Illustrated Architecture Dictionary.................. Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary
1. Something, especially an ornament, resembling a partly unrolled sheet of paper or having a spiral or coiled form.
2. A classical frieze ornament having a spiral form resembling a loosely rolled parchment, either
- as a running ornament or
- as a terminal, like the volutes of the Ionic capital or the scrolls on consoles and modillions
C scroll: A "C" curved design. C-and S-scrolls were essential elements of Rococo ornament, especially in frames around cartouches or inscripti.
S scroll: An "S" curved design. An alternate name for an ancone.
Italianate style features scroll-sawn brackets.
The evolution of the scroll saw is linked to the rise in popularity of fretwork.
History of Scroll Sawing
Although there are examples of fretwork-like decorations on early Egyptian, Greek, and Roman furniture, these were probably carved or cut with a knife.
It was not a common practiced to saw delicate wooden shapes until the late 1500's, when a German craftsman (most likely a clock maker) devised a method for making fine, narrow blades.
Soon thereafter, a Parisian began to develop specialized hand tools for cutting these intricate designs. He designed a U-shaped fret saw which was originally known as a Buhl Saw (Buhl) a corrupted pronunciation of the man's name) very similar to a coping saw.
As Mr. Boulle's work gained notoriety, the craft was legitimized and quickly spread to Italy within a generation.
Fretwork was introduced to America in the mid 1800's as Sorrento wood carving. Sorrento is so named because of the area in Italy that it was most popular.
By the 1860's, the first mechanical fret saws -- called scroll saws -- began to appear in the U.S. And so a great art form and hobby were born.
Today there are over fifty models of scroll saws available with many options.
- Leslie's Patterns, Ltd. (online May 2017)
The Evolution of the Scroll Saw
By the 1860s, the first mechanical powered scroll saws began to appear in the United States using a foot-powered treadle, a hand crank, or a pedal mechanism.
During the Victoria Era (1850-1910), scroll saws were used to cut the delicate ornamental gingerbread patterns at the gabled ends along roof eaves and porches. Scroll saws were also used to create clocks, wall plaques, picture frames, and ornate furniture to adorn the inside of the home. By the 1920s, the term scroll saw was in common use throughout America and manufacturers, such as Barnes, New Rogers, Star, Lester, and Hobbies, began mass-producing them.
- Scroll Saw Woodworking and Crafts (online May 2017)
An S or C curved design
A spiraling and convoluting line, like a rolled piece of paper, makes the scroll
An artistic invention in ornamentation, used with acanthus leaves, laurel oak, ivy, and wheat.
Cabriole leg - an S-shaped scroll
Bonnet top / Swan's neck pediment - 2 shaped curves ending in spirals (volutes)
Flemish scroll: An S or C curved ornamental form in which a scroll is broken by an angle. Used in Flemish Renaissance furniture and also in the English Carolean (Charles I or II) and William and Mary styles.
Flemish leg: C-scroll shape terminating in a spiral foot
C-scroll foot used in Late Classical style
Examples from Buffalo:
- Left illustration above: First Presbyterian Church
- Carved wall panel - Saturn Club
- Connecticut Street Armory
- C scrolls - Buffalo Athletic Club
- C scrolls - George A. Austin House
- S scrolls - Rand Building
- Italianate style scroll-sawn brackets - 63 Mariner St.
- Second Empire style scroll-sawn brackets - Charles F. Sternberg House /The Mansion on Delaware Avenue
- Stick style scroll-sawn brackets - George L. Williams House
- Queen Anne style scroll-sawn brackets - Schwartz House
- S scrolls - Holy Angels Academy / D'Youville College Montante Family Library
- Radiator - Edward Harvey House. 91 Jewett Parkway
- Cast iron fireback - 305 Elmwood Avenue
- Furniture: C-scrolled Empire sideboard foot - American Antique Furniture, Orchard Park, NY
- Furniture: Dining room table - Seymour H. Knox House / Blessed Sacrament RC Church Parish Office
- Furniture: Tilt-top table with scroll-shaped legs and feet - Theodore Inaugural Site
- Furniture: C-scrolled - Edward Harvey House. 91 Jewett Parkway
- Furniture: Cabinet muntins - Edward Harvey House. 91 Jewett Parkway
- Furniture: Acanthus scroll on Renaissance kas panel - Private collection
- Furniture: Empire sideboard with scrolled heavy column, C-scroll feet -Elliott House, Amherst Museum
- Furniture: Late Classical pier table, C-scroll feet - Elliott House, Amherst Museum
- Furniture: Late Classical sideboard scrolled foot - Hoover House, Amherst Museum
- C. 1880 newel post gas light - Carl Slone Antique Lighting and Windows
- Photo: Baroque scroll - Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria
- C and S scrolls - The Piarist Church, Cracow, Poland
- Baroque C scrolls - Yusupov Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia
- Baroque scroll - St. Roch Church, Paris, France
- Baroque C scrolls - Versailles, France
- S scroll - Place des Vosges, Paris, France
- Furniture: Flemish chair scrolls - Reprinted from Wallace Nutting, Furniture Treasury, 1928
- Furniture: Scrolled chair handhold - Independence Hall, Philadelphia
- Furniture: Looking glass with phoenix - Cedar Grove House Museum, Philadelphia
- Furniture: Handhold - William and Mary upholstered armchair, Fairmount Park Woodford House, Philadelphia
- Furniture: S-scrolled arm - Windsor chair, Fairmount Park Woodford House, Philadelphia
- Furniture: Chippendale fret-carved mirror - Fairmount Park Woodford House, Philadelphia
- Furniture: Flemish chair leg - George Wythe House, Williamsburg, Va.
- Furniture: C scroll, Philadelphia Chippendale side chair - Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, Delaware