You've found it! A great source for answers to questions you've always had about tableware terms but were afraid to ask. Also listed are definitions for reference notes that appear on our e-mail and US mail product listings. Over 260 terms below listed in alphabetical order!
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Cameo Glass - technique for applying one layer of glass onto another to create a two-toned effect for color, texture, or design.
Canister - used to hold and store household quantities of flour, sugar, coffee, and tea. Can be used for decorative purposes.
Cased glass - one layer of glass is applied over another.
Casting - process whereby liquid slip is poured into a mold and set.
Celery Dish - a narrow, oval piece designed to hold celery stalks.
Ceramics - generic term referring to all baked or fired wares typically made from clays or clay compounds.
Cereal Bowl - small bowl, typically 6"-6 ½", used as a place setting piece for cereal.
Chasing - ornamentation in high or low relief achieved by punches, which push the surface of the decorated metal into patterns.
China - Non-porous ware made of white clay and fired at very high temperatures. Final product is thin, translucent, and chip-resistant pieces.
Chipped - a small fragment that has broken away from affected piece, usually exposing bare ceramic. (Replacements does not sell chipped or cracked pieces.)
Chop Plate (a.k.a. Round Platter) - a round plate typically used to serve meats, shaped like a large dinner plate and generally about 13 inches diameter.
Claret Wine - shaped and proportioned like a water goblet, but on a smaller scale. In many cases, the claret wine is simply called the large wine.
Clay - raw material that is formed when rock disintegrates due to forces of nature or chemical processes.
Coaster - usually round, flat piece used as protection (for table surface) from condensation created by cold beverage containers.
Cobalt Blue - cobalt oxide in the form of a dark black powder that when fired, turns a deep blue. It was the first known, and still is the most commonly used, blue underglaze color due to its ability to withstand high firing temperatures.
Coin Silver - pre-Civil War silver made from melted coins that consisted of silver assayed at 900 parts pure silver to every 1,000 parts; 25 parts per thousand less than the sterling standard.
Company (Manufacturer) - an organization that produces, or has produced, china, crystal, flatware or collectibles.
Compote/Comport - typically a shallow bowl on a stem used as a serving piece.
Cookie Jar - large canister used for storing cookies. Can be used for decorative purposes as well.
Coupe - plate shaped in a concave fashion with no pronounced rim, similar to a contact lens with curved side down. An example of a coupe pattern is Rosenthal’s Romance.
Coupette - a stemmed glass used for individual servings of seafood or shrimp cocktail. The piece has a deep center and flat shoulder with an upturned edge.
Cracked - a hairline fracture in ceramic or glassware, no visible pieces broken off. (Replacements does not sell cracked pieces).
Crackleware - clay or glass pieces marked by tiny cracks deliberately induced by sudden cooling.
Cranberry Bowl - open bowl used to serve cranberries (smaller and deeper than a cereal bowl).
Crazing - spider web effect appearing on glazed china surfaces, caused by the difference in the rate of expansion and contraction of the clay body of piece and glaze during temperature changes.
Cremax - refers to a depression glass style with a beige color. Most pieces produced as part of the cremax line have the appearance of being china. An example of cremax is Macbeth Evan’s Cremax Oxford Bouquet.
Cream Soup and Saucer Set - low soup bowl with two handles; used for luncheons or dinner service.
Crescent - a "quarter moon" or "C" shaped plate; often used for dressings or bone disposal.
Cruet - a bottle and stopper used to hold vinegar or oil.
Crystal - fine glassware that contains lead for sheen and strength.
Curator - person in charge of researching product histories, patterns and/or piece types. Must be highly trained and familiar with large body of product related information.
Cut Glass - glass whose surface is decorated with cuttings applied by an abrasive wheel
Decal - a design or picture (example flowers) transferred onto items via a special type of paper; firing makes the decal permanent.
Delft - pottery originating in Holland, characterized by colored clay, white glaze, and blue decoration.
Demitasse Cup and Saucer - a small cup and saucer typically used for very strong coffees such as espresso or Turkish coffee.
Depression Glass - depression era glassware that was very popular due to its affordability and availability. Can be used daily, or for special occasions, and comes in an array of colors. Certain varieties are highly sought after by collectors.
Design In (DES IN) - design appears on inside of designated piece vs. outside design or no design at all.
Design Out (DES OUT) - design appears on outside of designated piece vs. inside design or no design at all.
Dessert Plate/Cream Soup Stand - approximately 7 inch coupe shaped plate (with no circular indention) that may double as a dessert plate or saucer for cream soup (not made in all patterns).
Diameter - measurement taken across the longest part of the circumference of piece.
Die Cutting or Sinking - process whereby a master pattern is produced in steel and creates a die. From that die identical pieces of a softer metal can be stamped out.
Dinner Plate - typically averages 9½" - 11" in diameter, main dinnerware place setting piece.
Dirilyte - a solid, extremely hard, special bronze alloy that is hand crafted into both hollowware and flatware. It is much harder and more durable than sterling, with sometimes slight variations evident from piece to piece. Dirilyte should be washed by hand with mild soap or detergent (not in dishwasher) immediately after use. Click here to view a list of Dirilyte patterns.
Discontinued China - discontinued china (or crystal or silver) is no longer being produced by the manufacturer. The discontinued pattern is typically removed from the company records and inventory due to lower demand. This removal from inventory often includes storage or destruction of molds, decals, etc. associated with the discontinued pattern.
Dresden - white china that frequently is heavily decorated.
Earthenware - pottery made from fired clay which is porous and permeable. Earthenware is fired at lower temperatures than china. Earthenware may be be glazed or unglazed, with typical colors including brown, red, or buff. Varieties of earthenware include terra cotta, faience, and majolica. An example of earthenware is Johnson Brother’s Old Britain Castles-Pink.
Electroplate (Gold Electroplate) - articles consisting of a base metal coated with gold or silver by using electrolysis. Note - electroplate is easily worn away with harsh abrasives.
Embossed - raised design on the surface of a piece; texturing can be produced within the mold or formed separately and applied before firing.
Enamel - a decorative coating fused on the surface of the piece. Paint that fires to a hard, high-gloss shine.
Encrustation - precious metal applied (as decoration) in liquid form to an etched surface, then fired.
Engobe - decorated by adding white or colored slip to the body of an unfinished piece.
Engraving - cutting lines into metal with scraper or graver.
EPBM - electroplate on brittannia metal.
EPC - electroplate on copper.
Epergne - a serving item having two, three, or more branches; originally a group of small dishes used for floral arrangements, but more recently used for candles.
EPN - electroplate on nickel.
EPWM - electroplate on white metal.
Etching - using acid to ‘bite’ design into crystal or glassware. Two methods most frequently used are needle and plate etching.