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It Wouldn’t Hurt to Know Your Antique Furniture! (Part 2)

Antique furniture restoration,decorating antique furniture,antique furniture styles

In the previous article, you learned about terminology related to chairs and tables. Well, there are other kinds of antique furniture too—case pieces.

(1) If you find a piece of furniture with storage space, it is a CASE PIECE.

(2) LOWBOY refers to a case piece balancing on high heels (legs).

(3) The one with the bulging sides and round shape goes by the name of BOMBE.

(4) As the name suggests, CHEST-ON-CHEST consists of one chest sitting on another one. This is a complete unit.

(5) The HIGHBOY or HIGH CHEST of drawers stands straight and tall.

(6) In contrast is the low chest of drawers or COMMODE. It follows the French pattern.

(7) Made of glass, the CUPBOARD is useful for storing and displaying objects at home or in a store or in a museum.

(8) Many dining rooms boast of a SIDEBOARD. It consists of a low wide chest of drawers plus compartments. If you own one from the Victorian era, it will have top shelves as well as large mirrors too.

(9) You are well aware of what a wardrobe is, but have you come across KAS? It is a big wardrobe that boasts of heavy panels.

(10) If your case piece boasts of decorative molding on top, it is called CORNICE.

(11) Chests and bookcases commonly exhibit a crowning top—PEDIMENT.

(12) If you find this type of pediment on a case piece, it is a BONNET TOP.

(13) A case piece generally has convex exteriors and a central concave section. We call this BLOCK FRONT.

(14) Artisans of yore loved to create ornate inlays on the surface. The materials utilized could be brass, wood, or something else. This was referred to as BOULLEWORK.

(15) In case you are wondering what INLAY is, it is decoration set into the surface. There can be pictorial images or marquetry; bands of color or string; or geometric shapes or parquetry.

(16) Some decorations are raised paintings exhibiting oriental patterns—CHINOISERIE.

(17) FINIAL is for embellishing furniture; it is a carved or turned ornament.

Now, let us take a look at the legs and feet of your antique furniture.

(1) The foot is in the shape of a ball, but with a claw grabbing it—BALL AND CLAW FOOT.

(2) The foot is still round but slightly squashed, making it a BUN FOOT.

(3) PAW FOOT is the representation of an animal’s claw.

(4) If the foot is oval and has a pad on its bottom, it is a PAD FOOT.

(5) A SCROLL-FOOT obviously resembles a rolled-up scroll.

(6) Some furniture exhibit fancy legs, such as the knee curving outward and the ankle curving inward. This is the CABRIOLE LEG.

(7) The inward curve going S in shape is a SABER LEG.

(8) The double curve is SERPENTINE.

(9) The reverse of the serpentine front is OXBOW FRONT.

(10) We have legs going straight and square too. They end in a block foot. Such legs are MARLBOROUGH LEGS.


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