Glossary beginning with P

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.

p
Paktong

A tough alloy of copper, zinc and nickel from China, used to make hinges for furniture and candlesticks. It is a Cantonese word meaning ‘white copper’.

Parian

Unglazed, marble-like English porcelain used mainly for figures in the mid and late 19th century.

Parquetry

A pattern on the surface of furniture or works of art made using a similar technique as employed to create marquetry, but with the veneers laid in strictly geometric patterns using the contrasting grains and colours of wood.

Pâte-de-verre

A tough alloy of copper, zinc and nickel from China, used to make hinges for furniture and candlesticks. It is a Cantonese word meaning ‘white copper’.

Pâte-sur-pâte

Literally ‘paste on paste’ and applied to porcelain in fine layers to create an effect in relief similar to cameo.

Pearlware

Earthenware with a slightly blueish tinge in the glaze, created by adding minute amounts of cobalt oxide to it.

Pembroke table

A light table with small, falling flaps supported by brackets.

Pier table

Designed to go against the wall between two windows.

Pinchbeck

A gold substitute used especially for watches.

Pontil

A solid metal rod used to remove blown glass from the blow pipe. Leaves a pontil mark on the glass which is ground away on modern glass.

Porcelain

White translucent material formed from china clay and china stone, fired at a high temperature.

Prunt

A blob of glass applied to a glass object as a form of decoration.

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