One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An opaque reddish-brown variety of chalcedony.
- ‘The depictions of birds and flowers were executed in precious materials including lapis lazuli, agate, Sicilian red and green jasper, chalcedony, amethyst and quartz as well as superb hard stones.’
- ‘Attractive gemstone paintings, which use garnet, turquoise, yellow agate and red jasper, from Agra catch the attention of visitors.’
- ‘Silica precipitated from aqueous solution at low temperatures gives cryptocrystalline varieties such as opal, jasper, chalcedony, agate, carnelian, onyx, flint, and chert.’
- ‘Standing at 151 inches by 91 inches, the cabinet is said to be the greatest Florentine work of art of its time and includes lapis lazuli, agate and Sicilian red and green jasper.’
- ‘We think that the nearby Houserville inhabitants obtained most of their tool stone from the Hatch quarry because more than 95 percent of their artifacts are made of Bald Eagle jasper.’
2A kind of hard fine porcelain invented by Josiah Wedgwood and used for Wedgwood cameos and other delicate work.
- ‘The factory also made porcelain jugs imitating the Wedgwood jasperware, as did other factories in Staffordshire.’
- ‘The crowning achievement and one that sealed jasperware as the most sought after decorative pottery in England and the Continent was his reproduction of the famous Portland Vase in 1790 after 4 years of laborious trials.’
- ‘One year I took gloss black enamel and spray-painted the pots - they all took on the look of black Wedgwood jasperware.’
- ‘At that time as well, the Alcora factory began to imitate the jasperware made by Wedgwood.’
Middle English (originally denoting any bright-colored chalcedony other than carnelian): from Old French jasp(r)e, from Latin iaspis, from Greek, of oriental origin.
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