In architecture, an ornamental recess (concavity) in the thickness of a wall, especially for the display of a statue, bust, vase, or other erect ornament. Anything literally or figuratively resembling a niche. A niche is sometimes terminated by a cartouche, but more commonly by a canopy, and with a bracket or corbel for the figure, in which case it might be called a tabernacle. "Niche" is originally a French word. It was derived from Italian nicchio, meaning a shellfish or mussel, because many niches are more or less shell-like in form.