Coffer

   In architecture, a coffer is a sunken panel on a ceiling or dome that has both structural and ornamental purposes. Structurally, it lightens the ceiling as less concrete or other materials are needed for its construction. Coffers were a common feature of Roman architecture, as exemplified by those forming the dome of the Pantheon in Rome. Renaissance architects revived the use of coffers in the 15th century, among them Leon Battista Alberti who coffered the barrel vault over the nave of Sant'Andrea, Mantua (beg. 1470), to direct the viewer's eyes to the altar. Other examples include the entrance vestibule in the Palazzo Farnese, Rome (c. 1513-1589), built by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, where the barrel vault is coffered, and the entrance to the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, Rome (1637-1656), by Francesco Borromini, which is contained in a coffered niche in perspective.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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  • Coffer — Cof fer (?; 115), n. [OF. cofre, F. coffre, L. cophinus basket, fr. Gr. ?. Cf. {Coffin}, n.] 1. A casket, chest, or trunk; especially, one used for keeping money or other valuables. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] In ivory coffers I have stuffed my… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Coffer — Cof fer, v. t. 1. To put into a coffer. Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mining.) To secure from leaking, as a shaft, by ramming clay behind the masonry or timbering. Raymond. [1913 Webster] 3. To form with or in a coffer or coffers; to furnish with a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • coffer — [kôf′ər, käf′ər] n. [ME < OFr cofre, a chest < L cophinus: see COFFIN] 1. a chest or strongbox for keeping money or valuables 2. [pl.] a treasury; funds 3. a decorative sunken panel as in a vault, dome, etc. 4. a cofferdam 5. a lock in a… …   English World dictionary

  • coffer — I noun area, bank, cista, container, depository, holder, locker, money chest, receptacle, safe, safe deposit box, storage, strongbox, till, treasury, vault II index bank, depository, repository …   Law dictionary

  • coffer — UK US /ˈkɒfər/ noun ► [C] a large strong box in which money or valuable objects are kept ● coffers Cf. coffers …   Financial and business terms

  • coffer — mid 13c., from O.Fr. cofre a chest (12c., Mod.Fr. coffre), from L. cophinus basket (see COFFIN (Cf. coffin)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • coffer — [n] large box case, casket, chest, exchequer, repository, strongbox, treasure chest, treasury, war chest*; concept 494 …   New thesaurus

  • coffer — ► NOUN 1) a small chest for holding valuables. 2) (coffers) the funds or financial reserves of an institution. 3) a decorative sunken panel in a ceiling. ORIGIN Old French coffre chest , from Greek kophinos basket …   English terms dictionary

  • Coffer — For other uses, see Coffer (disambiguation). Coffering on the ceiling of the Pantheon, Rome A coffer (or coffering) in architecture, is a sunken panel in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon in a ceiling, soffit or vault …   Wikipedia

  • coffer — UK [ˈkɒfə(r)] / US [ˈkɑfər] noun Word forms coffer : singular coffer plural coffers 1) coffers [plural] the supply of money that an organization has available to spend 2) [countable] a large strong box used for keeping valuable things in,… …   English dictionary

  • coffer — I. noun Etymology: Middle English coffre, from Anglo French, ultimately from Latin cophinus basket, from Greek kophinos Date: 13th century 1. chest; especially strongbox 2. treasury, funds usually used in plural 3. a recessed panel in a vault,… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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