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The world of vintage hardware and antique restoration is resplendant with confusing terminology. Fill yourself in on the important terms and concepts here.
3-Way Switch:
 
Push button switch that allows a light fixture to be operated from two places. Example: Install two switches one at either end of a hallway or stairway.
Acanthus:
 
A stylized ornamental motif based on a Mediterranean plant with jagged leaves, Acanthus Spinosus. It is a common element of Neo-Classical design.
Astragal:
 
A vertical strip of moulding applied to cover the gap between a pair of double doors.
Back Plate:
 
Door knob escutcheon usually larger than a rosette. Back plates come in many different sizes and shapes, and range from plain to highly decorative.
Backset:
 
On a lock or latch this is the distance from the front of the face plate to the center of the door knob hub.
Bobeche
 
A slightly cupped ring placed over the socket of a candle holder to catch the drippings of a candle.
Boot Size:
 
The hole or vent size in which the mounting flange of a grate or register fits into to mount on the floor, ceiling or wall.
Bore:
 
The hole drilled through the thickness of a door to allow a lock or latch to be installed. Modern doors if pre-drilled have a 2 1/8” hole
Bowl-Light Fixture
 
A chandelier or close ceiling mounted fixture consisting of a large, single bowl-type shade suspended from the canopy by 3 or 4 chains or rods. 
Brass Aging Solution:
 
A solution of chemicals which will oxidize un-lacquered brass to a desired patina and give it a darker antique look.
Canopy
 
The part of a fixture that mounts to the ceiling or wall and covers the junction box to which the fixture attaches. 
Carpet Hold:
 
A piece of metal hardware which is used to hold the ends of a carpet runner against the rise of the top and bottom stairs.
Carpet Rod:
 
A rod mounted with a bracket on each end to hold down a carpet runner at the bottom of each step of a staircase. Carpet rods are either tubular or solid, often brass, and are used now primarily to add decoration to a staircase.
Carpet Runner:
 
A carpet that “runs” up a staircase and is usually nailed or stapled to the steps.
Casement Stay:
 
A hinged or pivoting rod attached to the base of a casement (side-hinged) window and the horizontal sill, allowing the window to be held open at various angles.
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