- excellence or merit in objects of art, curios, and the like.
- (used with a plural verb) such objects or articles collectively.
- a taste for or knowledge of such objects.
Origin of virtu
Examples from the Web for vertu
The vertu and use of coffee with regard to the plague and other infectious distempers.All About Coffee
William H. Ukers
Curios, a corruption of curiosities; any articles of vertu brought from abroad.The Slang Dictionary
John Camden Hotten
If there is no room on the lorries for any article of vertu, it goes on the tank.A Company of Tanks
W. H. L. Watson
The china and articles of vertu are as rare as they are valuable.
Mrs Gaff furthermore displayed her taste for articles of vertu in her selection of chimney-piece ornaments.Shifting Winds
- a variant spelling of virtu
- a taste or love for curios or works of fine art; connoisseurship
- such objects collectively
- the quality of being rare, beautiful, or otherwise appealing to a connoisseur (esp in the phrases articles of virtu; objects of virtu)
Word Origin and History for vertu
"excellence in an object of art, passion for works of art," 1722, from Italian virtu "excellence," from Latin virtutem (nominative virtus) "virtue" (see virtue). The same word as virtue, borrowed during a period when everything Italian was in vogue. Sometimes spelled vertu, after French, but this is unjustified, as this sense of the word is not in French.