What Are Wood Ball-Claw Feet for Furniture?


Quick Answer

Wooden ball-and-claw feet are furniture legs that end in a carved motif of a talon grasping a ball. The furniture is supported by the base of the ball. The motif was originally Chinese but is now strongly associated with the Western Chippendale style.

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What Are Wood Ball-Claw Feet for Furniture?
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Full Answer

Cabriole legs were a signature of Thomas Chippendale, an 18th century cabinet maker. Many of his wooden pieces have cabriole legs and ball-and-claw feet. These are furniture legs that have an s-shaped curve such that the tail of the "s" points outward. The shape of the leg is meant to imitate the double-curved rear leg of an animal. The talon-and-ball motif furthers the imitation of an animal leg. Chippendale also employed feet that looked like lion paws and simple clubs, but the wooden ball-and-claw is most popularly associated with his style.

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