ACANTHUS – The leafy carving found on much traditional furniture. It represents the acanthus bush of ancientGreece.
ARMOIRE – The French word we commonly use today for a large cabinet, usually with 2 doors and sometimes a lower drawer(s). Generally used as a clothes closet, but many antique ones have been converted to entertainment or bar cabinets. Armoires or “wardrobes” are still made today.
ASTRAGAL – The piece of wood, sometimes decorative, that overlaps the joint where 2 doors meet.
BAIL– The part of a drawer or cabinet pull that hangs down from the support posts on each side of the hardware.
BALL & CLAW – a type of furniture foot popularized by the famous English cabinet designer Thomas Chippendale in the mid 18th century, It is taken from Oriental mythology and represents a dragon claw clutching a pearl.
BED BOLTS – Steel bolts that intersect with implanted nuts to hold the side rails securely to the headboard and footboard of a bed; especially seen on antique beds.
BELLFLOWER – A decorative element of carving or wood inlay found on antique and reproduction furniture, consisting of a connected string of 3 or 5 leafed flowers.
BLOCK FRONT – A technique of sawing solid wood to produce a three dimensional effect by dividing the frontal space of case goods into (usually) three vertical sections with the center section being concave and the end sections being convex.
BOW BACK – The rounded outside back frame of a Windsor chair which is bent to shape from a single piece of wood.
BOW FRONT CHEST – a chest of drawers with an outward curved front section. Early designs came from 18th Century English furniture designers such as George Heppelwhite and were popular in America during the early 19th C.