Furniture Feet Styles
The foot is the small part of furniture that touches the floor, generally at the end of a table or chair leg. Different feet and leg combinations have been used throughout the years. Studying the design can help to determine the style of a piece. If the furniture is antique, it helps to date the item as well as determine the designer.
Furniture design time frames:
Early Renaissance (1460-1600)
William and Mary (1685-1725)
Queen Anne (1725-1750)
Heppelwhite (late 1700s)
Sheraton (late 1700s)
This foot design is a tapered cylinder shape that is separated from the leg by a turned ring. It is also seen in a blunt style that is shorter and a bit more stout. This foot style is commonly found in designs by George Hepplewhite and Thomas Sheraton.
A ball foot is a turned, round foot. It was most popular in the William and Mary period. This foot design was also used on some Empire-style pieces.
This square foot is commonly used with a Marlborough leg.
This style is also called a console leg. One of the simplest of furniture feet, it is shaped like a bracket, usually with a mitered corner. Styles include a plain bracket foot, a molded bracket foot, or a scrolled bracket foot. It is commonly found in Hepplewhite and Sheraton designs.
A bun foot is a flattened ball, or bun shape, with a slender ankle above. A squat version of a ball foot is flattened slightly on top and is wider at the bottom. It may be wood or upholstered. It was popular during the William and Mary period.
This foot is carved to represent an animal's paw or claw grasping a ball. The design is derived from the Chinese dragon's claw holding a crystal ball or jewel. Perhaps first adapted in Europe by the Dutch, it spread to England, and it was introduced to America about 1735. In America, a bird's foot was generally used, most commonly the eagle's talon.
Club Foot/Pad Foot
This design has a turned foot with a slightly pointed toe, resembling a club resting on a flat base. It is usually thick and substantial. Found especially in William and Mary, Queen Anne, and designs from Thomas Chippendale. A version with a more pointed and protruding toe is called a Slipper Foot.
This sleek design is a cylinder shape that is separated from the leg by a turned ring. The top portion of the foot features a bulbous shape that tapers to the floor.
Elongated Bulb Foot
This design is sometimes found on Sheraton-style tables. It is similar to a cylindrical foot, but the top of the foot is narrower, then bulges out slightly and tapers to the floor.
A feral foot is often crafted of brass. The top of the foot cups around the end of a narrow table or chair leg. Then, after a deep groove, the foot ends in a small bun shape.
Found in the Federal style, this simple foot features a slight flare. It is also called a splayed foot.
This is a style of foot resembling a hoof. It was used on many cabriole-legged chairs during the William and Mary, and Queen Anne periods.
This is a turned foot in the shape of an onion. It was used from the Early Renaissance period through the William and Mary period.
This simple design is a flattened disk-like foot often found under a cabriole leg. It is similar to a club foot and found often with Queen Anne-style cabriole legs.
Similar to the hoof foot, it is a carved paw, most often a lion's paw. This design appeared in early Greek and Roman furniture, and was also found in French, English, and Italian Renaissance designs. It was popularized by Thomas Chippendale in 18th-century English furniture. A variation on this style is the ornate Monopodium foot. It often features an extension of a wing or a cornucopia. It was found on furniture during the Empire period.
Reeded Brass Foot
Reeding is the opposite of fluting. A reeded brass foot has a series of parallel ridges on the top. It is commonly used with flared or splayed legs to cap the end, and often features a caster.
This foot is carved to resemble a snake's head. The narrow, elongated foot bulges slightly upward before the pointed end. This style was found in 18th-century English and American furniture.
A Spade Foot is a tapered rectangular foot formed by applying pieces of wood - not by carving. This technique was popularized by Thomas Chippendale.
This style is also called a Spanish Scroll Foot or Braganza Toe. It is a hoof-like and flared foot with curving vertical ribs. This design was introduced from Portugal during the Restoration period and used in 18th-century English and American furniture.
An alternative name for this style is a Drake Foot. It is a three-lobed design, most often used with a Queen Anne cabriole leg. It is derived originally from Irish furniture design.
A Turnip Foot is a simply styled design of a ball foot with a small collar at the base.
This ornate design is an upward-curved, carved foot done in scroll motif, generally exhibited with a cabriole leg. This style began appearing during the William and Mary, and Chippendale periods.