Glossary

Mahogany

Straight grained hard wood with silky texture, ranging in color from salmon-pink through bright red and when newly cut, changes to a golden or deep brown red.

majolica

A 19th century type of earthenware featuring colored lead glazes.

malachite

An opaque green mineral with very pronounced and often concentric banding. It's surface is hard enough to be polished and malachite has been used for beads, cabochons, decorative items and pietre dure.

Mallard, Prudent

Born in Sevres, France, Prudent Mallard emigrated to America in 1829. After finding New York unsuitable, he travelled by steamship to New Orleans, where he set up shop on Royal Street, the city's most prestigious avenue, catering to the needs of a very wealthy clientele. Known for his palatial furnishings, Mallard is one of the most important Southern cabinet makers.

Mantel

The projecting shelf surmounting a fireplace.

Maple

Light reddish-brown wood with uniform texture. Grain is usually straight execpt when different veneers are used.

marks

Porcelain and Pottery usually have signs of origin applied to the piece either in underglaze blue, impressed, incised, or painted above the glaze which generally indicate the manufacturer. Some pieces also contain marks denoting the artist and date of the piece.

Marquetry

A flush pattern produced by inserting contrasting materials in a veneered surface. Rare, grained, and colored woods are usually used, but thin layers of tortoiseshell, ivory, mother-of-pearl, and metals are also seen. If the pattern is of a geometric nature,it is called parquetry.

marquetry

Shaped pieces of wood or other material used as a veneer on furniture to create decorative patterns.

Medallion

A circular or oval frame having within it an ornamental motif.

Meeks, J. & J. W.

The family-owned J. & J. W. Meeks company, based in New York with outlets in New Orleans and along the Atlantic coast, was a major competitor to John Henry Belter. Because they employed similar styles, much of Meeks’ outstanding work had long been mistakenly identified as Belter. Today, experts are correcting the confusion and the Meeks’ name is now synonymous with the superior quality of the Rococo Revival

Meissen

Manufacturers of true porcelain whose wares remain unrivaled in terms of innovation and beauty. Meissen is the name of the small town in which alchemist Johann Friedrich Bottger was imprisoned by the King of Saxony where he remained for several years until 1710 when he finally discovered a formula for true (hard-paste) porcelain.

Meridienne

Sofa with one arm higher than the other.

millefiori

A type of glassware in which multi-colored glass pieces are put in rosette or floral designs and embedded in clear glass. The word literally means "a thousand flowers" in Italian.

Minaudiere

First crafted by the legendary firm of Van Cleef and Arpels, the Minaudiere gave fashionable women a convenient, yet sophisticated, way to carry their basic travel necessities. These lovely, ornamental cases carried cosmetics, jewelry or other personal items, varied in size and material and were often worn as handbags.

mosaic

A decorative technique in which square or rectangular pieces of stone, glass, ceramic tile (also known as tessare) are set in mortar in and artistic motif. Tiny mosaics are referred to as micromosaics.

mother-of-pearl

A term used to reference the hard, iridescent inner lining of certain mollusk shells such as oyster and mussel. Used as a decorative inlay in furniture and objets d'art.

mount

An ornamental attachment typically of gilt-bronze on high-quality porcelain.