What are Corbels?

Image result for CorbelsCorbels are a sort of decorative wall mount used for supporting heavy loads. They are typically made from wood, stone, plaster or more recently from modern polymers designed to give the appearance of traditional plaster moulds but without the hefty weight factor. Corbels were a common feature of medieval architecture and are still utilized in buildings today, although their design has developed over time.
Initially corbels were created from rock and featured fairly basic designs, but as time progressed this changed and with various styles laying their influence on architecture, corbels developed to become more and more elaborate.
Different styles of corbels There are many reproductions of classic corbels to match with any era you may want to replicate. As mentioned the ancient corbels in medieval times served more of a practical purpose, so were less artistic in character. Norman or Romanesque corbels were often quite plain; they featured simple designs with critters such as rams or rabbits.
Over time new layouts began creeping in and other animals, human minds or beasts began appearing in corbel designs. French and Italian corbels were often bigger and more elaborate and this had an influence on corbel design as emphasis shifted from functional to cosmetic. One of the most popular topics depicted in corbels became foliage together with volutes, which are spirals and spins carved to the corbel. This is still quite commonly featured in buildings and in the house today.
There are different ways you can use corbels in your home. They are typically used for adding additional support to shelves. This is especially recommended if you are planning to place heavy items on a shelf such as novels or huge ornaments. Corbels can also provide additional support (or as an ornamental feature) for tables and countertops with surfaces that extend over an edge. Instead use them as a’stand-alone’ device to display an object or even turned onto their side and used as a form of book end on a shelf.
Of course as well as this practical feature, corbels can also be used decoratively. They may be integrated into walls as an architectural feature both indoors and outdoors and are often placed under a window cill at either end. Many old buildings, particularly churches like Lincoln Cathedral boast some fantastic examples of corbels used externally. When they are sited just beneath the roof soffit in a repeating fashion, they are known as dentils.

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