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For the cartoon character named "Ogee", see Magilla Gorilla.
Not to be confused with Ogive.
An ogee-arched doorway in Pirna, Germany
Component pieces of ogee arch
Ogee moulding and its shadow pattern.

An ogee (/ˈ/ or /ˈ/) is a curve (often used in moulding), shaped somewhat like an S, consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite senses, so that the ends are parallel. It is a kind of sigmoid curve.

The term has uses in architecture, mathematics, and fluid mechanics, as well as marine construction, clock design and plastic surgery.

Use in architecture[edit]

Ogee arch[edit]

In architecture, the principal use of the term is to describe an arch composed of two ogees, mirrored left-to-right and meeting at an apex.[1] Ogee arches were a feature of English Gothic architecture in the later thirteenth century.[2]


A building's surface detailing (indoors or out) may have a moulding with an ogee-shaped profile, consisting (going from low to high) of a concave arc flowing into a convex arc, with vertical ends; if the lower curve is convex and higher one concave, this is known as a Roman ogee, although frequently the terms are used as if they are interchangeable and for a variety of other shapes. Alternative names for such a true Roman ogee moulding include cyma reversa and talon.[3]

The cyma reversa form occurs in antiquity. For example, in ancient Persia, the Tomb of Cyrus featured the cyma reversa.[4] The cyma reversa is also evident in ancient Greek architecture.[5] The ogee shape is one of the characteristics of the Gothic style of architecture, especially decorative elements in the 14th and 15th century late Gothic styles called Flamboyant in France and Decorated in England. Ogee windows and arches were introduced to European cities from the Middle East. The ogee curve is an analogue of a "cyma curve", the difference being that a cyma has horizontal rather than vertical ends.

The ogee and Roman ogee profiles are used in decorative moulding, often framed between mouldings with a square section. As such it is part of the standard classical decorative vocabulary, adopted from architrave and cornice mouldings of the Ionic order and Corinthian order. An ogee is also often used in the "crown moulding" frequently found at the top of a piece of case furniture, or for capping a baseboard or plinth, or where a wall meets the ceiling. An ogee moulding may be run in plaster or wood, or cut in stone or brickwork.

Other uses[edit]

Ogee clock, framed with ogee moulding.

Ogee is also a mathematical term, meaning an inflection point.

In fluid mechanics, the term is used for an ogee-shaped aerodynamic profile. For example, a wing may have ogee profile, particularly on supersonic aircraft such as the Concorde. Also, the downstream face of a dam spillway is usually formed in an ogee curve to minimize water pressure.

An "ogee washer" is a heavy washer with a large bearing surface used in marine timber construction to prevent bolt heads or nuts from sinking into the face of timbers. The term ogee is used due to the ogee shape in radial symmetry around the centre. Due to the size and shape, they are generally manufactured as a cast iron product in accordance with ASTM A47 or A48.

An "ogee clock" is a common kind of weight-driven 19th-century pendulum clock in a simplified Gothic taste, made in the United States for a mantelpiece or to sit upon a wall bracket. It is rectangular, with ogee-profile moulding that frames a central glass door that protects the clock face and the pendulum. The door usually carries a painted scene in the area beneath the face. Ogee clocks are one of the most commonly encountered varieties of American antique clocks.

In aesthetic facial surgery, the term is used to describe the malar or cheekbone prominence transitioning into the mid-cheek hollow. The aim of a mid-face rejuvenation is to restore the ogee curve and enhance the cheekbones. This enhancement is also commonly a part of a routine facelift.

In distillation, an ogee is the bubble-shaped chamber of a pot still that connects the swan neck to the pot. It allows distillate to expand, condense, and fall back into the pot.

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Davies, Nikolas; Jokiniemi, Erkki (2011). Architect's Illustrated Pocket Dictionary. Oxford, England: Architectural Press. p. 318. ISBN 978-0-08-096537-6. 
  2. ^ Honour, H. and J. Fleming, (2009) A World History of Art. 7th edn. London: Laurence King Publishing, p. 391. ISBN 9781856695848
  3. ^ Parker, John Henry (1850). A glossary of terms used in Grecian, Roman, Italian, and Gothic Architecture 1. London: David Bogue. p. 159. OCLC 719426. Cyma recta…which is hollow in the upper part, and round in the lower; and Cyma reversa, (Talon…) which is hollow in the lower part and round in the upper. 
  4. ^ C.Michael Hogan (2008) Tomb of Cyrus, The Megalithic Portal, ed. A.[page needed]
  5. ^ W.B.Dinsmoor, 1973[page needed]
  • William Bell Dinsmoor and William James Anderson (1973) The architecture of ancient Greece: an account of its historic development, Biblo & Tannen Publishers, 424 pages ISBN 0-8196-0283-3.
  • C.Michael Hogan (2008) Tomb of Cyrus, The Megalithic Portal, ed. A.
  • The Art of Distilling Whiskey, By Bill Owens And Alan Dikty, 2009. Page 26

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogee — Please support Wikipedia.
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Coast News (blog)

Coast News (blog)
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:26:15 -0800

Lauren Marie Ogee, 33, passed away on Friday November 21, 2014 in Oceanside, California. She was born August 18, 1981, in Torrance California, the daughter of Alicia Ogee and Todd Ogee. Lauren grew up in Vista, California. She enjoyed playing softball ...
Curbed NY
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 08:55:43 -0700

The Galleria is no longer one of the most expensive condo towers on 57th Street, but it may now be the wettest, as the rooftop pool in illusionist David Copperfield's 8,000-square-foot penthouse "spontaneously burst earlier this month," flooding the ...

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Sat, 07 Mar 2015 11:52:30 -0800

To maintain their home's vintage character, they replicated the original 1939 ogee archways throughout the house. Cove-ceiling detailing was repeated in the dining room. The couple refinished the original red oak floors in the living room and matched ...

Columbia Basin Herald

Columbia Basin Herald
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 16:48:25 -0700

An S-shaped piece of concrete at the bottom of the third pillar, called an ogee, had to be repaired, said Chuck Allen, one of the PUD public information officers. Work is expected to be finished next week, the report said. The dirt in a spot along the ...

Genesee Sun

Genesee Sun
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 20:06:44 -0700

shelf clock with inlaid mahogany case an ogee bracket base chimed on time for $19,550; a pair of patinated bronze wall sconces by Frank Lloyd Wright (Am., 1867-1959) with original patina fetched $18,400; and a Revolutionary War-era powder horn ...

Maine Antique Digest

Maine Antique Digest
Wed, 11 Mar 2015 12:07:30 -0700

Among them was a mahogany serpentine-front chest with a molded-edge top, beaded drawers, canted corners, four dramatic ogee feet, and a molding below the base of a carved shell flanked by C-scrolls. It has an old surface, original brasses, and a label ...
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Mon, 09 Mar 2015 15:17:08 -0700

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