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Thread: Architectural terminology

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    Member russell2pi's Avatar
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    Architectural terminology

    Just a quick one -- could someone please tell me what those little jug thingies on the roof line are called?

    And while I'm at it the thing in the middle of the roof line? Oh and the little cornice-like things running horizontally across the whole facade? And the little scrolly things above the balcony verandah.

    These seem all the rage on 19th century buildings in my little old town and I would like to read more about their architectural context, but can't seem to find anything seeing as "little jug thingies" is a pretty erratic thing to google...!
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    Member James T's Avatar
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    Possibly the most bizarre thread on a photo forum that I've seen.

    You could try cornice, balustrade and balustrade crowns to get you started.

    I'd also fire up the Googlemachine and go looking for architecture websites / forums.

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    Member chubb's Avatar
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    try googling "facade mouldings"

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    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    I believe they're called ornamental urns. They were used as an adornment (among other things) on 'classically' (Ancient Greek-ish) styled architecture, particularly through the Victorian period. Basically, it was a way of displaying wealth, the more 'bits', the more 'valuable' or 'prosperous' the building owner.

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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    The little bits under the facade are corbels, they're often found either side of archways.
    Phil

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    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    If there are any faces on there, they would be called gargoyles.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.

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    russell2pi's Avatar
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    Thank you The above replies gave me enough of a lead to find some relevant websites.

    It seems they are indeed called urns, and they are on the part of the building called a parapet, and the name plate bit on it is a crest. The corbels here are part of something called a corbel table, and it and the other small horizontal projections (mouldings) are called string courses. The mock pillars are called pilasters. The funny corner blocks are rusticated quoins.

    Supposedly the imagery of urns can be traced back to the ancient Egyptian belief of immortality through mummification of organs in canopic jars. Regarding junqbox's point about a display of wealth, check out South Melbourne Town Hall -- it has dozens of the things!

    Oh and I do think this is relevant to photography -- that's where my interest in architecture lies! Much the same as a macro photographer needs to know about pistils and stamens and abdomens and antennae...
    Last edited by russell2pi; 13-08-2011 at 8:35am.

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