Glossary Intro and Glossary Annexes

Glossary -- Panel

Term used in architecture, furniture and other decorative arts for a surface set into a structure -- that is, using a a process called a " "rabbet" -- such as a "stiles and rails" framework.

today's frame and panel_doors

In construction, any paneling in wood is the fitting of boards into rabbeted frames, such as rails and stiles, so that, with movement that comes from atmospheric changes, these panels do not warp or split.

For woodworking, historically, panels come into use in the 15th-century. Along with preventing warping and/or splitting, paneling helps reduce the mass of components -- thinner sides and ends -- in the construction of chests, cupboards, beds, etc.

In the entry on "panel" in the Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture for example, John C Rogers writes that In the 16th- and 17th-centuries panels are carved or inlaid ... and where -- if set below the surface of the framework's facing surface -- are termed "sunk panels".

About 1650, panels are molded on their face to represent geometrical patterns or are overlaid with false panels and stiles with broad splays or bevels and with small bolection mouldings mitred around in various patterns (see CHESTS, Fig. 21, and CHESTS OF DRAWERS, Figs. 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9).

Source: Ralph Edwards, ed., Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture London: Country Life, 1964, pages 405-406.

The Linenfold pattern, said to be a stylized imitatiion of curtaining -- see glossary entry -- comes from Flanders in the 15th century, but doesn't appear across the Channel in Britain until late in the century.

[work finding an example] Full panelling persisted in small rectangular and richly decorated panels through the reign of Henry VIII, when it was accompanied by Renaissance motifs such as profile heads set in wreaths. In the time of Elizabeth I the panels were plainer or ornamented with chip carving. In the earlier panelling the horizontal rails 'ran through' the uprights. The next step was to return the mouldings, i.e. to make them turn the corner round each panel, but the frame was still cut in the old way with the returned corner carved on the rail. The diagonal mitred joint came at the end of the 16th c.

classic American country frame-and-raised-panels

Fielded, or raised panels -- with the molding projecting outward, beyond the face of the framing, appears in the 17th-century. (For the corner cabinet shown on the right, the raised panels feature an intricate split, with flowing cyma-like curves. Source henry lionel williams, early american country furniture) These fielded or raised panels are possible by the import of non-native woods: Norway oak, more malleable than native British oak, the panel's size increased; pine, at first, unpainted, because of its natural pumpkin-color; and figured hardwoods that can be set into rabbets in veneer-like sheets.

In the early 18th c. oak was replaced largely by deal and thereafter the painted panel predominated. The BAROQUE panel and the ROCOCO panel with painting or ARABESQUES belong to the history of interior decoration when the arts of painting, carving and architecture were united in the formation of one unified artistic whole.

National styles developed in France, Italy and Germany with mutual influences and interaction.

Goss's Bench Work in Wood

need to find page number

…. 14. FRAME AND PANEL. 177. Panel Door Described. 178. Making the Joint between Stile and Rail. 179. Cutting Chamfers. 180. Keying the Joint. 181. Finishing the Panel. Fastening Panel to Frame. 182. Inserting Screws. 183. Using the Brad-Awl . . . 117-121 EXERCISE No. 15. FRAME AND PANE…



14. FRAME AND PANEL (246-248). 177. Fig. 211 shows a small panel door. The frame is made up of stiles and rails, which are fastened together by mortise-and- tenon joints ; the spaces within the frame are filled by panels. The lower panel is simply a thin board screwed to the back of th…


… both frame and panel are frequently embellished, sometimes so richly that we lose sight of the mechanical necessity of the panel, and come to regard it as a means of decoration. 247. The Frame taken by itself is, in general, made up of vertical and horizontal pieces united by mortise-an…


…on of frame and panel. In com- mon with all panels fastened in this way, it is best adapted to work that is to be seen from one side only, as a closet door, or the permanent lining of a room. B shows a plain panel fastened to the back of a frame which is ornamented by a molding. C di…