Glossary

Oak

Wood varies from light tan to deep leathery brown with black spots. Variations due to differences in climate and soil.

Obelisk

Tall, square stone monumental shaft with pyramidal top used in ancient Egypt. The form, on a small scale in alabaster, is used as a decorative ornament in Directoire, Empire, and contemporary interiors.

Occasional table

Generic term for decorative, small tables such as end tables, coffee tables, lamp tables, etc.

Old Paris (Veaux Paris)

A generic term used to describe the products of numerous factories and decorating establishments in around Paris from 1780-1840. Paris blossomed as a center of excellence after the French Revolution and porcelain factories began to mulitply. Unfortunately, due to intense competition, smaller factories left many of their pieces unmarked. Typically, Old Paris porcelain is a combination of Greek, Roman and Egyptian influences accented with bright colors and gilding.

Orchestral Music Box

Introduced in the 1870s, the orchestral music box revolutionized the industry. The addition of an organ to the drums, bells and castanets provided a new level of sound production and served to invigorate the industry even though their production was very costly and they were generally only available to the very affluent. The more elaborate examples allowed the listener to customize the sound of the music box by turning off one or many of the added instruments.

ormolu

Derived from French for ground gold, the term refers to gilded bronze or brass mounts.

Ottoman

A low, upholstered seat without backs or arms. Sometimes used as a foot-rest.

overglaze

Decoration applied to a piece of pottery or porcelain after it has been glazed.

Oysterwood

Oyster veneering, a technique indicative of the William and Mary period, was achieved by transversely cutting or slicing the smaller branches of certain trees such as walnut or olive. These small, rounded veneers, with their circular striations, resembled the inside of an oyster, and when pieced together, produced a most dramatic and impressive decorative effect.