Illustrated Architecture Dictionary.................. Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary



A vase of varying size and shape, usually having a footed base or pedestal

Found in cemeteries on monuments as a symbol of immortality (the storing of the vital organs was of extreme importance to the ancient Egyptians who believed that life would be restored through the vital organs placed in the urn).

Found in Federal, Georgian Revival styles

See also:
Cemetery Symbols Found in Forest Lawn Cemetery


The sideboard was a late eighteenth-century development and sprang from the table. It is said to have been originated by Robert Adam, who introduced the custom of placing a large wooden vaselike urn on a pedestal at each end of a side table. At first the urns contained the cutlery, but this was transferred to a drawer when urns went out of use. This was characteristic of the 18th-century Adam designs and also of Hepplewhite's work .

Urn shapes were also used as decorative turnings at the cross points of stretchers in 16th- and 17th-century furniture designs.

The urn and the vase were often set on the central pedestal in a bonnet top

One type of finial is a flaming urn ("urn and flame" or "flaming finial").

Examples from Buffalo:

Other examples:

Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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