I’m taking a class called “What style is it? Furniture styles through the Ages”at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (www.philamuseum.org). It’s essentially an art history class more than a deep dive into structure, usage and construction. But just in terms of the art history perspective, it’s abundantly clear that furniture has historically been based on architecture and that this relationship dates back at least 2,000 years.
Medieval furniture is characterized by its use of columns, arched galleries and roof-like pediments. So despite the claims of some that the use of classical architectural designs are exhibited in furniture “only where you look for them,” a look back at earlier styles clearly confirms the relationship between furniture and architectural proportions.
Jerry asked whether the column orders can be instructive to the development of the ball and claw. We could expand his question to whether the columns orders could be used (or are evident) in later styles and in specific sub-elements. I think the answer is yes but I’m not an expert in this department. See Mack Headley’s article in “FWW on Making Period Furniture,” a must-read for all Arts and Mysteries readers interested in classical proportions.
P.S. Would one of you please do me a favor and post a comment listing the original FWW article, issue number and the correct title and IBSN of that book for those that would like to pick it up? Please include any web addresses.