Glossary

Tallboy

Called a chest-on-chest until the 18th century, this high chest-of-drawers has more drawers below than on top.

Tantalus

The Tantalus is a cellarette with decanters tucked inside, their contents visible but not obtainable without a key. The name derived from the Greek myth of Tantalos, son of Zeus and King of Lydia. Tantalos was admitted to the society of the gods, but his abominable behavior aroused their anger leading Zeus to condemn him to suffer eternally in Tartarus. As punishment, Tantalos was forced to stand neck-deep in water, which receded from him when he would attempt to drink. Over his head hung the bough of a fruit tree that the wind wafted away whenever he tried to grasp them. It is from his name that the word tantalize also originated.

tapestry

A heavy hand-woven fabric panel, often used as a wall decoration. Aubusson weavers are renowned for their fine tapestries.

tea bowl

A small Oriental cup without a handle, also made widely in Europe (with a saucer) in the 18th century.

tea caddy

A decorative box created for storing tea leaves, many with two compartments one for black tea and the other for green tea. Some of the finest tea caddies created in England were crafted of exotic woods, adorned with tortoise shell, ivory and mother-of-pearl.

Teakwood

Wood from Burma, Java, the East Indies, Siam, French Indochina, and has been planted successfully in the Philippines. A strong, tough wood, it ranges in color from light tawny yellow to dark brown. Slightly oily.

Tiffany's Chrysanthemum

One of the most popular designs created by Tiffany and Co.'s Charles T. Grosjean in 1880. Though it was the most expensive pattern to produce for tea services and flatware, it soon became the most highly prized and luxurious of all Tiffany patterns.

tin glaze

An opaque white glaze containing tin oxide used on faience, delftwares and majolica.

Toby Jug

An 18th or 19th century jug representing a seated Englishman with three-cornered hat and mug of ale.

tortoiseshell

Often used as an inlay or a decorative overlay on wood surfaces, tortoiseshell is a mottled, nutty brown shell material with a spotted, striped, or sometimes even speckled pattern.

Tunbridge Ware

Tunbridge Ware refers to a form of intricately inlaid wood decoration made famous in the town of Tunbridge Wells in Kent, England. Though it originated hundreds of years earlier, the form became popular in the 19th century as tourists flocked to this Spa town and sought souvenirs to bring home with them. Characterized by skillful wood mosaics crafted from small pieces of colored woods and arranged to create pictorial scenes or decorative patterns, most Tunbridge Wares took the form of small boxes or containers, though many fine pieces of furniture were also crafted for wealthy clientele. The young Princess Victoria was a frequent visitor to Tunbridge Wells and often purchased Tunbridge Wares as gifts for her family.