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A hallmark is a symbol or device struck at an assay office on gold or silver, indicating that the article conforms to legal standards of manufacture established by the monarch, local guilds, government etc. Literally, mark applied at Goldsmith’s Hall (London assay office since 1300) but extended to cover e.g. all five stamps found on Victorian silver until 1890: assay office mark specific to each assay office;
- date letter, letter of alphabet denoting year when the article was assayed;
- maker’s mark, usually initials of one or more partners of the firm, occasionally with an additional symbol;
- assay mark, indicating metal is up to the required standard;
- duty mark (tax levied on all English silver, 1784-1890 – sovereign’s head stamped on the article to show tax paid).
- For gold, carat content is also marked on the article.
The Randon House: Collector’s Encyclopedia Victoriana to Art Déco. (1974).
More Design Terms
‘Moderne’ Style of Art Deco Popular in the 20s & 30s
Moderne was a decorative style that was mostly about how things looked on the outside. Moderne architecture was most noticeable in public buildings like skyscrapers and movie theatres. Postmodernism later brought back a lot of the styles that were part of the moderne movement.
Slipware Pottery – what is it?
Slipware is pottery known by its primary decorating method in which slip is added before firing by dipping, painting or splashing on the leather-hard clay body surface. Slip is an aqueous clay body suspension that is a combination of clays and other minerals, such as quartz, feldspar, and mica.
Achilles Shield – Dictionary of Silverware
A silver-gilt convex shield with a sizable central medallion depicting the shield of encrusted iron made by the god Hephaestus for Achilles at Troy, as it is described by Homer in Book 18 of the Iliad. The medallion, which depicts in high relief a figure of the Sun (Apollo) standing in a quadriga (a chariot drawn by four horses), is within a broad border decorated with a continuous frieze.
Academic Style – Dictionary of Silverware
A style of decoration, developed in the United States, based on the copying of earlier English and French styles. The style was in the tradition of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, the designs being precise and academic. It was introduced to flatware in the 1880s, initiated at the Gorham Company and occurs in hollow ware from the late 1880s, its use continued into the 1920s.
Ablution basin – 📖 Dictionary of Silverware
Ablution basin. A type of basin for holding water intended: (1) in ecclesiastical usage, for rinsing the hands or some object of church plate, such as a chalice; or (2) in secular usage, for rinsing the fingers at the dinner table (sometimes called a rose-water basin). Its founder donated two ecclesiastical ablution basins in 1515-16 to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Bishop Richard Fox. See alms dish.
Anatomy of a Hallmark 🤔
A hallmark is a symbol or device struck at an assay office on gold or silver, indicating that article conforms to legal standards of manufacture established by the monarch, local guilds, government etc. Literally, mark applied at Goldsmith’s Hall (London assay office since 1300) but extended to cover e.g. all five stamps found on Victorian silver until 1890: assay office mark specific to each assay office;
Pedestal Table inspired by 🏛️ classical architecture
A pedestable table is originally the base support of a column, in classical architecture. A pedestal in furniture may have one of four definitions:
Lithography (Design Term)
A method of printing from a design drawn directly on a slab of stone or other suitable material. The design is not raised in relief as in woodcut or incised as in line engraving, but drawn on a smooth printing surface. Initially, this surface was provided with a slab of unique limestone, but metal (usually zinc or aluminium) or more recently plastic sheets were prefered because they are less bulky.
The Symbolism of flowers
For millennia, and among almost every culture, flowers and trees have been adopted as symbols, type and emblems of human groups and affiliations. The “War of the Roses” the red and white roses which were the badges of Lancastrian and York rivals to the English throne.
Basse-taille – Design Term
Basse-taille is a method for enamelling the graves or graves low-reliefs on a metal surface,
Functionalism a design and architectural principle
With his motto ‘form follows function,’ American architect Louis Sullivan is considered the founder of 20th-century Functionalism. Functionalism became a label for an extremely wide variety of avant-garde architecture and design in the first half of the 20th century, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s classical Rationalism, Erich Mendelsohn’s Expressionism, Giuseppe Terragni’s unadorned, heroic structures, Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic architecture, and Le Corbusier’s Cubist solids.
Rya – Finnish Weaving Process
Eva Brummer set up a studio in Helsinki in 1929 to revive the technique, which involves cutting the pile unevenly in order to create a thick relief effect. As rugs, the weavings became popular in the 1950s and were closely identified with the exuberant Scandinavian Modern style.
Ceramics a gift from the ancients
Fibreglass exciting early design medium
What is the Pantone Colour Matching System?
The Pantone Colour Matching System is a system for identifying, matching and communicating colours across product design, graphic design and marketing. It utilises a unique numbering system for identifying its colours.
Gestalt – design from chaos to order
As a visual designer, I am fascinated how people process visual perceptual information. The design
Standardization of Design – Design Ideas
Standardization is a critical feature of designs designed for industrial mass production. It allows components
Netsuke – Small Mythological carvings from Japan
Netsuke: A little Japanese sculptured item of ivory, wood, or porcelain that ranges in height and width from one-half to three inches. Mythological images, flowers, animals, gods, and goddesses are among the carvings. Netsuke pieces were initially employed as toggles in the fourteenth century. A cord was slipped under and over the obi and through a hole in the Netsuke.
What is a Monogram?
A monogram is a single symbol made up of one or more letters. Every aspect of an individual’s taste and fancy can be accommodated with a monogram. Monograms differ significantly, and there are of a great variety of design. There are so many different types and combinations of the same letters that no two persons with the same initials need to have the same monogram.
Exploring fractals and design
Fractals are intricate geometric structures created when patterns (or pieces of patterns) are altered and duplicated at ever-diminishing scales. Besides having a tremendously important effect across a range of sciences, Fractals make a stunning picture on your tablet. Even simple shapes can quickly grow complicated when they are altered again and again. A close look can reveal endless variations of the same design theme.
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