Furniture Terms G - I

G Gargoyle:  A bizarre carving of a head. While they were originally used as downspouts on buildings, they were eventually worked into chair backs. The ugly features were meant to scare away evil spirits.

Gateleg Table: Essentially a drop leaf table in which the leaf is held up by a leg or legs that swing away from the center of the table. This style was popular in Colonial times and again in the late Twentieth Century. It is still seen today, usually in rustic furniture.

Gesso: Moldings or carvings made from plaster and often painted to resemble wood or metal. Gesso is much lighter than wood making it suitable for heavy picture or mirror frames. The use of gesso also allows replication of intricate trim and molding that would be cost prohibitive if carved from wood.

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Hassock: An ottoman. Highboy - A tall chest of drawers.

Hope Chest:  A term, no longer in common use, referring to a lift top chest, in which, a young lady would store items to take to her marriage home.

Hutch: Commonly, the enclosed, removeable top portion of a china cabinet. It usually has glass on three sides and often has a mirrored back. Its main function is to display fine dinnerware.

Inlay: Pieces of contrasting material, often wood, that fits in pre-cut spaces to form a pattern and lays flush with the surface in which it is laid. J Jewelling - A type of carving that simulates the shapes of jewels.

 

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