Apron decorative skirt of wood set between the legs of a chair or cabinet.

Armoire French term for a press, wardrobe or any large cupboard.

Barley-sugar twist name for spiral turn on legs and rail.

Bonheur du jour small writing table, French.

Bracket foot square shaped foot with ornamental shaped inset, found on chests of drawers and cabinets,

Breakfront with central section that breaks forward, eg. Glazed cabinet, glass fronted bookcase.

Bun feet feet shaped like flattened globe

Burnishing cream mild abrasive used to make a finish more glossy.

Burr feature in a tree’s growth where growth is stunted, causing decorative pattern or ‘figure’, used in veneers and wood turning.

Cabriole leg leg that curves out at the foot and in at the top. The point of change from outer to inner curve is called the knee.

Carcase inner frame of a piece of furniture

Chamfer a corner that has been flattened at a 45degree angle ie.an octagon is a chamfered square.

Chiffonnier a low or sided cupboard.

Cornice the horizontal top part of a piece of furniture.

Cross-banding decorative veneered edge that is cross- grained.

Cutting-back term used by polishers to flatten any ridges or imperfections in a polished surface by using a fine sanding pad or sand paper.

Davenport British name for a desk with drawers at side, usually has blank drawer faces on opposite side.

Dentil small moulding in the shape of a block, usually found under a cornice.


Ebonize staining wood to colour of ebony.

Escritoire cabinet with a front that drops down to form a writing surface.

Fad cotton wool wrapped in cotton material to form a pad. Soaked in shellac polish the fad is used to apply thin coats of shellac to a wooden surface.

Fadding the technique used by polishers to fill the grain of wood with shellac polish, achieved by circular movements with the ‘fad’ or ‘rubber’

Fielded a frame that has a centre panel that is raised with moulding on frame inset.

Figure the pattern made by the grain through a wood.

Frieze any long ornamental strip

Herringbone banding decorative strip where veneer is laid down in  oblique stripes.

Inlay the setting of either marble, wood, metal, mother-of-pearl in or over another.

Marriage term used to describe a piece of furniture made from two different pieces to make a more saleable piece, eg.writing bureau and bookcase to make bureau bookcase.

Marquetry the use of veneers of different wood types to make a decorative pattern.

Moulding decorative shaped band eg.around a panel.

Mount fitting mounted on to furniture made from metal or ormolu.

Ogee any S-shaped curve used in mouldings.

Ormolu any mount or sconce that has been gilded.

Patination word describing layers of wax, grease and dirt that has built up on a surface over many years.

Rail a horizontal member running between two legs or outer uprights of two uprights.

Rosewood exotic hardwood, brown in colour with strong, dark, striped, grain.

Rubber same as a Fad.

Satinwood exotic close grained wood with close grain. Vibrant gold when polished.

Shellac a natural varnish made from crushed insects dissolved in mentholated spirit.

Spindle turned upright bars on a spindle-back chair.

Spirit stain spirit based stain that strikes deeper into the wood.

Splat the central upright of a chair, usually pierced to make more decorative.

Squirel mop polishers brush made from squirrel hair.

Stretcher the rail joining and stabilizing the legs.

Turnery anything that has been ‘turned’ on a lathe.

Vandyke crystals coloured crystals dissolved in water, versatile colour used by polishers to achieve warm brown tones.

Veneer thin sheet of wood laid over another(the carcase) as part of the marquetry pattern