Cornice: any prominent, continuous, horizontally projecting feature surmounting a wall or other construction, or dividing it horizontally for compositional purposes.

  • the uppermost member of a classical entablature, consisting of a bed molding, a corona, and a cymatium, with rows of dentils, modillions, etc., often placed between the bed molding and the corona.
  • any of various other ornamental horizontal moldings or bands, as for concealing hooks or rods from which curtains are hung or for supporting picture hooks.
  • A cornice is horizontal molded projection that completes a building or wall; or the upper slanting part of an entablature located above the frieze. The term cornice comes from Italian cornice, meaning “ledge.”
  • The function of the projecting cornice is to throw rainwater free of the building’s walls. In residential building practice, this function is handled by projecting gable ends, roof eaves, and gutters. The elimination of the cornice has been important enough in modernist architecture that elaborate internal drainage systems are provided.

Entablature: the upper section of a classical building, resting on the columns and constituting the architrave, frieze, and cornice.

  • the structure consisting of the part of a classical temple above the columns between a capital and the roof .
  • the superstructure of moldings and bands which lie horizontally above columns, resting on their capitals.
  • The structure of the entablature varies with the three classical orders: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. In each, the proportions of the subdivisions (architrave, frieze, cornice) are defined by the proportions of the column in the order. In Roman and Renaissance interpretations, it is usually approximately a quarter of the height of the column. Variants of entablature that do not fit these models are usually derived from them.

Architrave: the lowest part of an entablature; rests immediately on the capitals of the columns.

  • a molded or decorated band framing a panel or an opening, especially a rectangular one, as of a door or window.

Frieze: an architectural ornament consisting of a horizontal sculptured band between the architrave and the cornice.

  • the part of a classical entablature between the architrave and the cornice, usually decorated with sculpture in low relief.
  • any decorative band on an outside wall, broader than a stringcourse and bearing lettering, sculpture, etc.
  • any decorative band at the top or beneath the cornice of an interior wall, a piece of furniture, etc.

Cymatium: the top moulding of a classical cornice or entablature

  • a crowning molding in classic architecture

Dentil: one of a set of small square or rectangular blocks evenly spaced to form an ornamental row, usually under a classical cornice on a building, piece of furniture, etc.  [from French, from obsolete dentille a little tooth, from dent tooth]

Modillions: An ornamental bracket used in series under a cornice, especially a cornice of the Corinthian, Composite, or Ionic orders.

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