Is this a bookcase? A display shelf? A baker’s rack? What the heck is it anyway? If the piece is tall and narrow and open, it’s an “etagere”. Pronounced as in “(long) a-tah-jehr.” Usually, but not always, made of metal and glass and used to display things or serve as a bar. Call it what you will, it’s a darned useful piece of furniture for your home. Use it anywhere.
If it’s wide and has wide shelves and possibly a cabinet below, it’s a “baker’s rack” used by – yep – bakers to display their wares. Often made of metal (brass is ubiquitous) with glass or stone shelving. Another very useful piece for your kitchen or dining room if you have the space. Did I say it’s wide?
Book cases, as the name implies, are pieces of “cased” goods, usually made of wood and enclosed on three sides. Some are open in the back; some have glass fronts, but all have shelving for your read-ables. Most of us can recognize a book case when we see one.
Coming up: bombe’ chests and other odd names; Chinoiserie and Japonesque style; why you shouldn’t have “themes” in your decorating.