Niche - Encyclopedia

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NICHE (through Fr. niche from Ital. nicchia, nicchio, shell; possibly from Lat. mitulus, a sea-mussel; cf. "napkin" from mappa), in architecture a recess sunk in a wall, generally for the reception of a statue. The niche is sometimes terminated by a simple label, but more commonly by a canopy, and with a bracket or corbel for the figure, in which case it is often called a "tabernacle."

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