Meaning of COFFER in English
in furniture, most commonly a portable container for valuables, clothes, and other goods, used from the Middle Ages onward. It was normally a wooden box covered in leather, studded with nails, and fitted with carrying handles. The top was commonly rounded so that rain would run off (the leather covering often increased protection). Sometimes the leather was decorated with incised patterns, painting, or gilding, but more often the closely studded brass-headed nails formed the only ornament, sometimes outlining the owner's initials or monogram. About the beginning of the 18th century, japanning (oriental-style lacquerwork) was applied to examples with curved tops. in architecture, a square or polygonal ornamental sunken panel used in a series as decoration for a ceiling or vault. The sunken panels were sometimes also called caissons, or lacunaria, and a coffered ceiling might be referred to as lacunar. Coffers were probably originally formed by the wooden beams of a ceiling crossing one another, as in the smaller halls of the great Loire valley chteaus of the early Renaissance. The earliest surviving examples, however, are of stone coffering, done by the ancient Greeks and Romans; the Propylaea in Athens, for example, has a stone-coffered ceiling that still shows traces of painted decoration. The vogue was revived during the Renaissance and was common in Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, both religious and secular. Sir Christopher Wren used coffering generously in his London churches, notably in St. Paul's Cathedral.
Britannica English vocabulary. Английский словарь Британика. 2012