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Know More About Your Antique Furniture

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(1) If you stack tables in such a manner that the smallest remains at the bottom while the largest stays on top, you have created an arrangement called NEST OF TABLES.

(2) If you see something resembling a column or a banister, it is BALUSTER. The vertical post is turned, or upright support is offered.

(3) This molding is in an “S” shape--OGEE.

(4) When the decorative trim is in alternating rectangles and spaces, it is known as DENTAL MOLDING.

(5) A fret saw (fine-toothed power saw with a narrow blade) can be used to create decorative trim like open cut patterns. Manual carving is also possible to show FRETWORK.

(6) In the case that the decorating device consists of concave channels that are parallel to one another, it is referred to as FLUTING.

(7) Channels in the convex pattern are referred to as REEDING.

(8) Sometimes, a musical instrument comes up as a design on furniture (Empire) pieces—the stringed LYRE.

(9) Victorian or Empire furniture can also have the design of a horn-shaped bowl containing flowers or fruits. We call this CORNUCOPIA.

(10) Have you ever come across splats on the backs of chairs that look like gathered ribbons? The term is RIBBON BACK.

(11) Ornaments resembling the leaves of the Acanthus plant were fitted onto furniture during the 18th and 19th centuries—ACANTHUS.

(12) Artists of the 18th century went so far as to create nails whose heads resembled roses to some extent. These were forged by hand, and aptly named ROSE-HEAD NAILS.

(13) The different parts of furniture can be attached in such a way that the final impression is a dove’s tail. Specific interlocking flared tenons (projections at the end of pieces of wood) are utilized to create the DOVETAIL.

(14) MORTISE AND TENON refers to a special system of joinery. The tenon from the first piece of wood is fitted into the mortise (square/rectangular hole) of the second piece. A round peg makes the joint perfectly tight!

(15) Ever heard of hardware shaped like the wing of a bat? This was popular during the 18th century—BAT WING.

(16) The Victorian and Empire eras boasted of ornate decorations on furniture. Essentially of brass or bronze, they were coated with gilt, and referred to as ORMOLU.

(17) Furniture could also be lively and free in form! Generally curvilinear in shape, the ROCOCO style had organic ornamentation.

(18) Styles were rather exaggerated and vivid in the 17th century, especially in Europe. BAROQUE was strongly influenced by Queen Anne style, as well as William and Mary style furniture.

(19) We refer to 17th century furniture as PILGRIM.

(20) Queen Anne existed from 1725 to 1755.

(21) Thomas Chippendale was the launcher of the CHIPPENDALE style (1754 to 1790).

(22) GOTHIC should be a familiar word! A combination of Rococo and Chinese, this type of architecture boasted of arches and foils.

(23) EMPIRE refers to the years between 1810 and 1840.

(24) Oriental lacquer work found popularity in the West. The wooden base received a nice coat of paint first. Then, the designs came up with gesso; they were gilded or silvered. This art was known as JAPANNING.

(25) Since the early 19th century heralded the formation of the federal government, furniture manufactured during this period was referred to as FEDERAL.

(26) If antique wood is neglected for years and years, it is bound to gather grime and wax. The effects of oxidation will also be visible. This phenomenon and the resulting color is called PATINA.


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