Furniture Guide

Explore the Furniture Guide to learn about the Archive’s terminology, from types of furniture to decorative elements.

Function

Case furniture

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Furniture intended to hold or store objects within an enclosed space. Case furniture is usually boxlike. See also support furniture.

Bookcase

Case furniture intended to hold books, usually on one or more shelves. May have doors.

Desk and bookcase

Furniture usually composed of two cases: a lower desk with lidded writing surface and an upper bookcase, with or without doors. The two pieces may be constructed separately to facilitate transport. See also desk.

Also called secretary-bookcase, secretary and bookcase, or secretary.

Desk-over-bookcase

Narrow, lidded writing desk on top of a bookcase. See also desk.

Also called Larkin desk.

Library bookcase

Bookcase constructed with two or more adjacent columns of shelves. The columns may differ in depth from the central bookcase. May have doors.

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Cabinet

Small piece of case furniture with drawers, shelves, or storage compartments fronted by one or more doors. See also cupboard for pieces with similar function constructed on a larger scale.

Cabinet on stand

Cabinet mounted on frame or legs.

Also called cabinet on frame.

Music cabinet

Cabinet with drawers or shelves intended for the flat storage of sheet music.

Chest

Case furniture in which the top of the piece is a hinged lid.

Chest with drawer

Lidded chest constructed with a single drawer, usually at the base of the piece.

Also called blanket chest.

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Chest with drawers

Lidded chest constructed with two or more drawers, usually at the base of the piece.

Also called blanket chest.

Bottle case

Lidded chest constructed with square inner partitions to store and separate bottles of wine or other alcohol. See also celleret.

Also called bottle chest.

Celleret

Lidded chest intended to store bottles of wine or other alcohol. Frequently constructed with a lock and handles; may be lined so that the case can be filled with ice to cool bottles. See also bottle case.

Also called cellaret, liquor cabinet, or wine cooler.

Tea chest

Small, lidded chest lined with metal intended to hold loose tea.

Also called book tea chest.

Chest of drawers

Case furniture in which the entire enclosed space is fitted with drawers.

Also called bureau or bureau table.

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Bureau table

Desk or chest of drawers with a flat top surface. Usually has a recessed front center section. In the 1760s and 1770s, this term was used to describe a chest of drawers.

Also called bureau dressing table, kneehole desk, kneehole table, or writing and dressing table.

Chest-on-chest

Furniture composed of two cases: a lower chest of drawers and an upper chest of drawers. The upper chest may be surmounted with a pediment or decorative molding. The two pieces are generally constructed separately to facilitate transport.

Chest on frame

Chest of drawers that sits on a separately constructed stand or frame.

Chest of drawers with looking glass

Chest of drawers with a looking glass or mirror mounted on the top surface or to one side of the drawers.

Also called dresser with mirror, bureau, or dressing bureau.

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High chest of drawers

Furniture composed of two cases: a lower chest of drawers on legs and an upper chest of drawers. The upper chest may be surmounted with a pediment or decorative molding. The two pieces are generally constructed separately to facilitate transport. May be made as part of a set with a dressing table.

Also called case of drawers, highboy, or tallboy.

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Spice chest

Small chest of drawers intended to hold spices. Frequently constructed with a lock. Generally small enough to be placed on a table or shelf.

Counter

Case furniture constructed with shelves or drawers and a top used as a work surface when a user is standing. May be built into an architectural setting.

Cupboard

Case furniture with shelves or drawers for storage or display, generally enclosed by one or more doors. See also cabinet for pieces with similar function constructed on a smaller scale. See also wardrobe for pieces with similar structure intended to hold clothing or other textiles.

Corner cupboard

Cupboard with triangular frame, intended to fit into the corner of a room.

Court cupboard

Low, horizontal cupboard with open shelves. Frequently constructed with an enclosed section near the top. Associated with the seventeenth-century style.

Dresser

Cupboard surmounted with a backboard, shelves, or drawers intended to store and display dishes and other food service items in a kitchen. See also sideboard for pieces with similar structure intended for use in a dining room.

Kitchen safe

Cupboard with one or more ventilated doors, intended to store food.

Also called pie safe or food safe.

Desk

Case furniture intended to facilitate reading, writing, and other business. Constructed with a writing surface. Frequently includes drawers or other types of storage.

Bureau table

Desk or chest of drawers with a flat top surface and recessed front center section.

Also called bureau dressing table, kneehole desk, kneehole table, or writing and dressing table.

Counting-house desk

Desk with flat or slanted writing surface mounted on high legs, for use when standing.

Also called countinghouse desk, counting desk, standing desk, or writing stand.

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Cylinder fall desk

Lidded desk in which the lid is constructed as a rigid cylinder that rolls backward into the case of the desk. See also rolltop desk.

Also called cylinder desk or cylinder top desk.

Davenport

Narrow desk with slanted writing surface that projects beyond the front of the case. Frequently constructed with drawers and other storage compartments, sometimes accessed from the sides of the piece.

Desk and bookcase

Furniture composed of two cases: a lower desk with lidded or hinged writing surface and an upper bookcase. The two pieces may be constructed separately to facilitate transport.

Also called secretary-bookcase, secretary and bookcase, or secretary.

Desk-on-frame

Desk with slanted writing surface that sits on a separately constructed stand or frame.

Desk-over-bookcase

Narrow, lidded writing desk on top of a bookcase.

Also called Larkin desk.

Fall-front desk

Lidded desk that opens to form or reveal a writing surface. Frequently constructed with full-width drawers in the case and drawers, pigeonholes, or other storage compartments visible when the lid is opened. See also slant-front desk.

Also called bureau-cabinet, drop-front desk, straight-front desk, or drop-front cabinet.

Library table

Desk with large, flat writing surface mounted on legs. Frequently constructed with a single long drawer.

Also called library writing table or writing table.

Pedestal desk

Desk with flat writing surface supported by case pieces at either side. Case pieces may be fitted with drawers, shelves, or doors.

Also called partner's desk.

Portable desk

Small desk with slanted writing surface. Intended to sit on a table or other surface.

Also called lap desk.

Reading desk

Desk with slanted writing surface and deep ledge along the bottom front edge to support a book.

Also called reading stand.

Rolltop desk

Lidded desk in which the lid is constructed as a flexible cylinder composed of horizontal wooden slats that roll backward into the case of the desk. See also cylinder fall desk and tambour desk.

Slant-front desk

Lidded desk that opens to form a writing surface; when closed, the lid angles back to rest against the case top. Frequently constructed with full-width drawers in the case and drawers, pigeonholes, or other storage compartments visible when the lid is opened. See also fall-front desk.

Also called secretary or secretary-desk.

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Tambour desk

Desk with doors composed of vertical wooden slats that roll sideways into the case of the desk. See also rolltop desk.

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Exhibit case

Case furniture constructed with glass doors, sides, or lid intended for the long-term storage and display of objects. Frequently intended for use in public spaces such as museums or libraries.

Sideboard

Case furniture on legs intended to store or display dining wares. Frequently constructed in a long series of sections, each with drawers or shelves and doors. Sometimes surmounted by a backboard, shelves, or drawers. See also dresser for pieces with similar structure intended for use in a kitchen.

Also called serving board, side board, or buffet.

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Celleret sideboard

Sideboard constructed with designated space to store bottles. See also celleret.

Huntboard

Sideboard with minimal storage below the top surface. Sometimes made with a single row of drawers and no additional shelves.

Also called hunt board, hunt table, hunting table, or hunter's table.

Wardrobe

Large-scale case furniture intended to store hanging clothes or other textiles behind one or more doors. Frequently fitted with a rod, hooks, or pegs; may be fitted with shelves. Sometimes made with one or more drawers in the lower section of the case.

Also called clothes cupboard, clothes press, armoire, or garderobe.

Household accessories

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Furniture intended to supplement, decorate, or otherwise enhance an interior by serving a highly specific, frequently non-essential function. Household accessories, more than other functional groups of furniture, may be associated with the display of wealth or status. Household accessories are frequently constructed on a smaller scale than other types of furniture.

Clock

Timepiece set in a case, frame, or other supporting structure. The movement, or mechanical components of the timepiece, dial, and case generally have different makers; the types of clocks listed in the Archive are defined by the structure of their cases.

Dwarf tall clock

Small, freestanding clock typically designed with three sections: the upper hood, in which the clockworks are mounted; the middle trunk that houses the hanging pendulum; and the lower base. See also tall case clock.

Also called dwarf clock, miniature tall case clock or grandmother clock.

Tall case clock

Freestanding clock typically designed with three sections: the upper hood, in which the clockworks are mounted; the middle trunk that houses the hanging pendulum; and the lower base. See also dwarf tall clock.

Also called long case clock, longcase clock, grandfather clock, or tall clock.

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Shelf clock

Relatively small, portable clock intended to sit on a shelf, mantel, or tabletop.

Also called mantel clock, acorn clock, lantern clock, lighthouse clock, pedestal clock, or pillar and scroll clock.

Wall clock

Relatively small clock intended to be mounted on wall.

Also called banjo clock, girandole clock, patent time piece, or wag-on-wall clock.

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Container

Small, portable, enclosed object used for storage or transport.

Bible box

Rectangular container with a hinged lid used for storing bibles, books, or writing materials. Sometimes constructed with a slanted lid on which to rest an opened book.

Also called book box.

Box

Rigid, rectangular container unassociated with the storage or transport of a particular object.

Candle box

Rectangular container intended to store tapers or dipped candles. Frequently constructed with sliding lids.

Dressing case

Rectangular container intended to store small personal articles, especially during travel. May contain small drawers, partitions, or a looking glass.

Also called dressing box or toilet case.

Knife box

Container, frequently with a hinged lid, constructed with individual slots to hold the blades of knives or other cutlery.

Salt box

Lidded container designed to be mounted on a wall and used to store salt.

Picture frame

Structure that surrounds, protects, and makes visible another work, especially a two-dimensional work of art. Frames may be mounted on a wall or free standing.

Looking glass

Reflective, two-dimensional surface mounted within a frame that provides support and protection. Looking glass frames are frequently decorative.

Also called mirror.

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Cheval glass

Tall looking glass mounted on a free-standing base intended for use when dressing. May be adjustable.

Also called cheval mirror, cheval dressing mirror, horse glass, or swing glass.

Dressing glass

Small looking glass intended to sit on a piece of case furniture, such as a bureau table or dressing table, for use when dressing. May be mounted on a small chest fitted with drawers.

Also called dressing mirror, dressing table mirror, toilet glass, or toilet mirror.

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Girandole mirror

Circular, convex looking glass with highly decorative circular frame. Frame may support branched candle holders.

Hand mirror

Small framed looking glass with a handle.

Overmantel mirror

Looking glass intended to be hung above a fireplace mantel. Frequently large with multiple panes of glass. Frame may support branched candle holders.

Also called chimney glass, over mantel mirror, over mantel lookingglass, overmantel looking glass, or mantel mirror.

Pier glass

Tall, narrow looking glass intended to be hung between two windows. May be part of a set with a pier table.

Musical instrument

Sound-producing devices set in or built into a case, frame, or other supporting structure. The Archive includes only free-standing musical instruments with structures similar to case furniture. The types of musical instruments listed in the Archive are defined by the structure of their cases as well as their methods of sound production.

Also called instrument.

Grand piano

Keyboard instrument. The case is constructed with one long straight side and one curved side and may have a hinged lid. Hammers attached to the keys cause strings to vibrate, producing sounds of different frequencies. Strings are mounted horizontally within the case. See also square piano.

Also called piano, pianoforte, grand pianoforte, or fortepiano.

Melodeon

Keyboard instrument. The shallow case resembles that of a square piano. Keys control the action of bellows that force air through a set of reeds, causing them to vibrate and produce sound.

Also called reed organ or American organ.

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Player piano

Keyboard instrument. The case frequently resembles that of an upright piano. Hammers attached to the keys cause strings to vibrate, producing sounds of different frequencies. Action of the keys is controlled mechanically, frequently through paper rolls perforated to indicate the sequence of hammered notes.

Also called player pianoforte, piano, pianoforte, or fortepiano.

Square piano

Keyboard instrument. The horizontal case is rectangular. Hammers attached to the keys cause strings to vibrate, producing sounds of different frequencies. See also grand piano.

Also called square pianoforte, piano, pianoforte, or fortepiano.

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Upright piano

Keyboard instrument. The shallow case is taller than that of a square piano. Hammers attached to the keys cause strings to vibrate, producing sounds of different frequencies. Strings are mounted vertically within the case.

Also called vertical piano, upright pianoforte, vertical pianoforte, pinao, pianoforte, or fortepiano.

Screen

Vertical, free-standing, portable structure used to divide space or shield or decorate an area. May be solid or framed with a center constructed of a different material, such as a textile. Frequently decorative.

Also called standing screen.

Candle screen

Small screen intended to be set on a table in front of a candle.

Also called candlescreen, table fire screen, or table firescreen.

Fire screen

Screen intended to stand on the floor in front of a fireplace to provide a shield from direct heat. May be mounted on a pole. The height or angle of the screen may be adjustable. Frequently elaborately decorated; may serve a purely decorative purpose.

Also called firescreen, cheval fire screen, cheval screen, pole screen, banner screen, pole fire screen, or tripod fire screen.

Folding screen

Screen constructed of two or more panels joined by vertical hinges. Intended to stand on the floor.

Table screen

Small screen intended to sit on a table or piece of case furniture. May be a single panel or constructed of two or more panels joined by vertical hinges.

Seating furniture

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Furniture intended to support the human body while sitting. See also sleeping and reclining furniture.

Bench

Long, unupholstered seating furniture intended for more than one person. May or may not have arms and a back. See also stool for similar seating furniture intended for one person. See also settee.

Settle

Bench with high, solid back; arms; and wings.

Also called settle bench.

Windsor bench

Bench with turned legs or spindles driven into a plank seat. See also Windsor style.

Chair

Seating furniture intended for one person. Constructed with seat backs. May have arms. See also stool for one-person seating furniture without backs.

Armchair

Chair constructed with arms. The Archive uses this term for armchairs that do not have a more specific structure or function. See also side chair.

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Backstool

Chair with compact upholstered seat and rectangular upholstered back. Constructed without arms to resemble a stool to which a back has been attached. See also slipper chair.

Also called back stool.

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Bed chair

Chair with adjustable back and hinged seat that can unfold to become a sleeping surface.

Campeche chair

Chair with curule legs and continuous, sling-like leather or cane surface that forms the back and seat. Design based on folding chairs and stools associated with the city of Campeche on the Yucatan Peninsula, although campeche chairs do not fold.

Also called sling chair or Spanish chair.

Chair-table

Armchair constructed with a large, hinged wooden back that can be folded down to rest on the arms and serve as a table.

Also called monks' chair or table-chair.

Commode chair

Armchair or side chair fitted with a chamber pot. The Archive uses this term for chairs that do not have a more specific structure or function, such as an easy chair fitted with a chamber pot.

Also called necessary chair, necessary stool, close-stool chair, or chamber stool.

Corner chair

Chair constructed with a continuous back around two adjacent sides of the chair. Corner chairs have three front legs and one rear leg.

Also called roundabout chair.

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Easy chair

Chair with padded, upholstered back, arms, front-projecting wings extending from either side of the back, and seat fitted with a seat cushion.

Also called draught chair, grandfather chair, lug chair, saddle cheek chair, wing chair, wing-back chair, or winged easy chair.

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Folding chair

Portable chair with a frame that can be folded flat for storage or transport. May be made with leather, canvas, or metal.

Also called camp chair.

Highchair

Child's chair constructed with long legs and a footrest. May have an associated table surface.

Also called high chair.

Invalids' chair

Chair constructed with adjustable components, including ratcheting back, arms, or footrest, or wheels intended for use by people with physical impairments.

Also called invalid's chair.

Klismos chair

Chair with sabre legs and a curved, smooth tablet or rail at the top of the back.

Also called Grecian chair or klysmos chair.

Lolling chair

Chair with upholstered seat and back and unupholstered wooden arms and arm supports.

Also called Martha Washington chair or upholstered armchair.

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Morris chair

Armchair with adjustable back and seat cushion. Named for William Morris, who promoted and sold this type of chair during the second half of the nineteenth century. Associated with the Arts and Crafts style. See also reclining chair.

Reclining chair

Easy chair with adjustable back and footrest. See also invalids' chair and Morris chair.

Also called recliner.

Rocking chair

Chair with bends to facilitate forward and backward or sideways motion. May or may not have arms. See also Windsor rocking chair.

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School chair

Chair produced in a variety of sizes for use by students in classrooms. Frequently constructed with wooden back and rotating seat mounted on an iron pedestal that could be bolted to the floor.

Also called desk chair, student chair, student's chair, schoolhouse chair, or school-house chair.

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Sedan chair

Portable chair intended to be mounted and carried on two long poles.

Side chair

Chair constructed without arms. The Archive uses this term for chairs that do not have a more specific structure or function. See also armchair.

Also called occasional chair.

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Slipper chair

Low chair with high upholstered back and upholstered seat. See also backstool.

Also called low chair.

Step chair

Chair that can be converted into a ladder.

Also called library chair, metamorphic chair, step-ladder chair, or stepladder chair.

Swivel chair

Chair constructed with a rotating seat. See also school chair.

Also called revolving chair or revolver.

Wainscot chair

Chair with solid, paneled back and paneled seat. Frequently decorated with shallow carving.

Also called panel-back chair.

Windsor armchair

Armchair with turned legs and bentwood or turned back supports driven into a plank seat. See also Windsor style and writing-arm Windsor chair.

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Windsor chair

Chair with turned legs and bentwood or turned back supports driven into a plank seat. See also Windsor style and Windsor rocking chair.

Also called Windsor side chair.

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Windsor rocking chair

Chair with bends, turned legs, and bentwood or turned back supports driven into a plank seat. May or may not have arms. See also Windsor style.

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Writing-arm Windsor chair

Armchair with turned legs and bentwood or turned back supports driven into a plank seat. One arm is fitted with an oblong horizontal writing surface. See also Windsor style and Windsor armchair.

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Settee

Seating furniture intended for more than one person. Constructed with a back; may have arms. Seat or back may be upholstered, but is less upholstered than a sofa. See also bench.

Also called loveseat or courting chair.

Chair-back settee

Settee constructed with two or more seat backs joined together to make a continuous back surface. Back, seat, and legs resemble chairs constructed in the same style and at the same time. May have arms.

Also called double-back settee.

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Windsor settee

Settee with turned legs and bentwood or turned back supports driven into a plank seat. May have arms. See also Windsor style and Windsor chair.

Sofa

Fully upholstered seating furniture intended for more than one person. Constructed with arms at either end. Back, seat, and arms are upholstered; a cushion may also be used. See also settee for less-upholstered pieces and couch for pieces with one arm intended for reclining.

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Sofa bed

Sofa that can be converted into a bed.

Also called convertible bed, convertible sofa, or sofa sleeper.

Tête-à-tête

S-shaped sofa constructed so that two occupants face each other.

Also called conversation chair, confident, canapé à confident, confidante, vis-à-vis, or siamoise.

Stool

Furniture on which one person can sit or place one's feet. Usually backless. See also bench for similar seating furniture intended for more than one person.

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Campstool

Portable stool with a frame that can be folded flat for storage or transport. Frequently made with a detachable leather or canvas seat.

Also called camp stool or folding stool.

Cricket stool

Footstool with four splayed legs.

Also called cricket or splayed-leg stool.

Footstool

Small, low stool on which to place one's feet or provide seating for a child.

Also called tabouret.

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Joint stool

Stool with turned legs and stretchers and mortise-and-tenon construction. Associated with Seventeenth-Century style.

Also called coffin stool, joined stool, or low stool.

Music stool

Stool intended for seating when playing a musical instrument. Frequently adjustable and constructed with a rotating seat.

Also called piano stool.

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Ottoman

Upholstered, thickly padded footstool.

Also called ottoman footstool.

Step stool

Stool constructed with one or more steps to give additional height. Steps may fold away.

Windsor stool

Stool with turned legs driven into a plank seat. See also Windsor style and Windsor chair.

Sleeping and reclining furniture

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Furniture intended to support the resting human body.

Bed

Furniture that functions as a surface for sleeping. Typically consists of a rigid frame, or bedstead, and mattress. The types of beds listed in the Archive are defined by the structure of the bedstead; few object records include descriptions of original or current mattresses and associated soft furnishings. In some cases, only components of a bed survive and are the subject of their own records; see bedpost, headboard, and footboard. See also seating furniture.

Also called bedstead.

Bedpost

Vertical support of a bedstead that serves as a leg, is typically attatched to the bed rails, may be connected to a headboard or footboard, and may support a tester or canopy.

Bunk bed

Bed constructed with two mattress platforms stacked vertically.

Also called bunkbed.

Cradle

Bed intended for use by an infant. Generally made with high sides. May have a hood at the head. Frequently made with bends. See also crib.

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Crib

Small bed intended for use by a small child. Generally made with high, slatted sides. See also cradle.

Cot

Lightweight, portable bed usually intended for short-term use. May have canvas sleeping surface joined to the frame with springs, webbing, or rope. May be hinged so it can be flattened for storage or transport. See also folding bed.

Field bed

Bedstead with bedposts between four and six feet high surmounted by an arched or serpentine canopy. See also high-post bed.

Also called camp bed or three-quarter-high bed.

Folding bed

Bed that can be folded or collapsed into a compact form. May be made to resemble a piece of case furniture when closed. May be mounted to interior architecture so it can fold into a closet or against a wall. Generally less portable than a cot.

Also called deception bed, folding bedstead, press bed, turn-up bed, turn-up bedstead, or Murphy bed.

Footboard

Structure that spans the foot of a bedstead. May extend to the floor or project above the mattress. Frequently mounted between two bedposts. See also headboard.

Also called foot board or foot-board.

Headboard

Structure that spans the head of a bedstead. May extend to the floor or project above the mattress. Frequently mounted between two bedposts. See also footboard.

Also called head board or head-board.

High-post bed

Bedstead with bedposts approximately six feet in height at the corners of the head or at both the corners of the head and foot. A rectangular tester may be mounted on four bedposts to cover the entire bed; a small rectangular tester may extend from two bedposts at the head of the bed; or curtains hanging from a ceiling-mounted canopy may extend over the bed. See also low-post bed and field bed.

Also called canopy bed, four-poster bed, four-posted bed, four-post bed, half-tester bed, half-headed bed, pencil-post bed, plantation bed, or tester bed.

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Low-post bed

Bedstead with bedposts approximately four feet in height at the corners of the head or at both the head and foot of the bed. See also high-post bed.

Also called lowpost bed.

Sleigh bed

Bed with headboard and footboard of equal size that project above the mattress. Headboard and footboard frequently curved or scrolled along the top edge.

Also called boat bed, French bed, gondola bed, gondola-shaped bed, or Grecian bed.

Trundle bed

Low bed that can be stored beneath another bedstead when not in use.

Couch

Long, narrow furniture used primarily for sleeping and reclining. Constructed with a back and one arm. Frequently upholstered. See also sofa for a similar form used primarily for seating and constructed with two arms.

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Grecian couch

Couch with scrolled arm. Associated with the Empire style.

Daybed

Long, narrow furniture used primarily for sleeping and reclining. Constructed as a chair with an extended seat. Frequently made with a back that can be adjusted to a variety of angles. May also refer to a long, narrow, upholstered seat with low arms at either end. During the eighteenth century, the term couch was sometimes used to describe this form.

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Support furniture

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Furniture intended to hold, display, or facilitate the use of objects on an exposed surface. The upper, exterior surfaces of support furniture are key to their function. See also case furniture.

Rack

Small, freestanding or wall-mounted structure with pegs, hooks, or rods on which small objects can be hung or suspended. See also stand.

Canterbury

Rack with vertical partitions intended to hold sheet music, newspapers, or books.

Coat or hat rack

Rack mounted to a wall or piece of furniture with pegs or hooks to hold coats or hats. See also coat or hat stand for similar free-standing objects.

Also called coat rack, coatrack, hat rack, or hatrack.

Cue rack

Rack with hooks or supports intended to hold billiard cues.

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Pipe rack

Small rack with hooks or supports intended to hold tobacco pipes.

Towel rack

Freestanding or wall-mounted rack fitted with pegs, hooks, or bars to hold towels or other textiles.

Shelf

Freestanding or wall-mounted structure with one or more horizontal surfaces for the display or storage of small objects. See also bookcase.

Bracket shelf

Small wall-mounted structure with one or more shelves. Supported from the underside by an L-shaped wood or metal bracket. See also brackets.

Also called book shelf, bookshelf, or hanging bookshelf.

Corner shelf

Small shelf made to be wall-mounted in the corner of a room.

Étagère

Freestanding structure constructed with multiple, tiered shelves for the display or storage of small objects. May have an open or mirrored back. May have drawers in a low tier.

Also called parlor cabinet, parlour cabinet, what-not, whatnot, or what not.

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Stand

Small, freestanding structure for the display or storage of small objects. Frequently constructed with one or more horizontal surfaces. May have pegs, hooks, or rods on which objects can be hung or suspended. See also rack and table.

Also called pedestal.

Basin stand

Table-like stand with horizontal, circular hole or applied rim to support a wash basin. May have shelves, drawers, or rods for the storage of a chamber pot or toiletry supplies. See also corner basin stand and washstand.

Also called bowl stand or toilet stand.

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Candlestand

Portable stand intended to support a candle, lamp, or lantern. Frequently constructed with a fixed, small circular or shaped top, pedestal base, and tripod legs. See also tilt-top table for similar objects constructed with a hinged top.

Also called candle stand or guéridon.

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Card stand

Stand with a fixed, small, circular top edged with moldings or galleries. Intended to hold calling cards.

Also called calling card table or card receiver.

Corner basin stand

Table-like stand with horizontal, circular hole or applied rim to support a wash basin. Constructed to fit into the corner of a room. May have shelves, drawers, or rods for the storage of a chamber pot or toiletry supplies. See also basin stand and washstand.

Also called corner bowl stand or corner toilet stand.

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Coat or hat stand

Stand with pegs or hooks to hold coats or hats. See also coat or hat rack for similar mounted objects. See also hall stand for pieces that incorporate additional forms of storage or seating.

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Clothes rack

Stand with pegs, hooks, or rods to hold clothing in a private space such as a dressing room.

Also called costumer.

Dumbwaiter

Stand with tiers of shelves or trays to hold dishes and other tableware.

Also called dumb waiter.

Easel

Stand with an angled front surface and horizontal ledge to support a frame or canvas. May be hinged so it can be flattened for storage or transport.

Globe stand

Stand on which a terrestrial or celestial globe is mounted. Frequently constructed so the globe can be rotated.

Hall stand

Large stand that may include pegs or hooks to hold coats or hats; a receptacle to store umbrellas; shelves; a bench; and a looking glass. See also coat or hat stand for pieces that include only pegs or hooks.

Also called hallstand, hall rack, or hall tree.

Kettle stand

Small, portable stand used to support a tea kettle or hot water urn.

Also called tea kettle stand or urn stand.

Lectern

Stand with an angled front surface and horizontal ledge to support an open book for reading. May be mounted on a pedestal or sit on a table.

Also called lecturn.

Music stand

Pedestal-mounted stand with an angled front surface and horizontal ledge to support sheet music. The height and angle of the stand may be adjustable.

Also called music rack or music desk.

Plant stand

Table-like stand, usually on a frame or pedestal base, intended to hold a potted plant or vase of flowers.

Also called bouquet stand, flower stand, jardinière, or palm stand.

Shaving stand

High, table-like stand intended to hold men's shaving implements. Frequently fitted with an adjustable looking glass.

Also called shaving table.

Tilt-top stand

Small, portable stand with circular or shaped top that is hinged to a pedestal base. The pedestal is usually mounted on tripod legs. See also candlestand and tilt-top table.

Also called screen stand, snap stand, tilt-top candlestand, tilt-top candle stand, tip stand, tip-top stand, tip-up stand, or turn-up stand.

Umbrella stand

Small stand or cylindrical container intended to store umbrellas. See also hall stand.

Washstand

Table-like stand with solid, flat surface intended to store a basin, pitcher, and toiletries for washing the face or hands. May have shelves, drawers, or rods for additional storage. See also basin stand and corner basin stand.

Also called wash stand or washing stand.

Watch stand

Small, portable stand intended to store and display a pocket watch with its dial facing outward.

Also called watchstand, watch box, or watch holder.

Wig stand

Small, portable stand fitted with a domed top to support wigs.

Table

Freestanding structure intended to hold or display objects or provide a work surface for human activities. The types of tables listed in the Archive are defined by their structure as well as function.

Billiard table

Large rectangular table with cloth-covered slate top edged with cushioned rails. Used to play the game billiards.

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Card table

Table intended as a playing surface for cards and other games. Frequently constructed with a hinged, folding top surface of identical size and shape as the fixed top surface to which it is attached and one or two swing legs. Shallow cavities may be carved in the top to serve as receptacles for counters or other game pieces. The top may be covered cloth. See also drop-leaf table.

Also called game table or gaming table.

Center table

Table finished on all sides for use in the middle of a room. May be made as part of a parlor set. See also extension table, tavern table, trestle table, and tripod table for specific types of tables finished on all sides.

Also called centre table or parlor table.

Corner table

Table intended for the corner of a room with one front-facing side and two wall-facing sides. May have a hinged, folding top surface or leaf.

Also called handkerchief table.

Drawing table

Table with hinged surfaces that can be raised, lowered, and angled to provide a variety of surfaces for writing or drawing.

Also called architect's table, artist's table, or drafting table.

Dressing table

Small rectangular table with four legs and one or more rows of drawers. May be made as part of a set with a high chest of drawers.

Also called dressing bureau, lowboy, toilet table, or vanity.

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Drop-leaf table

Table with one or two hinged leaves attached to a fixed top. See also card table and Pembroke table.

Also called drop leaf table, dropleaf table, fall-leaf table, or single-leaf table.

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Extension table

Table with expandable frame that accommodates additional loose leaves to increase the area of the top.

Also called expandable table or extension dining table.

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Nesting table

Two or more tables of graduated size constructed to stack or nest.

Also called nested table, nests of tables, stacking table, or stack table.

Night table

Small table with top surface and lower shelf or cabinet intended to hold a chamber pot.

Also called bedside cabinet, bedside cupboard, bedside table, bedstand, chamber table, night stand, or nightstand.

Occasional table

Small, portable table. Generally finished on all sides.

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Pool table

Large rectangular table with cloth-covered slate top edged with cushioned rails and six pockets. Used to play the game pool. See also billiard table.

Side table

Table intended to sit against a wall. Generally has one unfinished or undecorated surface. See also pier table and slab table.

Pembroke table

Table with one or two hinged leaves attached to a fixed top and one or two drawers beneath the top. Named for the Earl of Pembroke. See also drop-leaf table.

Also called breakfast table.

Pier table

Table intended to sit against a wall, between two windows. Frequently decorated with ornate carving. May have a shaped marble top and elaborately framed legs. May be part of a set with a pier glass. See also side table and slab table.

Also called bracket table, clap table, console, or console table, or pier-console table.

Slab table

Table with top consisting of a single large piece of stone or wood. See also pier table.

Also called marble slab table.

Sofa table

Long, narrow table used in front of or behind a sofa. May have drop leaves or drawers.

Also called davenport table or occasional table.

Tavern table

Small, rectangular table with overhanging top and turned legs and stretchers. May have a single, long drawer.

Also called tavern stretcher table.

Tea table

Small, rectangular table on four legs used to hold a tea service. May be composed of a rectangular frame that holds a loose tray. The edge of the top surface may be edged with moldings or galleries. See also tilt-top table for tilt-top tea tables.

Also called China table, dished top, dished-top table, fret table, galleried table, or square table.

Tilt-top table

Table with circular or shaped top that is hinged to a pedestal base. The pedestal is usually mounted on tripod legs. This form was frequently called a tea table during the eighteenth century. Tilt-top tables with circular tops were sometimes called round tables during the eighteenth century. See also candlestand, tilt-top stand, tea table, and tripod table.

Also called round table, screen table, snap table, tilt-top tea table, tip table, tip-top table, tip-up table, or turn-up table.

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Tripod table

Table with fixed top, pedestal base, and three legs. See also center table.

Also called tripod base table.

Trestle table

Table with loose or fixed top of one or more boards that rest on a frame made of inverted Y-, T-, or X-shaped supports connected by horizontal braces or stretchers.

Also called braced table or sawbuck table.

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Work table

Small, portable table intended to hold needlework supplies. Frequently constructed with one or more drawers. A cloth bag may extend through the bottom of the lowest drawer.

Also called bag table, Martha Washington table, pouch table, sewing table, or worktable.

Workbench

High, heavy table intended as a work surface for cabinetmaking, joinery, or other trades.

Also called work bench.

What does it mean?

Look up a term to find its definition

Enter a term to find it in the Furniture Guide; for example gadrooning or finial.

Start typing the first letters of the word and matches will begin to appear. If there are no matches, try using an alternate term for the concept.

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