In middle-class homes bric-à-brac was used as ornament on mantelpieces, tables, and shelves, or was displayed in curio cabinets: sometimes these cabinets have glass doors to display the items within while protecting them from dust. Today, bric-à-brac refers to a selection of items of modest value, often sold in street markets and charity shops, and may be more commonly known in colloquial English as "knick knacks". In Yiddish such items are known as tchotchkes.
^"French speech... has provided at least three designations, each indicating a delicate and almost imperceptible gradation of quality": Wharton and Codman, The Decoration of Houses, 1897, Ch. XVI "Bric-à-brac" p. 184.