Terms of the Trade: Mote Spoon

BADA member David Buck of Steppes Hill Farm Antiques explores the history of the Mote Spoon.

The tiniest mote of dust, or a tiny piece of a substance; a speck, is how the Oxford English Dictionary describes the Old English word 'mote'. Despite its high price and desirability, tea would still have been imported and sold in a relatively crude state in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, containing plenty of dust and large tea leaves or motes. 

Terms of the Trade: Cricket Table

A corner stone of English vernacular country furnishings since the early 16th century, the cricket table is one Britain’s most popular and practical pieces of furniture.

Constructed in durable native English hardwoods, such as oak, elm, ash or sycamore, cricket tables are incredibly versatile and virtually indestructible. The classic table traditionally takes the form of a rounded top, standing on three splayed tripod legs, united by an under-tier shelf or stretcher.

The Makers Series: Heriz Carpets

Heriz carpets and rugs are a style of Persian carpet emanating from the town of Heris and its surrounding villages. With a population of just over 10,000, Heris is situated in the province of East Azerbaijan, in the far northwest of modern Iran. 

It is thought that the tradition of carpet weaving in the region combines the skills of the nomadic Azerbaijani Shahsevan people who settled in the area, with the designs of enterprising merchants from nearby Tabriz, seeking to increase production to meet the demands of Western fashion.

The Makers Series: Kraak Porcelain

Kraak porcelain or Kraak ware is a style of Chinese porcelain produced exclusively for export. It was one of the first Chinese porcelain wares to arrive in Europe in significant volumes with the Dutch East India Company capable of transporting 100,000 to 250,000 pieces on a single ship!

Manufactured at the famed Jingdezhen kilns in Southern China, Kraak porcelain was made throughout the late Ming Dynasty, from the reign of the Wanli Emperor 1572-1620 up to that of the Chongzhen Emperor 1627-1644.

Terms of the Trade: Pembroke Table

One of the most useful and versatile items of Georgian furniture, the Pembroke table is thought to have been named after its likely inventor, Henry Herbert, 9th Earl of Pembroke (1693–1751).

An immensely influential figure in the early Hanoverian period, Pembroke was a close confidante of George II, serving as Gentleman and later First Lord of the Bedchamber from 1714-1735.

The Makers Series: Aubusson Tapestry

The picturesque town of Aubusson in central France is roughly equidistant between the historic cities of Clermont-Ferrand to the East and Limoges to the West, and is synonymous with the production of fine tapestry, rugs and carpets.

Local folk tales suggest the weaving trade was founded in the 8th century by Saracen soldiers following their defeat at the Battle of Tours. However, it is more likely that the skills arrived with Flemish settlers from the Dutch speaking regions of Northern Belgium.

Terms of the Trade: Ormolu

Popularised by cabinet makers of the 18th and 19th centuries, ormolu is the gilding technique of applying a high-carat gold finish to bronze items.

The term derives from the French word ‘moulu’, meaning ‘ground’, which refers to the finely ground gold that is alloyed with mercury in the gilding process.

When heated to high temperature in a kiln, the mercury is driven off, leaving a fine gold coating. This is known in France as ‘bronze doré’, or by its more familiar English name gilt-bronze.

Welsh Oak Furniture: A Short History of Bull’s Eye Decoration

Welsh Oak Furniture

A Short History of Bull’s Eye Decoration.

By Louise Phillips of Elaine Phillips Antiques

In February I was asked to speak at the Federation of Italian Art and Antique Dealers Annual Conference in Modena. This was not only in my role as Chairman of the BADA but also as a British Antique Dealers’ Association member based in the UK. 

The Makers Series: Montague Dawson

Despite receiving no formal training, Montague Dawson is widely recognised as one of the foremost marine artists of the 20th century. His powerful depictions of frigates and clippers at full sail continue to be collected and cherished the world over.

Dawson was born in Chiswick, London in 1890, the son of Henry Thomas Dawson, an engineer and keen yachtsman, and grandson of Henry Dawson (1811-1878), a maritime painter in whose footsteps he would follow.