When buying antique furniture from the Queen Anne and early Georgian periods, the shape and style of legs and feet said much about origins and style. At this period during the early 18th century, which was often regarded as the Golden Age of furniture making when the use of walnut was at its height, influences were coming into Britain from all over Europe. The cabriole leg had already come over from France and the Queen Anne translation could be fairly plain with the leg resting on a simple pad with a carved shell motif at the knee. However, other legs and feet retained more of the French influence with a variety of upward, backward and downward scrolls, sometimes a pony’s hoof or a lion’s claw. The cabriole itself which originated from antiquity with its shape derived from the leg of a goat, also had the classical ball and claw foot which denoted power, the ball, in the grip of authority, the claw. This foot more than any other has become increasingly popular.
Other 18th century versions of the leg and foot were influenced by both Italy and Germany where heavily carved faces of satyrs were often to be seen on the knees of the cabriole leg and a well defined paw for the foot. The bun foot and the bracket foot were very popular for use on varying types of case furniture such as chests of drawers and cabinets.
When buying good early 18th century or revival antique dining chairs , Lancashire antique dealers will be happy to lend an expert eye.
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