Glossary beginning with D

Peppered with unusual terms and descriptive phrases, the language of the antiques world is colourful to say the least. With our handy glossary, you'll soon be able to distinguish your maiolica from majolica and your chinoiserie from cloisonne.


Setting contrasting metals into a metal body. Used mainly on swords and caskets.


A small writing desk with sloping top and drawers set sideways into the case beneath.


English tin-glazed earthenware that was produced between the early 17th century and c1800.

Drop leaf table

Table with narrow central surface, extended by raising drop leaves supported on hinged arms or brackets.

Dumb waiter

A central stand supporting two or three revolving trays designed for use in the dining room.

Dump Weight 'Dumpies'

These heavy, glass objects usually take a domed form and commonly contain flowers or air bubbles. Their weight, sometimes up to 5kg, made them effective paperweights and doorstops.

Duty dodging

A widespread practice ­ in Britain between 1784 and 1890 ­ of transposing silver marks from a small vessel to a large one to avoid duty.

Dwight, John

As the first Britain to attempt to produce porcelain, John Dwight became famous for his stoneware.

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