The names of architectural styles are often invoked, but seldom used precisely. Even people who should know better conflate styles, whether intentionally or not. In real estate listings, for instance, nondescript old piles are routinely elevated to Victorians, Bungalows or whatever else happens to be selling. Architects aren't immune from such stylistic confusion, either: Many of us bandy about terms such as Tudor, Elizabethan and Half-Timbered, or Mission, Mediterranean and Moorish without really knowing how they differ. Still, you'll never find more stylistic muddlement in one place than you will browsing vintage items listed on eBay. Casual descriptions from lay sellers are understandable, but the many others who represent themselves as antique or collectibles dealers really o...
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