Glossary beginning with M

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.

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Maiolica

Tin-glazed Italian earthenware produced from the 13th century.

Majolica

19th century earthenware covered in brightly coloured lead glazes, produced in England and the USA.

Marquetry

An ornamental pattern on the surface of furniture or works of art, created by laying together shaped pieces of coloured veneers and/or slivers of ivory, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl or metals.

Matting

The process of creating a matt, silver surface. Using small, plain or round headed hammers, a pattern of dense indentation or dots is produced.

Meissen

Founded in 1710, this is Europe's first porcelain factory.

Metal

The substance of glass, used to describe it in both the molten and cold states.

Milk glass

Glass whitened with tin oxide to make it opaque.

Mortoise and tenon joint

Formed by cutting a hole or mortoise in one piece of wood, into which is fitted a projecting section, the tenon, from another. The joint is then glued, or held together by a wooden peg or dowel.