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Carving on antique furniture is basically cutting into the wood to make decorative patterns and has been done for many centuries. Below are some examples of different carving used on antique furniture.
An acanthus is a leafy carved ornament in the top of the columns of the Corinthian. They are found in mahogany furniture from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods.
Shell carving is basically carving in the wood to look like a shell. This type of carving was often used in early period and early Georgian furniture.
An apron is a carved decorative feature situated below the seat rail of a chair, settee, cabinets and tables, it can be shaped like on this wonderful card table.
Dentil or dentil moulding is the moulding under the cornice consisting of a series of small rectangular shaped blocks or “teeth”.
A corbel is a decorative bracket that can be seen on alot of bookcases and they are usually carved by hand
Cabochon carving is a carved motif consisting of a ball shape usually surrounded by leaf ornament.
A carved cartouche is a flat oval or shield shape with a carved inscription or monogram in the centre.
Carved moulding is a strip of wood used for ornamental trim.
Carved gadrooning is a series of small carved twisted carvings used around the edges of antique furniture.
Piecrust carving is similar but this has carved scalloped edges that looks like the crust of a pie.
Carved monopodium is a carved support with a lion head and claw feet.
A lunette is a semicircular motif. It can also be in the form of a half barrel carving, usually on card tables.
Linenfold Carving is carving in the shape of folded linen. This is also known as Ruffle carving as it looks like gathered cloth or material.
Lion Mask carving is a carved lion head.
Rams head carving is basically a rams head.
Knuckled arm carving is Knuckle-shaped carving at the end of an arm of an antique chair, sometimes known as Scrolled knuckle arms.
Rosette carving is a circular carving like rose petals.
Diaper carving is diamond shaped lines with dots or forms inside.
Fretwork Carving is small cut out wood shapes but blind Fretwork Carving is carved onto the wood.
A carved patera is a round or oval carved motif sometimes with segments radiating from the middle.
Lions Mask Carving is a carved ornamental feature in the form of a lion’s head.
Scallop shell carving is a semi-circular shell with ridges. This ornamental motif was common in furniture design during the Queen Anne and Georgian periods.
Rice carving is a decorative carved motif resembling the grain of the rice plant.
A carved medallion is a carved motif of rounded or oval shape, can be carved rounded floral.
Finger rolled carving is carved moulding in the shape of a finger.
Ball flower carving is three or four carved lobes with a ball in the middle.
So what’s the story behind the very top image?
Are you able to identify other wood carvings? I have something similar with an ornate M and what looks like a backwards C on an old desk.
We have been left two big coffers a big wooden drinks cabinet where would be the best place to sell and a number of other items wooden carved thanks
I have a fifties sofa of my grandmother’s that has carvings of what looks like fruit baskets of the top roll and of the front of the arms. Can u tell me what the name of the sofa would b and how much it’s worth?
Did you find the information for this? I recently acquired a red velvet sofa with a hand carved fruit basket at the top and would like to know more about it.
The old fellow I bought it from said it was 125 years old, and he is not known to tell falsehoods. But that conflicts with the information you have about yours.
I just bought a chair which looks antique how could I find out what era and style it would be? It is very heavy upholstered in a tapestry floral fabric with a scrolled carvings on each side of the upholstered back. It looks like it is a rose wood also a pair of scrolls facing each other on top of the back. Wood arms with a decorative piece in the centre side between arms.
Can you tell me what the hand carved wood on the top of a vintage/antique couch is called? Or the terms I could use for better online searching?
Hello, I have this side table I can’t find another like it.
Saber type legs but curve in at the bottom, so too many curves for that. The fretwork carving in the scrolls.. it has me puzzled.
Only marking is W86 .. written underneath.
I’ve got photos but can’t add them here.
I have a French Hunt Server, The drawer opens using the top of a lion’s head. Trying to estimate the date of the item. It has 3 stacked half roundels carved around the top as a decoration. When did they stop carving lion heads into drawers to open them.
We recently found a red antique setee in a storage locker….the backrest has carved wood but I am not sure what it depicts….Could be griffins….Can you help with identification?
I need help finding out about a piece of furniture I have with hand carved lions head and hard wear with lion faces.
We have inherited a carved wood bureau which we think may be Georgian. It includes a carved head of William Shakespeare. Not sure how to send you a photo but would like to know more about it.
I have bought a Willis and Gambier cherrywood four poster bed on Ebay. When trying to stain (ready for re-varnishing) a small area of the carved headboard which had been scraped in storage, I found that the stain would not permeate. I put a teaspoon of varnish stripper on it and followed the normal process but there was no reaction after even two goes so there was no varnish there. The stripping gel remained white. The area is cream and resembles bare wood but any stain applied just slides off and does not permeate. I have tried sanding to no avail. Could this carving have been done is something other than wood ?