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

Hardware / Mounts

Table of Contents:


The brass handles, escutcheons and other decorative details applied to pieces of furniture. Also turned wooden knobs or carved wooden handles

Drawer handles / knobs / rings / pulls

There is more style consistency in drawer handles, whether of brass, wood or glass, than with any other furniture detail.

Bail handle

A handle of drawer pull wich hangs down iin a reversed arch or half moon.

Introduced in the William and Mary period in England.

Bat's wing (bat wing) with bail handle

Brass fitting

Common in Queen Anne style

  Eastlake rectangular-shaped plate with a variety of chased designs, with angular or curved bail handle

Bright, oxidized or nickel-plated cast and stamped brass

Embossed rosette knob

Common in American Empire style

Embossed rosette with pendent ring

Common in the Sheraton period


Lion's head with pendant ring

Brass fitting

Common on Sheraton furniture

Mission iron pull


Mission wooden pull

Mushroom-turned wooden knobs

Common on Sheraton / American Empire furniture

Oblong mount with bail handle

Brass fitting

Common on Sheraton furniture

Oval mount with bail handle

Brass fitting

Common on Hepplewhite furniture

Pearling: A series of rounded forms of the same size, or graduated like a string of beads, used as a furniture embellishment, either in straight lines, arced or swagged.

Pear-shaped handle

Pendant ring
  Pressed glass -

Common on Sheraton / American Empire furniture

Renaissance Revival wooden pulls

Rosettes with bail handles

Brass fitting

The rosettes are from an inch and a half to two across. Posts with rounded or rosette heads hold them in place.

A complete handle with rosettes and bail measures three and a half to four and a half inches wide.

They are either plain or with design enhanced by French-inspired patterns of decorative scrolls done in relief on both rosettes and bails.

Plain: The plain type is found on many Chippendale chests of drawers and desks and on some Heppplewhite pieces, where their use is a survival from the preceding period. Round or oval with beaded rims

Plain type used ca. 1760-1800.

Design: The elaborate kind chiefly grace the fine Chippendale chests of drawers which were made in Philadelphia.

The design ones are foliage scrolled; the rim has a scrolled outline and, the bail is also scroll ornamented.

Ornate type, ca. 1765-1775.

Used in Chippendale style.


Rosette (embossed) with pendent ring

Brass fitting

Round mount with bail handle


Teardrop pull

Brass fitting

Used on William and Mary pieces

Willow mount with bail handle

Brass fitting

Common on Chippendale pieces

Wooden knobs and handles

In the Puritan (or Jacobean) period, turned elongated wooden knobs were used consistently and appeared also on some of the early pieces in the William and MaryQueen Anne periods.

Early Victorian: These were carved ones with finger grips or, on the cottage pieces, mushroom-turned knobs which were holdovers from the American Empire.

See "Mushroom-turned wooden knobs" above.


Decorative plate surrounding a keyhole, usually of brass, but sometimes of ivory in the Federal era.

Also may be called a "key plate."

The keyhole escutcheons with the plain type are either vertical ovals or are circular with small nailing holes top and bottom. The ovals are about an inch and a half high by an inch wide. The circular ones are about an inch and a half in diameter.

With the ornate handles, the keyhole escutcheons have a scrolled outline with arched top and the face has foliage scrolling done in relief. Made of cast brass.


All links are to Buffalo, NY, pages unless otherwise indicated.

Bat's wing escutcheon

Used on Queen Anne pieces


Circular plate escutcheon


Diamond-shaped plate

Keyhole surround escutcheon


Oval plate escutcheon

Common on Hepplewhite pieces


Willow escutcheon

Common on Chippendale and other 18th century pieces.


For case pieces with doors or lids, there was the additional hardware of hinges. There were five designs made in wrought iron and two in brass.

Those of iron were American made, being forged by the local blacksmith of the community where the piece was made.

Brass hinges were imported as were the three types of brass feet used on tables, sofas and some chairs during the Sheraton and American Empire periods.

H hinge

Photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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