Ogee, noun

Ogee

Ogee (also known as cyma reversa) refers to shape of double curved form – convex at the top and concave at the bottom. At Nathan Auction & Real Estate’s July 29th auction in Manchester, Vt., featuring the folk art collection of Corrine Warner, many funky country items will come up for bid, but mixed in will be some high-quality pieces of furniture, including the two-piece Pennsylvania corner cupboard shown here. The cupboard features an ogee base. Another expected top lot is a Salem, Mass., Federal mahogany worktable with reeded legs attributed to Nehemia Adams.

The word ogee is often applied to bowls (describing the rounded bowl of a drinking glass, characterized by its short bowl and straight sides); and mantle clocks (featuring ogee mouldings to the case; these were produced in New England in the 19th century and were also known as an “Og”). The term also has uses in architecture, mathematics, fluid mechanics, marine construction and even plastic surgery. In any case, an ogee is a curve, shaped something like an S, and consists of two arcs that curve in opposite senses, so that the ends are parallel. It’s a kind of sigmoid curve.

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