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



Dolphin columns

Delphinorum columnae: The two columns at one end of the spina of an ancient Roman circus, on which marble figures of dolphins were placed.


A mid-16th-century (Renaissance) decoration and symbol for the Dauphin (pron. DAW fin), eldest son of the king of France.

Found also in the Baroque, Empire and Louis XVI styles.

The dolphins used on Empire furniture are fish, not animals. Note the use of scales. There are dolphins, however, that are animals. Cf., boys riding dolphins in Greek statuary.

The symbol for love and swiftness.

"Also used as a Christian symbol was the dolphin, most often as a symbol of the Christian himself rather than Christ, though the dolphin was also used as a representation of Christ -- most often in combination with the anchor symbol ("Christ on the Cross")." - Fish Eaters

See also:
Animal legs


Photos and their arrangement 2006 Chuck LaChiusa
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