Art Nouveau (1910-1930)

The Art Nouveau style is a naturalistic style characterized by intricately detailed patterns and curving lines.

art nouveau upholsteredchair art nouveau table art nouveau wardrobe


Heavily Ornamented – Elaborate ornamentation.(Art Nouveau style shown)

Chair Arms

Curved – Arms curved outward.
Outward Flare – Arms have slight outward curve.

Chair Back Material

Upholstered – Cushioned and fabric covered.
Wood – Solid wood, horizontal slats, vertical slats, or vertical splats.

Chair Back Shape

Balloon – Balloon-shaped chair back, rounded at the top and tapering to the seat.
Bentwood – Curved pieces of wood.
Top Rail – Simple, flat horizontal top rail.

Chair Leg

Round – Round, usually shaped or turned leg.
Square – Flat surfaced leg on all sides.
Straight – Straight leg, vertical to chair seat.
Tapered – Straight leg gradually decreasing in width.

Chair Seat Material

Cane – Woven rattan.
Upholstered – Cushioned and covered with fabric.
Wood – Various types of wood.

Chair Seat Shape

Curved – Circular or rounded seat.
Horseshoe – Horseshoe shaped seat with a rounded front.
Square – Square shaped seat.

Drawer Pull

Rectangular Plate with Bail – Rectangular back plate of solid stamped brass, often with canted corners and an oval bail handle. The size varies from 3 to 4 inches wide to 2 to 2.5 inches high.


Brocade – Rich, heavily woven fabric with a raised design, often with gold or silver thread.
Damask – Medium weight, glossy fabric with a reversible pattern and a figured intricate weave, often of linen, cotton, silk, or wool.
Leather – Material made from the tanning of animal hides.
Linen – Fabric made from the fiber of the flax plant.
Mohair – Fabric made from the angora goat.
Tapestry – Heavy weight fabric with decorative designs.
Velvet – Woven pile fabric that is soft and sturdy, often made of silk with blends of cotton, nylon, and rayon.


Lacquer – Tough, adherent finish which can be clear or pigmented.
Oil Varnish – Clear finish that emphasized the grain of the wood.
Paint – Opaque, pigmented finish that obscures the grain of the wood.


Continuation of leg – Leg does not terminate into a foot.

Hardware Material

Brass – Yellowish metal made from copper and zinc.
Chrome – Grayish-white metal made from chromium.


Dovetail – An interlocking wood joint in which a series of wedge-shaped projections fits into a series of alternating grooves.


Cyma or S-Curve – S-shaped curve, partly concave and partly convex.
Slight Curve – Gently curving lines.


Floral – Flowers.
Foliage – Leaves or vines.
Tulip – Cup-shaped flower.


Carving – Cutting or chipping the surface of wood to create a shape or design.
Inlay – Contrasting material set into the surface of wood to create a shape or design.
Marquetry – Combinations of veneer used to create pictures or patterns.


Medium – Moderate dimensions.(Queen Anne style shown)


Moderate – Moderately proportioned stretchers.(William and Mary style shown)


Beech – Light brown American hardwood with a flecked grain.
Black Walnut – Dark brown American hardwood with a wide range of figures.
Mahogany – Red-brown South American and African hardwood.
Oak – Gray-brown American hardwood.