Glossary of Art and Antique terms
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- Bachelor's Chest: Small low 18th century chest .
- Backsplat: Wooden slat in middle of a chair's back.
- Bail: A drawer pull formed by a metal hook hanging freely between two studs.
- Ball and Claw foot: A carved foot motif that resembling a ball or egg held in an eagle, crane, dragon or lion's claw. Most associated with 18th-century American and English furniture, the ball and claw foot's origins were in China as the dragon claw clutching a pearl, crystal ball or jewel.
- Balloon Chair: A Hepplewhite chair's rounded-back modeled after a hot-air balloon.
- Balloon Seat: Chair seat with a convex or horseshoe shaped front rail bowing forward.
- Banding: Inlay or marquetry producing a contrasting color or grain with the surface it decorates.
- Banquette: An often built-in-place, Long upholstered bench or seat.
- Baroque: European style of the early 18th century that originated in Rome as an extension of ornamental Renaissance style. Baroque style is characterized by massive and heavily decorated, exaggerated, billowing and highly ornate design styles of oversize moldings twisted columns and elaborate scrolls.
- baluster: Small closely spaced turned, square, or flat columns that support a rail or chair back.
- Bauhaus: Early 20th-century German design style from the school of architecture founder Walter Gropius. A minimalist and functional style with much influence on modern furniture and architecture design.
- Beading: Raised decorative quarter or half round molding trim sometimes resembling a flat row of planate beads.
- Beech: A relatively inexpensive hardwood, similar in appearance to maple. Beechwood is used for frames, veneers, and turned or bent parts.
- Beidermeier: German style of design in first half of the 19th century. Inspired by Empire style with light woods and simple lines with lacquer or black enamel accents.
- Bentwood: A wood steaming process of shaping curved chair and furniture parts. The best-known producer of bentwood furniture is Michael Thonet (1796 - 1871) of Vienna, a pioneer in mass production.
- Bergère: French armchair built for comfort of wide proportions; upholstered back and sides, covered arms, a loose squab seat cushion and exposed wooden frame. Common during Louis XIV and Louis XV periods.
- Birch: One tough American wood, with a light tone similar to maple and fine grain. Birch may have a variety of woodgrain pattern (curly, straight and wavy) and will accept stain to resemble mahogany or walnut.
- birdcage: mechanism allowing a table top to tilt and pivot.
- Block Foot: Squared and vertical foot of an untapered leg.
- Block front: Design is an unique American furniture form. John Towsend is attributed to creating the first block and shell furniture in 1766. Newport style is square blocked. Massachusetts is both square and round blocking. Front is usually divided vertically into three segments with a concave panel in the center and convex panels on either side. Panels frequently terminate in shell carvings or flat arches at the top. See also Break Front.
- Book Matching: Sheets of veneer placed side-by-side, like book pages creating symmetrical patterns or mirror images.
- Bombe': Low "kettle" shape chest of the baroque-style bombe' form derived from a shape used commonly for ancient Roman sarcophagi with bulging, convex shape on the front and sides. Bombe' style is often used for Chests, commodes, bureaus, armoires.
- Bonnet Top: A hooded or enclosed arch top pediment covering entire top, usually on a china cabinet, secretary, highboy or tall chest.
- Boss: An oval or rounded surface ornament.
- Boston Rocker: Large 19th Century American rocker of wood with wide top-rail and a spindle back, and curved seat. They are commonly stenciled or painted.
- Bow Back: Windsor chair style.
- Bow Front: Rounded front curve on wooden furniture.
- Bracket Foot: Low straight vertical or ogee faced foot running perpendicular from the corner of furniture case forming a right angle foot with decorative ends.
- Breakfront: China cabinet divided into three vertical segments, with the middle section projecting forward. See also Blockfront.
- Brewster Chair: Colonial American style chair with heavy wood turned spindles and leg posts, and relief carving. Typical of Jacobean period or Pilgrim style from about the middle of the 17th century.
- Brocades: a Woven fabric resembling embroidery with a raised pattern.
- broken color: Used first by Manet and the 19th century Impressionists in French painting, where color was applied in spots rather than the traditional method of smoothly blending colors and values. Broken color's purer "Pointillism" was developed by Georges Seurat.
- Broken Pediment: Ornamental crown molding of a tall 18th century furnishing such as a high boy or tall chest. The pediment across the top is interrupted or "broken" by an opening that highlights a carved finial detail such as a flame or an urn.
- Buffet: A functional cupboard or sideboard for the dining room, without the storage china cabinet or hutch on top, designed to hold platters and serving dishes.
- Bun Foot: A flattened ball foot with slim ankle. Popular on chests or seating pieces in William and Mary period.
- Burl: A large, rounded knot growth on a tree. The wood, Burlwood, has a distinctive and mottled grain makes highly figured veneers with beautiful swirled patterns.
- Bureau: A dresser or chest-of-drawers Commonly used to store clothing.
- Butler's Tray Table: A tray, removable from the table legs on which it stands, with four flip-up handholds that create An oval tabletop is when the sides are down.
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