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Furniture Styles by Legs and Feet
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The legs and feet of furniture are one of the best identifying factors for furniture style. The earliest feet were either plain (being an extension of the stile) or were large "balls". Later, the growth of the styles of feet used on furniture was based on the imitation of the feet of quadrupeds, birds and even "dragons". Caveat: the fact that an item of furniture has one of the styles of foot/leg shown below does not indicate it is from that period as these styles have seen frequent revivals over the centuries and often times these revival pieces were of mixed styles. They are merely and indication of the style of furniture not its' age.
 
Images from Wallace Nuttings Furniture Treasury Vols I & II; to learn more about furniture styles I suggest this book
Early Foot Styles - Ball or Bun - 17th c.
Examples below are of early (17th c) "ball" feet; sometimes referred to as "bun" feet

bunfeet1.gif

"Ball & Claw" Foot 18th C.
(also called Chippendale)*
 
Usually associated with Chippendale furniture. Although used by Thomas Chippendale, this style of foot was not his design, as it was fully developed prior to Chippendale beginning his work. The bottom row shows the typical "ball and claw" form used on chest. Many variants, see below:

ballclawfeet.gif

Queen Ann - 18th c
Frequently referred to as a "pad" and/or "Dutch" foot; popular from about 1710 through the Chippendale period; many variants

queenann1.gif

Variants of the Ball & Claw
 
First row: The feet shown below, also of the 18th c., are sometimes referred to as a "dog foot" or "hairy paw" foot. There are many variations of this style including with and without "balls" and sometimes resting directly on the floor.
Second row: These variants are usually referred to as "hoof" foot; sometimes found with realistic "hair" covering the hoof. Some may be found "cloven" while others more resemble a horse's hoof. As this type of foot was never really popular, it is therefore rather rare.

pawfoot.gif

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