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Glossary

Andirons One of a pair of metal supports that is used for holding up logs in a fireplace. Also called dog, dog iron, firedog.

Allegorical In literature, a symbolic story that serves as a disguised representation for meanings other than those easily noticeable from the surface.

Aluminum leaf Aluminum hammered into thin sheets; A bright leaf or foil made of aluminum and often substituted for silver in blocking edition bindings. While it tarnishes slower than silver, it lacks a rich appearance and depth of silver leaf. It is also less expensive.

Alto-relievo Sculptural relief in which the modeled forms project from the background by at least half their depth.

Architrave The lintel or flat horizontal member that spans the space between the columns. In classical architecture it is the lowest member of an entablature.

Atlantes In architecture, atlantes are figures or half figures of men, used as columns to support the part of a structure which is immediately above the column; also the distinguishing feature of the Greek styles.

Apse In architecture an apse is a projecting part of a building, especially of a church, having in the plan a polygonal or semicircular termination. An apse most often projects from the east end.

Balustrades A balustrade is a row of small columns of pilasters, used as a support to the rail of an open parapet, to guard the side of a staircase, or the front of a gallery.

Baroque Baroque is a term first applied to ill-shaped pearls, but now denoting fantastic, bizarre, and decadent forms in art and nature. It is mostly used in connection with an architectural style. Baroque is a European style of architecture confined to churches and palaces.

Bicameral Composed of or based on two legislative chambers or branches: a bicameral legislature.

Burlap A strong, coarsely woven cloth made of fibers of jute, flax, or hemp and used to make bags, to reinforce linoleum, and in interior decoration.

Circassian A native or inhabitant of Circassia .

Coat-of-arms A tabard or surcoat blazoned with bearings; An arrangement of bearings, usually depicted on and around a shield that indicates ancestry and distinctions; A representation of bearings.

Coffered In architecture, a coffer is a panel deeply recessed in the ceiling of a vault, dome, or portico.

Cornices Any horizontal, molded, or otherwise decorated projection which crowns or finishes the part to which it is affixed. For example the cornice of an order, pedestal, door, window, or house.

Cornucopia A goat's horn overflowing with fruit, flowers, and grain, signifying prosperity. Also called horn of plenty; A cone-shaped ornament or receptacle; An overflowing store; An abundance: a cornucopia of employment opportunities.

Caryatids In architecture, caryatids are figures of women dressed in long robes, serving to support entablatures in place of a column or pilaster.

Cherubs A representation of a small angel, portrayed as a child with a chubby rosy face.

Favriles A brand of iridescent art glass, introduced by L. C. Tiffany c1890 and used by him for blown vases, flower holders, etc.

Frieze In architecture a frieze is that part of the entablature of an order which is between the architrave and cornice. It is a flat member or face, either uniform or broken by triglyphs, and often enriched with figures and other ornaments of sculpture. The term is also applied to any sculptured or richly ornamented band in a building or, by extension, in rich pieces of furniture.

Fender That which defends; a utensil to confine coals to the fireplace; something to protect the side of a vessel from injury.

Gold leaf Gold beaten into very thin sheets used especially for gilding.

Keystones The central or topmost stone of an arch. This in some styles is made different in size from the other voussoirs, or projects, or is decorated with carving.

Lysicrates Small decorative structures erected in ancient Greece to commemorate the victory of the leader of a chorus in the competitive choral dances. The best known is that of Lysicrates (c.335 B.C.), still standing in Athens , a graceful circular structure showing one of the early uses of Corinthian columns.

Marquetry Material, such as wood or ivory, laid piece by piece into a wood surface in a detailed design and veneered to another surface, especially of furniture, for decoration.

Monolithic Constituting a monolith: a monolithic sculpture; Massive, solid, and uniform: the monolithic proportions of Stalinist architecture; Constituting or acting as a single, often rigid, uniform whole: a monolithic worldwide movement.

Motif A dominant recurrent thematic element in an artistic or literary work..

Mosaic A picture or decorative design, or the process of making the design, made by setting small colored pieces, as of stone or tile, into a surface.

Numidia An ancient country of northwest Africa corresponding roughly to present-day Algeria . It was part of the Carthaginian empire before the Punic Wars and became a separate kingdom after 201 B.C. Conquered by Rome in 46 B.C. and invaded by the Vandals in the fifth century A.D., Numidia was overrun by the Arabs in the eighth century.

Onyx A chalcedony that occurs in bands of different colors and is used as a gemstone, especially in cameos and intaglios.

Palmettes A stylized palm leaf used as a decorative element, notably in Persian rugs and in classical moldings, reliefs, frescoes, and vase paintings.

Pediments In classical architecture a pediment was the triangular space forming the gable of a simple roof. It later came to mean a similar form used as a decoration over porticoes, doors, windows, etc.; and also, a rounded or broken frontal having a similar position and use.

Pilasters In architecture a pilaster is an upright architectural member right-angled in plan, constructionally a pier but architecturally corresponding to a column, having capital, shaft, and base to agree with those of the columns of the same order. In most cases the projection from the wall is one third of its width, or less.

Portiere A heavy curtain hung across a doorway.

Parquetry A kind of flooring composed of blocks of wood laid level with one another, and arranged in geometric or other patterns.

Relief The easing or something that alleviates pain that may be of a burden or distress, such as pain, anxiety, or oppression.

Rosettes Rosette describes an ornament in the form of a rose. They are used in decoration.

Rostrum A dais, pulpit, or other elevated platform for public speaking.

Stanchion In architecture a stanchion is a prop or support, usually a piece of timber in the form of a stake or post, used for a support or stay.

Swags An ornamental drapery or curtain draped in a curve between two points; An ornamental festoon of flowers or fruit; A carving or plaster molding of such an ornament.

Spandrels A spandrel is the irregular triangular space between the curve of an arch and the enclosing right angle; or the space between the outer moldings of two contiguous arches and a horizontal line above them, or another arch above and enclosing them.

Squaw An American Indian woman

Turreted In architecture a turret is a small tower, frequently a merely ornamental structure at one of the angles of a larger structure.

Wainscoting A wooden lining or boarding of the walls of apartments, usually made in panels.