Furniture Terms M - O

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M Marlborough Legs: Thick straight legs. Marquetry - Decorative patterns made with inlaid material, usually wood in modern times.

Medallion: A decorative carving, usually at or near the top in the center of a case piece. Miter - An angled cut, normally 45 degrees, at the end of two pieces of wood that are to be joined forming a ninety degree angle.

Modesty Panel:The panel or board attached between the piers of a desk to ensure privacy for the person seated at the desk.

Molding:Trim, usually wood, that is shaped to decorate or protect furniture or walls (toe molding, crown molding, chair rails, etc.). It may also be used to conceal an unappealing substrate on a desk or table that has a veneer top.

Morris Chair: A large adjustable backed chair. These chairs were usually made of oak, sometimes quarter sawn oak. The back was hinged and removable and the angle of the back was set with two wooden pegs or a thick wooden dowel. They could be taken apart and the seat and back could be strapped to the side of a covered wagon.

Mortise: A rectangular cut in a piece of wood made to accommodate a tenon when joining two pieces of wood. This type of joint is very strong when done correctly.

Mother-of-Pearl:Opalescent shells interiors cut into strips and inlayed in furniture. Motif - The overall theme of the styles and hues used in decorating a room or a building.

Mullion: Narrow grooved pieces of wood or metal that hold panes of glass in a larger opening. They create what is called divided light in a door or window.

Muntin:The narrow flat piece of grooved wood that separates panels in a door. 

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Nested or Nesting Tables: A set of identical tables, varying only in size, that slide, or nest, under each other.

O Objet d’Art: Accent pieces, or small furniture that have or are thought to have value as artistic specimens.

Occasional Tables:  The term usually applies to coffee/cocktail tables, end tables, lamp tables and foyer tables. Onlay - Decorative work that is applied, usually as a decal these days, on the surface of furniture, as opposed to inlay.

Open Grain: This term applies to wood pores that are very large.

Open Stock: Furniture, appliances etc. that have been removed from the original packaging. These pieces are often the display samples. The term may also apply non-grouped pieces that may be sold separately or made into a group.

Ottoman:  An upholstered foot rest or seat without arms or a back, similar to a hassock. Oxbow - A graceful shaping design that is used on case pieces. This shape is the opposite of serpentine fronts and so resembles the yoke used on teams of oxen.