What are Corbels?

Image result for CorbelsCorbels are a sort of decorative wall mount used for supporting heavy loads. They are typically made from stone, wood, plaster or more recently from modern polymers designed to provide the appearance of traditional plaster molds but without the heavy weight element. Corbels were a frequent feature of medieval architecture and are still used in buildings today, although their style has evolved over time.
Initially corbels were created out of rock and featured quite basic designs, but as time progressed this changed and with numerous 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 at any era you might 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 layouts with animals such as rams or rabbits.
Over time new layouts started creeping in along with other animals, human heads or beasts began appearing in corbel designs. French and Italian corbels were often larger and more elaborate and this had an influence on corbel design as emphasis shifted from practical to decorative. One of the most popular themes depicted in corbels became foliage along with volutes, which are spirals and twists carved to the corbel. This is still very commonly featured in buildings and in the house now.
How to use corbels into your home
There are different ways that you can use corbels in your dwelling. They are typically used for adding additional support to shelves. This is particularly recommended if you’re planning to put heavy items on a shelf such as books or huge ornaments. Corbels can also provide extra support (or as a decorative feature) for tables and countertops with surfaces that extend over an edge. Instead use them as a’stand-alone’ device to display an item or even turned onto their side and used as a form of book end on a shelf.
Of course in addition to this practical feature, corbels can also be used decoratively. They may be incorporated into walls as an architectural feature both indoors and outdoors and are often placed under a window cill at either end. Many old buildings, especially churches like Lincoln Cathedral boast some amazing examples of corbels used externally. When they’re sited just under the roof soffit in a repeating manner, they are called dentils.

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