Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The oh-gee! Ogee

Neglected ogee arch in a PEC farmhouse gable
 The ogee arch always stops me in my tracks. What an exotic creature to be imported to rural red-brick Ontario, or primly displayed in a late Regency shopfront!

The ogee arch is an arch with a pointed apex uniting a concave and a convex arch in a sinuous S-shape. Its is said to have been imported into late medieval Europe from the Arab world in the c.14. The ogee cannot be counted on in a pinch - it is a non-structural arch and can be seen flaunting its exotic curves over the tops of hardworking conventional arches or assuming a languid pose profile in shaped mouldings.
Beautifully maintained Old East Hill residence (c.1857)
Ogee moulding above blind Gothic arches
with wood louvres, OEH home

Late Regency early  Victorian shop-front styling,
Niagara on the Lake

 The ogee arch is sometimes called the Venetian arch because of (you guessed it) its popularity in Venice, the keel arch due to its similarity to an inverted ship's keel, the horseshoe arch for some reason, and the depressed arch. Now I ask you - if you were that pretty would you be depressed?
St. Mark's Venice. Denis looking admiringly toward a set of fine ogee arches
above clerestory level rounded arches

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