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Barley twist


I recently came into possession of this strange table, which belonged to my grandparents. Frankly I find the table somewhat ugly. But I’m amused by the eccentricity and whimsy. To try to find out about the style, I Googled for “double helix furniture.” That turned up lots of images of antique furniture and revealed that the style is called “barley twist.”

Judging from online photos, most barley twist is found in the legs of a table or the posts of a bed. The central double helix post of this table is less common. Barley twist furniture is not as hard to find as I thought it might be. According to online sources such as this one, barley twist first showed up in France in the 1600s. It apparently was popular in the 1800’s, and some custom furniture makers are still doing it. I’m still confused, though, about how it’s done. My guess is that it’s started on a lathe and then carved. There may even be some twisting involved for all I know.

This table is walnut, including the balls in the claw feet. It now sits by a north-facing window and supports a globe.

2 Comments

  1. chenda wrote:

    Seems to fit in though into a woodland cabin 🙂

    Friday, November 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink
  2. Jo wrote:

    David, glad you found a spot in your home for the table since it belonged to your grandparents.

    Friday, November 15, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

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