The descriptive literature of , like almost everything else, has evolved over the years. Often in logical directions and sometimes not so logical.

Antique Furniture Terminology Furniture

Whether through genuine disagreement, misunderstanding of the etiology or just an inferior or alternative level of literacy. And there is also the conflict in describing a piece of furniture of whether to use its construction as the basis of the description, its function or one or more of its most notable elements. Even then one of the key words may have evolved through use or slang to become unrecognizable without knowledge of the article itself. My favorite example of this is the word for the dowel or peg that sometimes goes through a mortise and tenon joint.

Over the years it evolved through slang into “treenail” or “trenel,” a rough contraction of the original words. These slats strongly resemble the vertical components of a stairway. A row of them in a staircase was called a balustrade. Reading handwritten census records from the 18th and 19th centuries will broaden your mind to phonetic spelling. Then there are the words used to describe “chairs” by their form. Those that resemble a part of the wall are called “wainscot” chairs but they also have been known as “winescotts.” and of course the armchair is the “elbow” chair or the “great” chair while the side chair is the “small” chair.

There are even problems sometimes in describing the style of a chair. He simply ordered a set of those “stick back” chairs that were so popular. Of course there was nothing plain about them, especially the “ladder” elements. They are variously described as “ribbon” back, “pretzel” back or “pierced slat” back chairs, take your choice – and your chances. One of the styles was a seven drawer chest, one for each day of the week’s apparel. The first was the cabinet that had hanging space behind a tall, often mirrored, door on one side and a series of drawers on the other side. Further evolution came up with the “chifforette” – a cabinet with two short doors on top concealing narrow drawers like a small linen press and long drawers below. So how did a chest of drawers become a dresser in common usage?

The most common of course is the standard chest of drawers but there have also been photos of dressing tables, vanities, dry sinks and commodes as well as the occasional traditionally named dresser. The dresser, originally derived from the use of the dressing , traditionally includes a good sized mirror to assist in the dressing process as opposed to a vanity, which concentrates more on the preparation of the hair and face. The dry sink on the other hand is devoted to cleaning and shaving and the commode is a low storage chest derived from the enclosed bedroom privy cabinet or “closestool” which was named “commode” because it was “commodious” or convenient. This combination unit of a closet and a chest of drawers is called a chifferobe. This one is from the early twentieth century. Fill yourself in on the important terms and concepts here. Back plates come in many different sizes and shapes, and range from plain to highly decorative. Carpet rods are either tubular or solid, often brass, and are used now primarily to add decoration to a staircase. Used in limited quantities in upholstery fabric blends but is seldom used alone because of its low resistance to wear, particularly in flat weaves. It has good cleanability characteristics and takes vivid color well. Acrylic is normally used to create velvet, plush looks. The effect is applied by immersing the leather in a dye bath. Because the finish is transparent and shows the natural markings of the leather, only the best quality hides can be used. Sometimes creates a decorative pattern or swirl. Such springs are used in multiple rows for good seating comfort. A very effective method, allowing maximum dye penetration.


Antique Week

Modern production provides for the use of machine applied metal clips and wire stabilizers to keep coil springs permanently in position, instead of hand tying. The arm padding rises from the seat and flows over the arm with no seams. The higher the density of the foam, the greater the durability. Kiln-dried hard wood is best for durability in wooden frames. Full grain leather is the most genuine type of leather, as it retains all of the original texture and markings of the original hide. All woods have unique grains that can be artistic. Furniture created with hardwoods are higher in density and therefore are usually more durable. Used, for example, to attach flat spring on all sides of material and frame for sleep/sofa. Typically this area has glass doors and is used for displaying china. This produces a material that is lighter and thinner than solid wood. Bark incursions are normal for the species. A type of hardboard that is comprised of wood fibers that have been glued under heat and pressure. It has great appeal aesthetically and is lightweight and requires minimal care. Movement can either be in the form of reclining, rocking, gliding, etc. Differs from suede in that while suede is created from the flesh (inner) side of a hide, nubuc is created using the grain (outer) side, giving it added strength and durability. Among the most durable synthetic fibers used for furniture fabrics. The grain is straight to slightly wavy and may be slightly interlocking. Commonly used on recliners and swivel rockers. Leather is usually pigmented to add durability and hide natural blemishes.


Language word blunders look out for that cheire in terminology

Often used in upholstery leather to mask imperfections. Most like cotton in its appearance and physical properties. Can also be used to make frame parts or entire frames. Works well in dense pile or closely woven fabrics. Usually used in a blend with other fibers. It is not required for a good seam closure. Typically counter stools are 24-26 inches high, while bar stools are 28-32 inches tall. Large slub yarn, particularly, could catch on children's shoe buckles or jewelry. Typically refers to leather whose top grain (outermost layer) has been left intact. This fits into a ring on a cushion to hold it in place. Split leather is more fragile than side leather or full-grain leather, and is typically used in the form of suede.

The ends extend beyond the arm or back giving an appearance of greater length. It refers to the neatness of sewing or the visual detailing. It can be made of wood, metal or plastic. Vegetable tanned leather has greater body and firmness than traditionally-tanned leather. It adds warmth, balance and visual appeal while also increasing strength and allowing for repair and renovation. Typically given in ounces per square foot or millimeters (thickness).


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These are commonly used in upholstery furniture instead of coil springs. Used in the 18th and 19th centuries on furniture, silverware and in decoration. Wood may be simply worn off at the edges and corners; it is sometimes scratched, gouged, planed, etc. Even fine birdshot and nails are used to simulate wormholes and other ravages of time. Wood is also subjected to various acid treatments, bleaches and stains to suggest age. Paint finishes are glazed with washes of dirt colors to reduce the brilliance and to provide an uneven surface. Usually framed within a simple shape such as a rectangle. It is thought that early armoires were painted and used for the storage of armor. The typical line is long and slightly curved,
ending abruptly in a whip-like sharp curve. The color varies from a light honey to a medium brown. The wood is a very light creamy color, heavy and dense, with a prominent grain resembling oak. Most new furniture is made of veneer construction. Its use as a decorative motif was revived in the 16th century.

It is characterized by flowing and sensuous forms. It was popular from 1895 through the 1920s. With a small lump of molten glass on the end, the pontil was stuck to an article while the blowing iron was removed. When the pontil was finally broken away, it would leave a scar, called the pontil mark. It means selling assets without any warranty as to their condition and merchantability for a particular use. No one may bid on behalf of the seller and the auctioneer may not refuse to accept any bid. The auctioneer will call the number of the successful bidder for each lot and the “clerk” will note that bidder and the amount of the winning bid on the clerking sheet. Lots come to “the block” to be offered for sale. These bonds are typically small in amount. The winning bidder, as recognized by the auctioneer, who enters into a contract for sale to purchase the lot from the seller. The chant is comprised of two numbers – the amount that has been bid and the next higher increment the auctioneer is seeking to be bid. The single-most important characteristic of a good chant is clarity. Bidder in control has the “choice” to select any one piece from the lot for the amount of the high bid, as well as the “choice” to select additional pieces from the lot by paying the amount of the high bid for each additional piece chosen. After this bidder has selected, items remaining in the lot will be offered to other bidders. This can occur when bidders agree not to bid against one another so as to depress selling prices, or when an auctioneer and one or more others agree to try and artificially increase selling prices. It is usually a percentage of the gross sale revenue of the auction. It means revealing known facts that sellers, bidders, and buyers need to have to make informed and intelligent decisions regarding the auction. Often referred to figuratively in auctions. These laws vary from mere revenue acts to substantive requirements, including regulatory oversight.


Hardware Glossary

This is a variation of a reserve auction. The auctioneer pretends to take a bid from a bidder who is nonexistent to lure a legitimate bidder to make a higher bid. Pickers are an important component in auction sales, as they bring many items to market that auctioneers sell. It is a safeguard against an unwanted sacrifice of the seller’s asset, as no sale will occur unless the reserve has been satisfied. Bidders leave written bids for a lot on a nearby paper or in a container. The items are exposed to bidding individually, with the highest bid for each piece “held” and the items not sold. Then the items are exposed to bidding in aggregate. Whichever approach yields the highest total price is the way the items will be sold. The process can also work the opposite way with the aggregate offered first and the individual pieces last. It usually has a matching mirror above it. A full tester extends fully over the bed and a half tester extends only over the bedhead. Handmade dovetails are finer and less uniform that machine made joints and confirm that the piece of furniture has some age. The desks have a configuration of drawers and cupboards on either side or drawers to both sides. A broadside is an advertisement or announcement printed on such paper. Depending on the proportions of the mix, bronze can have a range of hues, from silvery to a rich copper color. The alloy is more durable than brass (copper and zinc) and has been used since for sculptures since antiquity. Carat refers to weight and is equivalent to 200 milligrams. It consisted of a small paper print mounted on card stock, and largely supplanted the more fragile glass images of the ambrotype. It often includes essential documentary information and scholarly commentary. The artist would begin by making a model of his sculpture in wax and then covering the model with a mold, usually clay. The wax would then be melted away (or "lost") and molten bronze was poured into the clay mold. It is created by adding saltpeter (potassium nitrate) to molten glass, which produces large, random bubbles. On many early books from the 15th and 16th centuries this is the only place such information is available. Title pages eventually replaced colophons in most books. A low-neckline bodice of a blouse or dress. It is a traditional component of ladies' evening dresses and ball gowns.

It was popular in the 1880s, 1900s, and again in the 1960s. A first edition print is one that was issued with the first published group of impressions. First-edition prints are sometimes pre-dated by a proof edition. Editions of a print should be distinguished from states of a print. There can be several states of a print from the same edition, and there can be several editions of a print all with the same state. In sculpture, it refers to the run of pieces made from a single mold that are authorized by the artist. Each edition is done at a different time and often has different characteristics than other editions. A metal immersed in an electrolytic tank picks up a thin coating of silver from a silver ingot in the tank when a current of electricity is passed through it. Also, a technique used on metal to create writing or decoration by cutting away material with a metal tool. It was also employed as a decoration in the 20th century. As a fine-art medium, etchings have been used for printmaking since the 15th century, reaching their peak in the late 19th and early 20th century. A folio sheet is formed by a single piece of paper folded once, which creates four usable pages.


Furniture Design and Décor Glossary

It was adapted in the 19th century from a military coat, and became the formal dress for men. Originally worn on military uniforms, it has adorned women's coats and jackets since the 19th century. The valuable metal is sometimes applied in powder or leaf form and often fired to bind it. The process gives an object the appearance of gold without the cost of using solid gold. Top-edge gilt means that only the top has gold, as opposed to all-edges gilt. The gold is so thin that it has no value on its own beyond decoration. It has a chalky appearance and is not as transparent or luminous as watercolors. The application can usually be seen by holding the print at an angle to the light. Such glass is shaped (with or without a mold) with air blown by mouth through a blowpipe. It is more durable and generally considered more beautiful than wood from coniferous trees, called softwood. In general, the more the author writes the more value it adds to the book. The decoration lies below the surface plane, making it the opposite of carving in relief. In this type of print the ink lies below the surface of the plate and is transferred to the paper under pressure. The printed lines of an intaglio print stand in relief on the paper. In ancient glass, weathering created this effect, but in modern glassmaking it is created by spraying metallic vapors and oxides on hot glass. Originally a 16th-century item of male dress, the jabot became popular with women from the mid 19th century until the 1920s and 30s. It consists of two mineral varieties: jadeite and nephrite. While the term jade technically encompasses both of these mineral varieties, in the art and jewelry trades, "jade" is commonly used to refer to nephrite stones. It is rarer than nephrite — its sister variety of jade — and can sometimes be bright green, purple, blue, or red. In the art and jewelry trades, it is most commonly referred to as jadeite and not by its parent name, jade.

Karat refers to the amount of pure gold in a piece, rather than the weight; pure gold is 24 karat. Laurent made them fashionable again in the 1960s and early 1970s. Generally, all such labels are viewed skeptically, as many are inaccurate or forged. Often this indicates a specially made collectors' edition, though sometimes it is intended solely to raise the sales value of the prints or books. It uses stone (usually limestone), and sometimes sheets of metal, marked with grease or oil to print multiple copies of the same image onto paper. In the second half of the 19th century the term referred to a thick, often covered shoe heel that tapers at the midsection before flaring outward at the bottom. A wood block, metal plate, or lithographic stone can each be used as a matrix.

There are a few exceptions for books that are more than a few hundred years old. They are now printed mainly as novelty items. Offset printing is popular because it produces quick copies of consistently high-quality images. Antiques still in this condition are highly valued by serious collectors because pieces are commonly refinished by an owner at some point in their history. Rugs are sometimes painted by unscrupulous sellers who are trying to disguise wear from potential buyers. Metal plates are used for intaglio prints and for some lithographs.


Antique Furniture Glossary of Terms

When removed from the object, it often leaves an irregular or ring-shaped scar, called a pontil mark, on the base of the glassware. A popular style from the mid-19th century, the dress style was fitted over crinolines and bustles with a gored skirt to create sufficient fullness. In a general sense, a print is the set of all the impressions made from the same matrix. By its nature, a print can have multiple impressions. In this type of print the ink lies on the top of the block and is transferred to the paper under light pressure. Rifled gun barrels require precision manufacturing and did not become common until the 19th century. It was the most common method of making color prints and posters in the 20th century. The edges were then rolled over to hide the copper that was visible when the sheet was cut. The plated silver was less expensive than sterling, making it available to the middle classes, but it is also less valuable than sterling because the copper eventually shows through. This was replaced by electroplating, a process developed in the 1840s. In the 20th century, the smock is a loose, usually lightweight, sleeved garment that has been worn by artists and used as a fashion shape since the 1940s. The spine usually bears at least the book's title and author, sometimes along with other information and/or decoration. To provide color, a layer of glass is enameled, painted or stained before being baked onto another glass surface. Collectors are particular that the picture be in its original matte with all labels complete.


Glossary of Terminology used in the Antique Furniture manufacturing

Terminology Word Blunders Look For That

Silver is mixed with other metals because pure silver is too soft to be made into useful objects. The sterling standard was established to protect the public against less valuable metals with smaller percentages of silver. The term also applies to a small image that is part of a larger print. It can be seen by holding the paper up to light. Such a dress has a sacque back and a tightly fitted front bodice. The area that is not cut away becomes the printing surface. The damage is created by insects or insect larvae that eat the paper. The problem is more common in older books that were made with better-quality, and more nutritious, paper. The more information we can provide, the more confident you’ll feel about choosing us for your home. This is typically used on construction plans to note installation heights or objects. This can be done through a finish, artificial weathering, or distressing. On case goods furniture, it is the perpendicular face below the lowest drawer between bracket feet.