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hallmark: Official mark impressed on silverwork or goldwork by an assay office or gild to signify official approval of the standard of purity of the metal, also called plate mark. The hallmark was introduced by statute in England in 1300 and enforced by the Goldsmiths' Hall, London. Other marks used on plate include one for the place of assay; a date mark, usually a letter; the maker's touch, at first a symbol, later his initials or name; a duty mark, to signify payment of a tax; and the artisan's mark. Marks have also been used on plated ware, baser metals and pottery.
hard paste porcelain: The two natural substances used are kaolin, also known as china clay, a white clay free of impurities found in unique river beds that melts only at very high temperature, and a feldspar mineral called petuntse that forms a glassy cement, binding the vessel permanently. True Chinese porcelain is hard paste and has been potted thinly and is translucent and shiny as a piece of glass.
hassock: A tightly stuffed, upholstered cushion used as a footstool or seat, essentially a hard cushion that may have an internal wooden frame to give it more support. Also used to kneel on while praying. It's distinguished from a stool by being completely upholstered so that no legs are visible. Wooden feet may be added to the base to give it stability, at which point it becomes a stool or a footstool. If the piece is larger, with storage space inside it, then it is generally known as an ottoman.
Henri II style: The name given to the nineteenth century decorative arts and architecture of the Second French Renaissance, based on the reign of Henri II (1547-1559). Renaissance style of furniture during his reign underwent a revival in France in the 1890's referred to as Henri II style. Henri II furniture is notable for its size and stature. Pieces tend to be large and rectangular, with heavy carving, dark wood, and large bun feet. Decorative elements of the Henri II style include arches, pediments, columns, finials, florets, fruit, scrolls, and often references to Greek and Roman mythology, including male and female heads, faces, or figures. Armoires have either solid wooden doors or glass mirror doors.
homme debout: A tall, deep, standing cabinet for a gentleman's clothing and haberdashery. Country French in character, the homme debout has two doors divided by a drawer. Both doors usually open to interior shelving that gives the cabinet a more refined look. It is said that originally the center drawer was false so that a person (a standing man) could hide inside without being noticed. Literally, "standing man."
H-stretcher: A reinforcing leg brace for furniture consisting of two stretchers from front to back joined by a central crossbar forming the shape of the letter "H." Dating from the Renaissance, it is found both in country furniture as well as finer styles.
Henri II Style Arm Chairs
4300 1st Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35222
Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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