My Own Dictionary Of Terms

Dictionary Of Terms

While most terms are quite obvious when referring to antique and vintage items, some are just different enough from one another to make for some confusion on the part of a buyer. I thought that it might be helpful to you (and even to me) to create a dictionary of terms that I use to explain about pieces and what defines a condition situation. Wherever and whenever possible, I will also include an appropriate photo so you will have an ever clearer understanding of what, I, personally, am explaining.

I will add photos as soon as possible.

Antique – Anything that is one hundred (100) years or older.

Vintage – Something that is at least twenty (20) to ninety-nine (99) years old

Nik – A tiny, almost invisible intrusion into the rim edge of an item. Usually can be barely felt by a fingertip more easily than through the eyes. Very hard to get a good photograph of a nik.

Flik – A flik it literally the same as a nik, but it is marginally larger in size. One of those tiny imperfections which can easily be overlooked unless specifically sought after.

Chip – A chip is an obvious imperfection. Regardless of the size, it is noticeable to the eye.

Chunk – A chunk is very much larger, and often will be so large as to look like a piece is missing, or like a puzzle piece, was reinserted into place.

Flake – Usually on a rim edge, although it can be a missing portion of glaze or paint. It is flush to the surface, and is larger than a flik, but often not as big as a chip.

Flat Flake – Similar to a flake, but very shallow, and is sometimes difficult to see unless felt.

Hairline – A hairline and an age line are the same. Auctioneers prefers the term age line because it sounds less serious. Basically, a hairline is a crack that goes through to both sides. Some are worse than others, and some less dangerous to the piece.

Age Line – See hairline.

Finger Rap – To finger rap an item, hold it away from you so that it barely sits upon your fingertips. Then gently use your fingers to flik against the surface to listen for a sound that will tell you how compromised the item may be.

Knuckle Rap – Do the same thing as above, but use your knuckles to listen for a change in tone.

Rattle – A serious hairline where the sides are in close proximity, but barely touch each other. They are so close, though, that they will hit against each other when rapped.

Tight hairline – In doing the above, it produces no sound, no rattle, then the sides are too close to make a noise. Much better than the above.

Browning – When glaze on porcelain has been cut, or made porous, it allows fat and oil residue to enter the cracks. This is what causes browning. It can be removed professionally, or using certain professional techniques I am willing to share with you upon request.

Pont – A long rod upon which glass is hand blown and molded.

Pontil – The rough area on Art Glass when it is knocked off of the pont.

Rough Pontil – Pontil that has sharp edges and it pretty much in the same condition as when it was remove from the pont.

Smooth Pontil – A pontil that has been ground and polished so that it is smooth.

Bohemian Art Glass – Art Glass made in an area known as Bohemia, before Czechoslovakia was created.

Paris Porcelain – Unattributed porcelain made in France.

Bisque – Fired porcelain that has not been glazed

Please check back, because as I come upon something to add, I will put it in place.

Please be sure to also visit my other website:

where I have the wonderful bowls I call “Enchanted environments “

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s