Glossary

Recamier

A long chair designed for relaxing and semi-reclining, usually upholstered. Adapted from the French 18th-century style, it is also called a chaise lounge.

Regence French

Transitional period in French furniture design between Louis XIV and the Rococo style developed by Louis XV. Named for the time frome in France from 1715-1728 when Philip, Duke of Orleans, reigned. Characteristics are graceful curves, the cabriole leg, and ornamentation copied from nature rather than mythology. Bright veneers of rosewood and satinwood were widely used.

Regency English

Period of severe neoclassicism from 1810-1820 influenced by the French Empire.

Relief

Forms of molded, carved or stamped decoration raised from the surface of a piece of furniture forming a pattern.

relief

Decoration that protrudes from the surface.

Renaissance

Revival of interest in classical design, beginning in Italy during the 14th century and continuing to spread throughout Europe until the 17th century. Design is simple in structure with a generous use of classical ornament, such as the acanthus leaf, animal forms, and pilasters.

repousse

A decorative technique in which sheet metal is punched and hammered from the back, usually follwed by chasing from the front as a finishing touch. Another word for repousse is embossing.

Rock Crystal

Discovered thousands of years ago, rock crystal, or natural quartz, has been cherished for its natural beauty and remarkable ability to refract light. When cut and polished, the inherent striations and inclusions of the crystal create a reflection of light far more brilliant than manmade crystal or glass. The scarcity of this crystallized quartz, however, limited its use and for thousands of years glass makers have sought to imitate its luminous qualities. During the 18th and 19th centuries, rock crystal was one of the most precious and expensive materials used in the decorative arts.

Rococo

Period in French design originating in the 18th century following the Baroque era. An assymetrical motif, it was often overly ornamental. The name is derived from the French words rocaille (rock) and coquille (shell), which are prominent rococo decorative elements.

rosewood

Prized for its exotic and beautifully figured appearance, rosewood was a favorite among upscale cabinet makers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Unlike more common woods, rosewood is exceptionally dense, rich in color and very receptive to a high polish. Hailing from tropical forests of India and Brazil, rosewood got its name not from its appearance, but from the aroma of the freshly cut trees. Neo-classical furniture makers like Thomas Chippendale preferred rosewood to any other variety for his incredible furnishings. Brazilian rosewood was the preferred choice of 19th-century furniture makers as well. Today, rosewood pieces are highly sought after by antique connoisseurs.

Rosso Antico

The name given by Wedgwood to his red stoneware.

Roux, Alexander

Alexander Roux emigrated from France to New York and opened his first shop in 1837. He used his Parisian background and training to his advantage, imparting his designs with a decidedly French flair. By 1855, Roux employed 120 workers, reaching the peak of his success in the 1870s with more than a half million dollars in annual sales. Roux’s genius lay in his ability to excel in the creation of the popular styles without sacrificing quality or the spirit of innovation.