An Australian cedar and caned armchair, circa 1820, the top…
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.
stringing. Fine inlaid lines, in contrasting colour to the carcase timber, found mainly on furniture made in the styles of the later 18th and early 19th centuries. Stringing, which may be of satinwood, pine, ebony, horn, brass or occasionally ivory, is found principally on drawer fronts, around the outer edges of usually tapered legs and French bracket feet, around the edges of inlaid panels and between the joint of the cross banding and carcase timber on table tops, chests of drawers, cabinets etc. The effect is to emphasize the line of the piece and add to the impression of lightness and elegance. Stringing also occurs in Sheraton-revival-style furniture of the later 19th and early 20th centuries.
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.
fall front. Furniture with a hinged flap, usually associated with desks and secretaires, that opens or 'falls' to provide a flat writing surface. The flap may be supported by chains or brass quadrants and rest on wooden supports or runners, known as lopers, that pull out from a recess in either side of the piece. The interior of a fall-front desk is usually fitted with small drawers and pigeonholes.
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%.