The Makers Series: Black Forest Carvings

Contrary to popular misconception, the genre of wood carvings known collectively as Black Forest carvings do not emanate from the Black Forest region of Southwest Germany at all. 

They are in fact the work of the master craftsmen of the Swiss region of Brienz, on the northern shore of Lake Brienz, situated in the South East corner of the Canton of Bern.

The confusion probably stems from the fact that the rich darker woods favoured by the carvers of Brienz bear a striking similarity to the dark pines from which the Black Forest region gets its name.

Terms of the Trade: Okimono

The term Okimono is a Japanese word used to describe an ornament for display or decorative object. It derives from the words ‘oku’ meaning to set, place or assign, and ‘mono’ which means an object or article.

To modern collectors the term Okimono refers to the wonderfully intricate and often highly decorative carvings, sculptures and works of art which began production in Japan from the early years of the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

Terms of the Trade: Stipple engraving

Stipple engraving is a style of print making that was first used by artists in the 15th century, in the production of fine works that we now term Old Master Prints.

The technique most commonly involves the artist scoring their design into a copper print plate by means of a pattern of dots which, when applied to the final print, can convey the effect of shade, tone, or definition.

The Makers Series: Edward Lear

Although perhaps best known for his poetry and limericks, such as ‘The Owl and the Pussycat”, the author Edward Lear was also a very accomplished artist and illustrator. A prodigious sketcher throughout his frequent travels, Lear’s landscapes of Italy, Egypt and India are now as cherished as his literary legacy.

Terms of the Trade: Whatnot

Perhaps the most colloquial and winsome term in the antique lexicon, a whatnot is the name given to a floor-standing piece of open display furniture, comprised of slender uprights which support a series of shelves, based on the French design known as an ‘etagere’.

The term is a derivation of the old English word ‘whatnot’, which dates back to the mid-16th century and, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, can be used to mean ‘anything’, ‘everything’, or ‘all sorts of things.’

The Makers Series: Herbert Dicksee

One of the most popular artists of the Edwardian era, Herbert Dicksee delighted a generation of animal lovers with his whimsical drawings of dogs and powerful ‘big cat’ paintings, which remain much in demand with contemporary collectors.

Herbert Thomas Dicksee was born in 1862 into a family already well known for their contribution to the London art scene. His father, John Robert Dicksee (1817-1905), was a portrait painter, genre artist and occasional lithographer who exhibited annually at the Royal Academy from 1850-1900.

Terms of the Trade: Escutcheon

In the antiques trade, the term escutcheon has two different meanings depending on which specialism you apply it to.


The etymology of the word escutcheon derives from the Norman French word ‘escuchon’, which in turn is a derivation from the Latin word ‘scutum’, meaning shield. Consequently, the first usage of the term is in its traditional heraldic sense, in which an escutcheon is the term used to signify the shield which forms the basis of a coat of arms. 

BADA Friends Northern Ambassador

BADA Friends Appoints New Northern Regional Ambassador

The Friends of the BADA (British Antique Dealers’ Association) Trust are delighted to announce that Nicholas Merchant is to become its new Northern Regional Ambassador. Living in Harrogate and running his own company Aspect Events, Nicholas is well-known for his work with the Arts Society for whom he is an accredited lecturer.