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Give your home a twist

The Barley Twist is a type of wood turning, in the form of a spiral twist. It is believed to originate from French and Spanish Baroque designs and it first came to England in 1661 when Katherine of Braganza married Charles II.

The barley twist leg was originally handmade and hand-carved, but English craftsmen soon learned how to create this striking feature on a lathe. This embellishment not only showed off the cabinet maker’s craftsmanship and skill; but also the beauty of the wood which has continued to improve with age.

Whilst the barley twist was a feature of luxurious walnut furniture found during the reign of Queen Anne (1702-1714), it is now most commonly found in oak and mahogany pieces following its revival during the reign of Queen Victoria. This form of wood turning became very fashionable in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods and it was used in column supports mainly seen in tables, chairs and beds; but also in accessories such as candlesticks, lamps, Canterbury racks and mirrors.

As featured on the cover of this month’s House & Garden (Sept’20), accessorising with antique barley twist pieces can add interest, character and texture to your home.




Photo credit: Pinterest Yvonne McFadden

New antique barley twist finds coming soon to theantiqueshound.com include these lovely Victorian and Edwardian pieces … please get in touch if you are looking for something specific.


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