.  Modern writing desks are designed for laptop computers (they are typically too small for most desktop computers or a printer).

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

This is only a few of the pieces that you will run across.  What other kinds have you run across?

Enamelware parts and pieces for the beginning collector

When you are beginning to collect items, you will figure out pretty fast that each area has its own terminology for parts of the item and even what each item is called.  Here’s some of the parts and pieces of enamelware that you will run across:

Pie pan—this is a shallow dish that is made of either metal or glass.  The pan has sloping sides in which the pies are baked.

Double Boiler—this is a saucepan that has a detachable upper compartment.  The compartment is heated up by boiling water in the lower compartment.

Riveted handle—this is a handle that is held in place with Rivets (small pieces of metal that are crushed into position).  The resulting rivet holds the metal together, and you will also see rivets on other parts of enamelware (like the main body of a coffee boiler or even a tea pot).

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Bail handle—this is a handle that is typically made of metal.  It also consists of an open loop that moves freely within two fixed mounts, points or even ears.  This type of handle is also simply known as a “bail”.

This is only a small portion of what you will see.  What parts and pieces of enamelware have you seen or heard of?

What exactly is opalescent glass?

It doesn’t matter exactly where you are shopping for antiques and collectibles, you will run across a type of glassware called Opalescent glass. What is it exactly?

Opalescent glass is a general term for either a clear or colored glass that has a milky white,opaque or even a translucent effect to a portion of a glass piece.  It could be limited to just the rim of the piece, but you will also see it on the body of the item.

Lalique, Sabino, Jobling (this is from England) and even Fenton are all well known for their opalescent glass production.  This type of glass has also been produced in various other countries like Italy and Czechoslovakia.

One way of creating this glassware is the slow cooling of the thicker areas of the glass.  This results in what’s called crystallization, which is the formation of the milky white layer.  Another method is used in hand blown glass.  When hand blowing the glass, you use two layers of glass—the outer layer will contain chemicals that react to heat to cause the opalescence.

Another way to create Opalescent glass is to reheat certain areas of a piece and apply chemicals to the glass.  When you reheat the piece, the chemicals you use will create the opalescence (the chemicals are heat sensitive).

Over the years, there have been quite a few different colors that have been made that sport this type of effect.  Here are some of the colors that you will run across:

Amber Opalescent


French Opalescent

Pink Opalescent

Blue Opalescent

This is just a few of the colors that have been made.  What colors have you run across?

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

Marbles are a fun area to collect with a wide variety of them to find.  There are so many different names out there, it can make your head spin.  Here’s a few of the names that you will run across:

Bennington—this type of marble got their name from Bennington pottery in Vermont.  They made some spotted pottery that looks like this type of marble.  Bennington marbles have a blue or even brown glaze, and the marbles aren’t completely round.  This is because Benningtons have a circular unglazed spot on them that is a result from it touching another marble while still wet with glaze.

Steelies—this is actually a ball bearing that is being used as a marble.

Peewees—these are very small marbles that measure less than a 1/2 inch wide.

Onion Skins—these are End of the day marbles in which colored flecks of glass are stretched while these are being made.  This is so the core has may swirls that resembles an onion.

This is just a handful of the names that you will run across when you are dealing with marbles.  What names have you run across?

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?

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?