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GADROON: A carved and curved fluted or ruffle ornament for edges, both concave and convex, characteristic of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods.
GATE-LEGGED TABLE: See TABLES, Gate-Legged.
GEORGIAN PERIOD: (1714-1793)
GALLERY: A raised rim of fret-work or metal for surrounding table tops, or at the back of sideboard tops.
GARLAND: A wreath of leaves, flowers or fruit, used as a decorative detail. For thirty or more years after the death of Queen Anne in 1714, furniture exhibited no radical changes in form, but was rather an elaboration of patterns already well recognized. There was the "Decorated Queen Anne" style, 1714-1725, the "lion" style, 1720-1735, the "satyr-mask" style, 1730-1740, and the "cabochon-and-leaf" style from 1735 to the rise of Chippendale to recognition. The first was a greater elaboration of carving and gilding than was formerly the fashion, resulting in the most highly ornamental furniture ever produced in England. The lion style brought lion's heads on the knees, backs and seat rails of furniture; the satyr-mask had grotesque heads instead of the lion's heads. These in turn gave way to the cabochon-and-leaf motif which Chippendale afterwards used as an important factor in the design basis of his earliest manner. From the time of Chippendale onward through the Hepplewhite and Sheraton styles, refer to the respective names of each in this section. Their styles together with that of Robert Adam (q.v.) dominate the remainder of the period.
GERMAN FURNITURE: See BIEDERMEIER FURNITURE.
GESSO: A fine plaster, generally composed of gypsum, resin and glue which, while soft, was molded or pressed into the desired form of ornament or bas-relief and when hard and dry was painted or gilded. It could also be carved after it was dry. Although it had its origin in Italy in the 15th century, gesso was first used in England early in the 18th century.
GILDING: Gilding is done by one of two processes, either water or oil gilding. For water gilding, which was in use on furniture and frames in the 18th century, the ground is prepared whiting and size and brought forward in preparations of lead for the burnishing of the gold. Oil gilding is laid on a varnish called "gold size" to which the gold adheres. It makes the surface partly water-proof but the gold cannot be burnished or toned. See PARCEL GILT.
GIRANDOLE: See CANDELABRUM.
GIRANDOLE MIRRORS: See MIRRORS, Girandole.
GOTHIC PERIOD (1100-1453): This period of about 350 years covers a wide range of development in the decorative arts from early crude simplicity to later luxurious elaboration. During the whole of this period French artists preferred to express themselves in stone. Exquisitely wrought tracery was the special glory of every church and Cathedral. The English, however, excelled the French in the development of ecclesiastical wood carving. At this period the same forms appeared in both secular and religious work. The pointed arch, carved, foliated ornament and tracery are the signs manual of the style. Comparatively few examples of this period have survived. The medieval chair, distinct from the clerical throne or stall, is the rarest of all early furniture and until nearly the close of the 16th century a domestic chair was unknown. Benches and stools were the only seats in common use. Gothic furniture followed closely upon the architectural mode in vogue during the period. Simplicity and portability were the main characteristics of that furniture. Chests were a principal item, made of oak, heavy and cumbersome. In the later part of the period, the highback chair and various types of cupboards appear, also some tables with fixed legs. The carving on some of this furniture was very elaborate.
GRAINING: A process of painting furniture and wood-work by which the color and figure of a more costly wood is imitated. First used in England, end of 16th century and continued since.
GRANDFATHER'S CLOCKS: See CLOCKS, Grandfather's.
GRANDMOTHER'S CLOCKS: See CLOCKS, Grandmother's.
GREAT BED OF WARE: See BEDS, Great Bed of Ware.
GUERIDON: A small pedestal table or stand for candelabra.
GUILLOCIHE: An ornament in the form of two or more bands or strings, twisted in a continued series, which produce circular openings, which openings are usually filled with round ornament. It was either carved, painted or inlaid and it was used intermittently from the middle of the 16th century to end of the 18th.
GUM WOOD: A wood obtained in New South Wales and resembling mahogany in appearance.