An Australian cedar armchair, circa 1840, the curved overhanging top rail with raised panel above a plain curved cross rail and down swept over-scrolled arms, above a drop in serpentine fronted seat, raised on turned and faceted tapering legs
circa. A Latin term meaning 'about', often used in the antique trade to give an approximate date for the piece, usually considered to be five years on either side of the circa year. Thus, circa 1900 means the piece was made about 1900, probably between 1895 and 1905. The expression is sometimes abbreviated to c.1900.
serpentine. Resembling a serpent, in the form of an elongated 'S'. A serpentine front is similar to a bow front, except that the curve is shallow at each end, swelling towards the middle. The term presumably derives from its similarity to a moving snake or serpent. Serpentine fronts are usually veneered, with the carcase either being cut and shaped from a solid piece of timber, or built in the 'brick' method.
rail. A term used by cabinet makers for the horizontal sections of the frame of an item such as a chair or settee which have a front rail, a back rail and two side rails, and also on a door or carcase, where the rails are joined to the vertical framings.
turning. Any part of a piece of furniture that has been turned and shaped with chisels on a lathe. Turned sections include legs, columns, feet, finials, pedestals, stretchers, spindles etc. There have been many varieties and fashions over the centuries: baluster, melon, barley-sugar, bobbin, cotton-reel, rope-twist, and so on. Split turning implies a turned section that has been cut in half lengthwise and applied to a cabinet front as a false decorative support.
The buyers premium is an additional percentage charge on the hammer price of the item, imposed by the auction house to cover administrative costs. The buyers premium percentage varies between auction houses, with a range of 12.5% to 22%.