Named in the 1700s after the famous London cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale, Chippendale furniture is of American origin and shows examples dating back to the 1600s. Most known for its cabriole legs and ball feet, Chippendale pieces were made in dark-colored woods, displayed yoked top railings, and upholstered seats.
Common characteristics of Chippendale pieces also include pierced back plats, or back supports, arms, and sides. As Chippendale is very similar to Queen Anne, shell-shaped reserves carried over but were not as prevalent as in prior styles.
The legs on Chippendale pieces were quite varied with legs and feet in the shape of Lion’s paws, ball and claw, Late Chippendale, the Marlborough, the club, and the Spade.
The lion’s paw, and the ball and claw both exclusively showcased cabriole legs. American cabinetmakers favored the ball and claw as the claw belonged to an eagle. The Late Chippendale style features a square leg with a square foot. The most simple is the club, a simple round foot; the spade is a round, tapered leg with a square or trapezoid foot.