Arts and Crafts (1880-1910)

The Arts and Crafts style is characterized by rectilinear design, simple, straight construction, and exposed joinery, often using medium or dark stained oak. The terms Mission and Craftsmen are also used to describe Arts and Crafts furniture.

Arts and Craft Settee Arts and Craft Dining Table Arts and Craft Chair



Simple – Straight lines, simple design, and little ornamentation.(Contemporary style shown)
Sturdy – Straight lines and a heavy proportion.(Arts and Craft style shown)

Chair Arms

Simple Turning or Flat – Arms are straight with a simple turning or are flat.
Straight – Arms are straight and perpendicular to chair.

Chair Back Material

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

Chair Back Shape

Ladderback or Slatback – Equally spaced horizontal flat slats, either straight or curved.
Solid – One piece or solid panel chair back.
Spindle – Simple turned vertical slats.

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

Leather – Animal hide.
Wood – Various types of wood.

Chair Seat Shape

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.
Ring – Simple round ring pull without a back plate.
Wooden Mushroom-Shaped Knob – Mushroom-shaped wooden knob, often 1 inch high and 1.5 to 2.5 inches in diameter.


Canvas – Medium to heavyweight, closely woven plain coarse cloth of cotton, linen, silk, or a mixture.
Leather – Material made from the tanning of animal hides.


Lacquer – Tough, adherent finish which can be clear or pigmented.
Shellac – Tough, transparent finish.
Stain – Transparent to moderately opaque finish that alters the color of the wood grain.
Wax – Paste finish over a sealer, stain, or bare wood.


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

Hardware Material

Iron – Grayish-brown metal with a dull finish.


Dovetail – An interlocking wood joint in which a series of wedge-shaped projections fits into a series of alternating grooves.
Exposed Joinery – Visible joints that lock wood together.
Mortise and tenon – Wood joint in which a projecting tenon of one board is fitted into a mortise or hole of another board.


Straight – Straight lines.






Heavy – Sturdy, thick dimensions.(Chippendale style shown)


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


Ash – Whitish-gray American hardwood with similar graining to oak.
Birch – Red-brown American hardwood with a close grain.
Cherry – Red-brown American hardwood.
Elm – Red-brown American hardwood.
Fruitwood – Pink-brown American hardwood, including apple and pear.
Hickory – Red-brown American hardwood.
Maple – Golden to red-brown American hardwood with a wide range of figures.
Oak – Gray-brown American hardwood.
Pine – Yellow to pink-brown American softwood.
Sycamore – Creamy-white European hardwood, treated to turn a silvery-gray or pink-brown color.