Illustrated Architecture Dictionary ................. Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary

Also called rollwork


Decoration formed by folded, crossed, and sometimes interlaced thin strip - suggestive of leather straps - either applied (usually glued) or carved in wood, stone, or plaster.

Interlaced bands of relief ornamentation.

Consists of interlaced scrollwork, braiding, shield forms, or cross-hatching, often pierced with circular or oval holes.

Strap: A long, narrow strip of pliant material such as leather.

Strapwork is frequently found in grotesques, but does not include fantastical creatures or garlands

Origin: arabesques of Arabs and the Moors in Spain.

Popular in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in screens and on ceilings, panels, and cornices. Found often in Elizabethan (1158-1603) and Jacobean (1603-1660 or 1668) buildings.

Term is sometimes used to describe the geometric design in Celtic crosses

Formal gardens also incorporated strapwork design.


An interlaced pattern which resembles a crisscross folded or plaited design which might be created from strips of leather.

Imported from Antwerp into England in the late 1560s; thence, Elizabethan and Jacobean carved -wood decorated panels with ribbon-like bands in repeating and interlacing designs consisting of scrolls, arabesques, and lozenge shapes.

In the Chippendale period, flat and sometimes elaborately carved strapwork was used for the splats of chairs.

Examples from Buffalo:

Other examples:

Photos and their arrangement 2003 Chuck LaChiusa
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