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Collections / Antiques / Furniture / Furniture Glossary
Furniture Glossary

Antique furniture
Furniture Glossary
Furniture Styles
Taking Care of Furniture

Study Suits
Chairs and Armchairs
Bedroom Suites
 Private collections of this section

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Acanthus - a decorative woodcarving based on the acanthus leaf, a prickly Mediterranean plant

Apron - the wooden panel that connects the surface and legs of a table or chair

Arm chair - a chair with side structures to support the arms or elbows

Armoire - French name for a linen-press, wardrobe, or a large cupboard

Art Deco - a style characterized by geometric forms and bright, bold colors, popular from c. 1918 to 1940.

Art Nouveau - a movement and style of decoration characterized by sinuous curves and flowing lines, asymmetry, and flower and leaf motifs.

Astragal - small, semi-circular molding applied to the glazing bars on cabinets` bookcases

Attached back pillow - a pillow which cannot be removed from the upholstered piece of furniture


Bachelor`s chest - a small, low chest-of-drawers

Baize - wool fabric resembling felt, usually green, used on gaming tables

Baker`s rack - open slatted back with shelves used for storing goods in the kitchen

Ball and claw - a foot modeled as a ball gripped by an animal`s claw or bird`s talon

Baluster - an upright, such as a table leg or rail, shaped like a vase or urn

Banding - veneer cut into narrow strips and applied to create a decorative effect, usually found around the edges of tables and drawer fronts

Baroque - an extravagant and heavily ornate style of architecture, furniture, and decoration that originated in 17th century Italy.

Beaded moulding - a moulding style consisting of convex half-cylinders running the length of the moulded piece

Bentwood - wood that has been steamed and bent into a curvilinear shape

Biedermeier - a 19th-century style originating in Germany, characterized by lack of ostentation

Blanket chest - a chest used for general storage, usually kept in the bedroom

Block foot - a cube-shaped foot found at the base of square-legged furniture

Blockfront chest - a chest of drawers in which the center is concave and the end panels are convex

Bolster - a long cylindrical stuffed pillow or cushion; can be wedge-shaped or rectangular

Bombe - bulbous, curving form; convex fronts and sides of chests

Bonnet top highboy - highboy with a full dome or hood over the top of the piece

Bowfront chest - a chest-of-drawers with a convex front

Bracket foot - a squared foot used on furniture in the 18th century

Braganza - an inscrolled or knurled foot, sometimes called a "Spanish foot"

Breakfront - a cabinet divided vertically into three sections, with the middle section projecting forward

Brocade - richly colored threads which make a design stand out against a weave background

Bun foot - a round ball acting as a foot used on furniture in the 17th century

Bureau - a writing desk with a fall or cylinder front, enclosing a fitted interior, with drawers below

Burl - a knot or variation in wood displaying a unique pattern when thinly sliced

Button tufted - fabric covered buttons sewn through upholstery and tied down, often producing geometric patterns


Cabriole leg - elongated furniture leg with gently curving S-shape

Camel back - a curved sofa back characterized by a hump in the middle

Canape - a type of French settee with padded back and seat, open arms, and a decorated frame

Carcase - the basic structure of a piece of furniture; often forms the foundation for veneering

Carver - a term that originated in the 19th century to describe a dining chair with elbows

Case furniture - furniture that includes chest, coffers, bureaus, and cupboards

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