Have you ever wondered why something you thought was gilded is described as ormolu? Or why your drapery holdback suddenly became a tieback? Chances are, you’re looking at descriptions from different countries.

If you have a word or a phrase that you think should be added to the glossary, use the contact form to send me an email and I’ll add it!

(Disclaimer: not all of these terms are specific to vintage goods or antiques, but you may come across them at some point!)

British French  American
Bed crown Ciel de Lit Bed canopy
Bedroom Boudoir
Bespoke Custom-made
Braces Suspenders
Car boot Trunk (of a car)
Curtain poles Curtain rods
Door curtains Portières
Door furniture Door hardware
Hold-all Large bag
Lead (electrical) Cord
Pram Baby carriage
Reel (of cotton) Spool (of thread)
Suspender belt Garter belt
Tieback Holdback
Trim Passementerie
Trousers Pants

Gilding: The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating of gold. A gilded object is described as “gilt”. Where metal is gilded, it was traditionally silver in the West, to make silver-gilt (or “vermeil”) objects, but gilt-bronze is commonly used in China, and also called ormolu if it is Western. Methods of gilding include hand application and glueing, chemical gilding, and electroplating, the last also called gold plating.[1] Parcel-gilt (partial gilt) objects are only gilded over part of their surfaces. This may mean that all of the inside, and none of the outside, of a chalice or similar vessel is gilded, or that patterns or images are made up by using a combination of gilt and un-gilt areas. (Wikipedia)

 Posted by at 3:03 am