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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) Restoration (1660-1688) William and Mary (1685-1725) Queen Anne (1725-1750) Chippendale (1750-1780) Federal (1780-1820) Heppelwhite (late 1700s) Sheraton (late 1700s) Empire (1815-1840)

Arrow Foot
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.

Ball Foot
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.

Block Foot
This square foot is commonly used with a Marlborough leg.

Bracket Foot
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.

Bun Foot
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.

Claw-and-Ball Foot
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.

Cylindrical 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.

Feral Foot
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.

Flared Foot
Found in the Federal style, this simple foot features a slight flare. It is also called a splayed foot.

Hoof 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.

Onion Foot
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.

Pad Foot
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.

Paw Foot
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.

Snake Foot
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.

Spade Foot
A Spade Foot is a tapered rectangular foot formed by applying pieces of wood - not by carving. This technique was popularized by Thomas Chippendale.

Spanish Foot
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.

Trifid Foot
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.

Turnip Foot
A Turnip Foot is a simply styled design of a ball foot with a small collar at the base.

Whorl Foot
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.