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Fagotted

A decorative trim created by pulling out horizontal threads from a fabric and gathering the remaining cross threads into an hourglass shape.



Fall-Front

The fall-front desk, sometimes called drop-front, is similar in function to the secretary desk, with a main front panel, which doubles as a writing surface and concealing panel, hiding papers and documents inside the desk compartment. The difference between the two is that the fall-front has a vertical drop-piece rather than slanted. In 19th-century Shaker design, it is called a cupboard desk.



Farthingale Chair

An overly simplified chair with a square frame, upholstered seat and back, with little to no carving designs. It was named after the wide-hooped skirts popular to women's fashion in the 16th century. Some consider this to be the first chair designed for comfort rather than style.



Fauteuil

A French term used to describe a chair with open arms and upholstered elbows. This term originated in England and America in the 19th century rococo revival period.



Faux Bois

This is a combination of concrete, mortar, and cement paste applied to steel frames to create an imitated wood look. It was very popular in the late 19th century through the 1940s.



Federal

The American Federal style lasted from 1770 to 1830 and was heavily influenced by the French classical styles. These pieces were made after the American Revolution and range from simple to very ornate. Many pieces from this style have classical influences like Greek, Roman, and Pompeian designs. Duncan Phyfe was a major character in designing pieces during this style, especially chairs that incorporated multiple styles. Mahogany was the predominant wood used during this time.



Finial

A carved ornament that is used on the top or end of many furniture pieces and buildings to add emphasis. The use of finials can be found in Gothic, Gothic Revival, and Italianate styles, as well as any classic furniture. Decorative finials are used as the screw on tip of lampshades. Other forms of finials include turned, drop, flagpole, ornamental, and steeples.



Fleur-de-Lis

Translates in English to "flowers of the lily." The fleur-de-lis has been around for many centuries, tracing all the way back to Mesopotamia, and is said to symbolize perfection, light, and life. It is a design element that resembles a stylized flower, and in the Middle Ages it gained an association with royalty.



Fluting

Fluting is shallow concave grooves that run vertically parallel on a column and have been used since the 16th century. Fluting was common in the Chippendale style. It is the opposite of reeding.



Foxing

Applies to paper or mirrors that have natural imperfections due to aging. With paper, foxing is the brown spotting that occurs from oxidation. In mirrors it is also called antiqued glass and is the gray veining and discoloration in the reflective finish.



French Chair

A modern term used to describe conventional elbowed chairs with upholstered seats and backs. These chairs have rococo ornamented frames with slender cabriole legs.



French Empire

This French style from the early 19th century can be characterized by dark Honduras mahogany and pieces that look like they belong in the Roman Empire. Furniture from this style is rectangular and large, with many details. This style spread all over Europe, and it inspired the German Biedermeier style.



French Polish

An elaborate technique used to finish high-quality wood furniture. The process involves using several coats of a shellac and soft oil mixture. The result is a dark brown finish that has a slight gloss and shimmer. Though slightly sensitive to heat, it is easy to repair patches in this finish than others.



French Provincial Style

This style emerged from the styles that were popular in Paris in the second half of the 17th century. But the French provincial style, also known as the French country style, is a simple style that reflects the countryside. A rustic, less ornate, and welcoming style, French provincial has a warm and casual feel with the use of natural materials and simple carvings. Pale French walnut, pear, and other fruit woods were used for these pieces. The most common French provincial piece is the armoire.



Fretwork

A 19th century Gothic term for thin wood or glass that is cut to make patterns on furniture pieces. The patterns are usually open or separated from the rest of the piece. The use of fretwork was popular during theChippendale period of the mid-18th century.



Frieze

The middle part of an entablature that is located between the cornice and the architrave. This part has the most detail and decoration with ornaments, flowers, animals, etc. being carved, painted, or inlaid.



Fumed Oak

Fuming oak is the process of darkening oak wood by exposing it to acid and ammonia fumes then polishing. This method was used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was a cheap method of giving furniture a more valuable finish.