Different names of furniture that you might run across

There are many different names of a certain furniture item (or a certain part of that piece of furniture) that you will run across.  There will be times that it will literally make your head spin on what the word could mean.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that furniture definitely has its own vocabulary.  This is especially true when you are dealing with items from overseas.  There are many places in Europe that have made furniture, so you will run across words that are from another language.

You never know what you may run across, and here are some of the words that you may scratch your head over:

Pietre Dure—this is decorative work that uses inlaid, semi-precious stones to depict scenes.  These scenes are geometric patterns, floral motifs, farm scenes, and many more.  More often than not, you will see this on a table top.

Lit de repos—this is a day-bed.

Gueridon—this is a small, round table. It was made to support a candlestick or even a candelabrum.  It could almost get away as being called a side table.

Gesso—this is made from a composition material, it’s often made with chalk and parchment.  It’s made in a size that is commonly applied to furniture, picture frames and even mirrors.  This is a base upon which gilding (or even silvering) was applied to.

Coquille—this is a seashell or scallop shape.  The shape will often be seen on the top of a table or chair leg.

This is just a small sample of the vocabulary words that you might hear.  What have you heard?


A little history for the Goudey Baseball cards from 1933

When 1919 rolled around, Enos Gordon Goudey started a chewing gum company called The Goudey Gum Company.  The company was in business until 1962, and they are known for chewing gum and the baseball cards that they produced.

The company and its gum was so popular that Enos Goudey was called “the penny gum king of America” by William Wrigley Jr. in 1933.

In 1933, the company dove into making baseball cards, and they released a 240-card set.  The set was also called BIG LEAGUE CHEWING GUM, and each pack that was sold came with a stick of gum.

After the set was released, the Goudey Company realized that they did not have a card #106 after collectors sent the company letters complaining that there was no card for that number.

In 1934, Goudey released a card #106, and it featured the retired player Napoleon Lajoie.  In order to get this card, you had to write to the company (they would send you one for a cent).

As you can tell from the photos, the cards had the name of the set at the bottom of the front and a little biography of the player on the back.

You need to be careful when you are out looking for cards for your set.  Since this is a popular set to collect, there are quite a few reprints and fakes of the cards—especially of Napoleon Lajoie, Babe Ruth (Babe was featured on 4 different cards) and even Lou Gehrig just to name a few.

There are many players that are in this set that have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, so a word of caution is to be taken when you are looking at a card.

Which cards have you run across?

Look at all of the different varieties of art glass!

Art glass is a great way to add some color to your home (or even just a room). Not only that, it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes for you to choose from. It could be a vase, bowl, or even something figural like a bird.

One such shape that would be great to decorate with is this terrific vase.


The color combination great–it looks like cream being poured into coffee. Not only that, it’s pretty big (it’s 12 1/2 inches tall). With this vase as tall as it is, it would look terrific on a side table or even holding some decorative flowers. You can see this vase in my Etsy shop here.

Another great art glass piece is this great statue.


The statue is in the shape of a squirell, and it could also double as a paperweight on your desk. You can see this terrific statue in my Etsy shop here.

Another form that you can find would be a candle holder, much like this one.


This great candle holder is in the shape of a rabbit, and it’s perfect for any of the samller candles. It would be great just about anywhere, especially the kitchen table (it’s low enough for you to see the person across the table from you).

You can see this in my Etsy shop here.  There are times when you will run across an art glass piece that has more than one function. It’s like that with this piece of Murano art glass.


As you can see, this Murano art glass piece could easily be a vase–and it could also be used as a planter or even a pen holder on any desk. You can see it in my Etsy shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can see all of the terrific art glass I have for sale in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

An advertising porcelain cup?!?

Advertising pieces come in a wide variety of shapes, styles and even what they are made of.  There are also pieces on the market that may take you a while to sink in that they are advertising pieces because they may be something like a porcelain cup.

One such piece like this is this great mug by PSAG Bavaria.  It may take you a second to realize that it is an advertising giveaway for the placement of CUDAHY’S REXSOMA (the manufacturer put CUDAHY’S REXSOMA on the inside of the mug near the top).


CUDAHY’S REXSOMA pharmacies had PSAG Bavaria produce this terrific mug in late 1800’s.  The mug is a white porcelain and has a rose decoration on the outside—which helps you not realize right off the bat that this is an advertising piece.

You can see the mug in my Etsy shop here, head on over and check it out.  What kinds of advertising pieces like this have you run across?

Head vases for everyone!

Since I was a kid, I have run across head vases just about everywhere—estate sales, auctions and even garage sales.

There were a ton of this type of vase that was imported from Japan starting in about the 1950’s, and they were used by florists for flower arrangements.

Head vases quickly became popular with collectors for their variety of design motifs and color combinations.  Not only that, they are the perfect height for just about any type of flower.

Head vases still get made today, and there are some great examples on the market.  You can also easily find a head vase to fit just about any budget.

One example is this great one from the 1950’s.


This head vase isn’t marked, but it has a cool green hat and applied flowers.  I like how detailed the manufacturer got with this head vase.  You can see it in my Etsy shop here.

Another head vase that you can find in my Etsy shop is this great one from ARTMARK.


This head vase dates to the 1950’s, and what is great is that this head vase still has the necklace on it–a lot of the time the necklace gets broken and is missing.  You can see this terrific head vase in my Etsy shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can see the rest of the head vases in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

What are some of the vintage serving pieces that I may not find on today’s table?

Over the years, there are new types of serving dishes that are introduced, and then there are times when a certain piece from a dinner set for the table that may fall out of favor.  What are some of the pieces that have fallen out of favor over the years that may not be on the table of today?

Cheese dish—this is a covered dish meant to store and serve a whole piece of cheese.  The bottom of this piece is a little larger than a butter dish, and you may see a small cutting board in the place of this today.

Cream soup dish—this is a two-handled bowl that comes with its own saucer and is meant to serve bouillon, a soup or even consommé (a clear soup made from a rich stock).  This type of dish could be confused with a sugar dish without the lid.

Aspic servers–these are used to serve aspic, which is a clear jelly that is made from broth. Generally, aspic is used to accent the serving of meat, and it is a lot like cranberry sauce. The aspic server has a curved and sharp end for the cutting and serving of aspic.

This is only a small sampling of what you can find.  What have you run across?

A cross between a cigar humidor and a…FURNACE?!?

There are times when you actually stop and scratch your head when you run across an item, and this is definitely one of those times.  Have you ever seen a cross between a cigar humidor and a furnace?

Yep, you saw that right—this piece is a cross between a cigar humidor and a furnace.



This enamelware piece is made as a cigar humidor and is decorated as a furnace.  You could also say that this is a great salesman’s sample for L’ISLET FURNACE (the company that made the furnaces was based in Quebec, Canada).




The great thing about this item is the fact that you could use it a number of different ways—as a pencil holder, change holder, or even a container for the kitchen.  The uses can go on and on!

You can see the cigar humidor in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check it out!

What to remember before you refinish a piece of furniture

You finally found that piece of vintage furniture that would look great in your house or apartment.  There are some things that you need to remember before you refinish the piece.

The first thing to remember is that you could be messing with the value of the piece.  With antique furniture (like items in the Chippendale era for example), there is a sizable chunk of the value of the piece invested in the original finish.  I’ve seen the value drop up to 50% when the piece of furniture was refinished.  A good rule of thumb on valuable pieces of furniture is to refrain from doing anything major yourself (dusting it off is more often the way to go).

The second thing to remember is how much it will cost to refinish and repair the piece.  I have seen furniture at auctions, flea markets and estate sales that need a good amount of repair work to go along with the refinishing.  Replacing legs, chair seats or even table tops could drive up the cost quite a bit.

The last thing to remember is how much time it will take to do the refinishing.  Over the years, I have seen a refinishing project take up to a week because of the number of steps in the process.  If you don’t have much time to begin with, you may want to stick with just stripping the old finish off and putting on some new stain.

What types of furniture have you refinished?