Alexander Speltz.

Styles of ornament : exhibited in designs and arranged in historical order with descriptive text : a handbook for architects, designers, painters, sculptors, wood-carvers, chasers, modellers, cabinet-makers and artistic locksmiths as well as also for technical schools, libraries and private study online

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Online LibraryAlexander SpeltzStyles of ornament : exhibited in designs and arranged in historical order with descriptive text : a handbook for architects, designers, painters, sculptors, wood-carvers, chasers, modellers, cabinet-makers and artistic locksmiths as well as also for technical schools, libraries and private study → online text (page 1 of 20)
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Printed by F. A. BROCK HAUS, Leipzig




The first German edition of this work was published in 1904 and met with
such signal success that its author Herr Alexander Speltz was called upon to
bring out a second edition two years later. In this edition the number of plates
was increased from three to four hundred which enabled the author to give a
more complete representation of ornament as developed in England and America
than had been at first contemplated.

The original work was undertaken with the object of representing the entire
range of ornament in all its different styles from pre-historic times till the middle
of the 19*'' century and to illustrate the different uses to which it had been
applied. The whole of the illustrations which were taken from the best autho-
rities on each subject and period were drawn specially for the work and evince
the remarkable industry and knowledge of the author and his artistic power in
representing ornament. In fact it is only necessary to glance through the several
plates to see how closely the author has caught the style and character of each
period. Acknowledgments of the sources are made throughout the work and in
addition a special list of books of reference, including those which have been
drawn upon for illustrations, has been inserted at the end of the volume.

An English edition was published in America in 1906 for sale in that country
only, but the historical accounts were not in accordance with the latest research
and many of the descriptions to the plates had suffered so much in translation
that very considerable revision was necessary in preparing the present issue.
Three new plates of English Ornament have been added to this edition taking
the place of others which it was found necessary to delete, various changes
have also been made in the headings to some of the chapters and in the terms
employed, more particularly in the section devoted to the Renaissance period;
for instance the term "Barocco", which although well-known and recognised
throughout Germany is but seldom used here, has been replaced by "Later
Renaissance" which is more familiar to the English student and includes that
which used to be known as the pure Italian style introduced by Inigo Jones.



The term Rococo has been retained as it would have been difficult to find any-
other to suggest the vagaries of the Louis XV. style which spread through Italy,
France, Spain, Germany and Flanders and here in England led to Chippendale's
work; the terms adopted to distinguish the later periods are adhered to as
in the original edition.

The plates and their accompanying descriptions being arranged throughout
in chronological sequence renders an index a very important adjunct and special
care has been taken in preparing that given in the work. The examples are
entered according to both subject and material and the periods to which they
relate are indicated, thus enabling any particular object in any style to be imme-
diately referred-to.

The 400 plates in which the several styles of ornament are illustrated contain
a larger and much more varied series than in any work hitherto published,
indeed the volume forms a veritable encyclopaedia of the evolution development
and application of ornament in architecture and the decorative arts throughout
the ages, and it should prove of great value to the architect, craftsman, designer
and student.

LONDON, January 1910.



Plates Page

Introduction — 1

Prehistoric and Primitive Ornament 1 — 3 3


Egyptian Ornament 4 — 7 12

Babylonian-Assyrian Ornament 8 — 10 22

Persian Ornament 11 — 12 29

Phoenician-Hebraic Ornament 13 34

Indian Ornament 14 — 16 37

Greek Ornament 17—30 43

Etruscan Ornament 31 — 32 67

Roman Ornament 33—44 71

Pompeian Ornament 45—49 91

Celtic Ornament 50—56 90

THE MIDDLE AGES 57-200 113

Early-Christian Ornament 57—62 114

Lombardo-Byzantine Ornament in Italy 57 — 58 118

Visigothic Ornament in Spain 59 122

Italo-Byzantine Ornament in Italy 60, 62 122

Prankish Ornament 61 122

Byzantine Ornament 63 — 70 125

Byzantine Ornament in Spain 69 — 70 132

Romanesque Ornament 71 — 107 137

Romanesque Ornament in Germany 71 — 77 139

Romanesque Ornament in France 78 — 85 149

Romanesque Ornament in Upper and Middle Italy . . 86 — 88 161

Saracen-Norman Ornament in Sicily and Lower Italy . 89 — 91 161

Romanesque Ornament in Spain 92 — 94 1 69

Romanesque Ornament in England 95 — 101 173

Romanesque Ornament in Scandinavia 102 — 107 183


Plates Page

Russian Ornament 108—111 193

Mahometan Ornament 112 — 134 198

Arabian Ornament 112—115 203

Moorish Ornament 116—120 207

Saracenic Ornament 121 214

Ottoman Ornament 122 — 126 214

Persian Ornament 127—130 225

Indo-Saracenic Ornament 131 — 134 231

Gothic Ornament 135—188 235

Gothic Ornament in France 135 — 143 238

Gothic Ornament in the Netherlands 144 — 145 252

Gothic Ornament in England 146 — 160 254

Gothic Ornament in Germany and Austria 161 — 176 274

Gothic Ornament in Italy 177 — 183 298

Gothic Ornament in Spain 184 — 188 310

Chinese Ornament 189—193 316

Cambodian Ornament 194—195 324

Japanese Ornament 196—200 327


Renaissance Ornament 201—270 339

Renaissance in haly 201—215 341

Florence 201—202 343

Rome 203—204 343

Venice 205—206 349

Various 207—215 349

Renaissance in France 216 — 226 362

Renaissance Ornament in Spain and Portugal .... 227 — 234 377

Renaissance in Germany, Austria and Switzerland . . . 235 — 248 388

Swiss Renaissance Wood Buildings 249 — 250 408

Renaissance Ornament in Hungary 251 412

Renaissance Ornament in the Netherlands 252 — 255 414

Ornament of the Northern Renaissance 256 — 257 419

Slavonic Renaissance Ornament 258 — 260 422

Renaissance Ornament in Poland 258 422

Renaissance Ornament in Russia 259 — 260 427

Renaissance Ornament in England 261 — 270 428

Later Renaissance Ornament 271 — 311 443

Later Renaissance Ornament in haly 271 — 275 445

Later Renaissance Ornament in France (Louis XIV. Style) 276—286 453
Later Renaissance Ornament in Germany, Austria and

Switzeriand 287—295 468

Later Renaissance Ornament in the Netheriands . . . 296—298 481

Later Renaissance Ornament in England 299 — 311 487


Plates Page

Rococo Ornament 312—333 503

Rococo Ornament in Italy 313 507

Rococo Ornament in France (Louis XV. Style) 314 — 322 509

Rococo Ornament in Germany and Austria 323—330 519

Rococo Ornament in England (Chippendale Style). . . . 331 — 333 531

Colonial Style Ornament in the United States .... 334—339 534

Ornament of the Classical Revival of the 18^" Century 340—376 543

IS*** century Ornament in Italy 340—342 545

IS*'' century Ornament in France (Louis XVI. Style) . . . 343—350 549

18*^ century Ornament in the Netherlands 351 559

IS**" century Ornament in Germany 352—354 559

18*^ century Ornament in England 355—376 565

Examples of the work of R. and J. Adam 355 — 369 565

Furniture made from designs by Sheraton 370 — 372 579

Furniture made from designs by Hepplewhite .... 373 585

Work prepared from various designs 374 — 376 585

Empire Ornament 377—393 592

Empire Ornament in France 377 — 385 592

Examples of the work of Percier and Fontaine . . . 377 — 383 592

Various designs 384, 385 597

Later Empire 386 605

Empire Ornament in Italy 387—389 606

Examples of the work of Guiseppe Borsato .... 388 606

Empire Ornament in Germany 390—393 611

Biedermeier or old fashioned Style in Germany . . . 394, 395 617

Neogrec Ornament in Germany 396—400 621

List of Reference books 627

Index of illustrations according to subject and material 630


ighlly understood, the conformation of an ornament should
be in keeping with the form and structure of the object
which it adorns, should be in complete subordination to
it, and should never stifle or conceal it. As varied and
as many-sided as it may be, still, the Art of ornamen-
tation is never an arbitrary one; besides depending on
the form of the object, it is influenced also by the nature
of the material of which the same is made, as well
as by the style or manner in which natural objects
are reproduced in ornamentation by different peoples
at different times. The art of ornamentation, there-
fore, stands in intimate relationship with material,
purpose, form, and style. The oldest forms
of ornamentation consisted of geometric figures,
small circles, bands, straight and curved lines,
&c, all of which were drawn with categorical
regularity and according to a certain rhythm. With the advance in the intellectual
development of mankind, artists acquired more technical skill, and ventured even
to make use of animals, plants, and, finally, of the human figure itself, for orna-
mental purposes. A plant or a living being can be employed in ornamentation
in two ways, firstly, just as it is formed by nature — which is naturalistic Orna-
ment, and secondly, in a form which reflects the spirit of the times, the political
or religious ideas of the peoples, or the effects of foreign influence — where by

SPELTZ, styles of Ornament. 1

Initial from a German manu-
script. 12 th century (Doltnetsch).


was formed the stylistic Ornament. Each style exhibits one and the same plant
and one and the same animal in a different fashion. Each country sought the
models for its own ornamentation in its own Fauna and Flora, and each style
had certain plants and animals which it preferred to all others. Style is really
more the product of one epoch of time rather than of a single people, and it is
according to this chronological standpoint that the present work has been ar-
ranged. In keeping with the tendency of the work, it may be remarked that
the illustrations, are all reproductions of such objects only as were really produced
at the period for which the style is characteristic.

Stonehenge near Salisbury.


Stonerelief from Yucatan

(Globus 1884).

ivided according to the periods of development
during which it existed, Prehistoric Ornament
extends over tv^o great epochs: the Stone Age
and the Metal Age. It is, hov^ever, charac-
teristic not alone of all peoples who lived
on the earth in Prehistoric times, peoples se-
parated by thousands of years from each
other, but even of people who exist at the
present day. We find the Prehistoric Orna-
ment not only amongst the remains of those
races of people who lived along the Medi-
terranean over 6000 years ago, but also the
primitive ornament amongst different people
who inhabit certain parts of the earth at present but who have not yet advanced
beyond that stage civilisation to which this style of Ornament is peculiar.
Prehistoric ornament embraces two periods: the Stone Age and the Metal Age.
The Stone Age is generally supposed to have begun at the end of the last
period of the Tertiary Age, distinct proofs place it at the last epoch of the
Diluvian Era. During the Paleolithic or Ancient Stone Age, stone was habitu-
ally used as the material from which tools were made; in the Neolithic or later
Stone Age the tools were polished and given an artistic form, and vessels made
of clay decorated with simple ornamentations were manufactured. Lake dwellings,
the burying of the dead in caves, middens, barrows, cromlechs, and other nu-
merous Megalithic monuments, the use and purpose of which are still matter
of speculation, are all characteristic of this era. In the course of time these
early inhabitants arrived at a stage of development which enabled them to make



use of metals, bronze being first employed and later on iron, the different periods
being designated as the Earlier and Later Bronze Age and the Earlier and Later
Iron Age. The use of bronze was introduced from the East throughout the
entire of Europe at about the year 1500 B.C. The Later Bronze Age extended
only over the middle and north of Europe and dates from about 1000 to 600 B.C.
Iron was however already worked during this period in the countries bordering
on the Mediterranean, and was besides extensively known to the Assyrians in
the ninth century before Christ. In all probability the use of iron was intro-
duced from Assyria into Europe, where, in consequence of its introduction,
new forms were given to arms, tools, and implements of all kinds. Iron was
now used almost entirely for arms and tools, bronze being employed for artistic
work. The Eariier or Ancient Iron Age is called also the Hallstadt Period,
Hallstadt being a locality in the Salzkammergut where all the greatest and most
important discoveries dealing with this period were made. The Later Iron Age,
designated also as the La Tene Period in consequence of the discovery of remains
found in the castle in the island La Tene in the Lake of Neuchatel, dates from
400 to 100 B. C, and is confined generally speaking to the Gallic races.

Even in those prehistoric times a very lively commercial intercourse existed
between the different peoples. The locality, therefore, where a certain article
has been discovered cannot by any means be accepted as the country of its origin.
It could just as well have been manufactured by another people more advanced
in civilisation, and have been brought by itinerant traders to the locality where
it was eventually found.

The Stone and Metal periods, however, are not confined alone to those pre-
historic peoples who have long since passed away, and of whose names or
descent we have never been able to acquire the slightest knowledge. There are
people in Asia, Africa, America, and Australia, at the present day, who have not
even yet arrived so far as the Metal period. The inhabitants of America at the
time of its discovery had not yet advanced beyond the Stone or Metal Age.
Examples of their work are therefore included in the two plates dealing with
these periods.

Prehistoric and the Primitive Ornaments may be said to be purely geometric
ones, the artists of the time rising very seldom to such heights as to try and
imitate in their work the figures of men, animals, or plants. Altough there cannot
be any mention of "style" in connection with it as it was so disconnected, and
so widely separated by time and space — still. Prehistoric ornament as such formed
the foundation upon which genuine styles were constructed later on.

Plate 1,



Plate 2.


Plate 1.

Prehistoric Ornament.

Fig. 1. Ivory carving found in a cave in Lourdes (Hoerner, Urgeschichte).

„ 2. Ivory carving found in Arudy (Basses Pyrenees), France (Hoerner).

„ 3. Ivory carving found in Brassempoy, France (Hoerner).

„ 4. Clay statuette found in Budmir, Bosnia (Hoerner).

„ 5, and 6. Earthenware vessels found in Budmir, Bosnia (Hoerner).

„ 7. Vessel found in the pile-dwellings on Laibach Moor, later Stone Age (Hoerner).

„ 8. Bronze object from the first Iron Age found In Hungary (Hoerner).

„ 9. Bronze jewel found in Hungary (Hoerner).

„ 10. Bronze needle (Brockhaus, Konversationslexicon).

„ II. Earthenware vessel found in Odenburg, first Stone Age (Hoerner).

„ 12. Urn found in West Prussia (Hoerner).

„ 13. Urn found in Borgstedfeld, Holstein (Hoerner).

„ 14. Bronze plate found in Glarinoc, Bosnia (Hoerner).

„ 15. Bronze greave found in Herzegovina (Hoerner).

„ 16. Weapon found in Hungary (Hoerner).

„ 17. Iron dagger found in the Lake of Garda (Hoerner).

„ 18. Fragment of an engraved bronze girdle found in Chodschali in Transcaucasia


„ 19. Jewel from the gold-discoveries in Vettersfelde (Hoerner).

„ 20. Lance-head, Germany (Hoerner).

„ 21, 22, and 28. Wicker-work found in the Swiss pile-dwellings (Liibke, Die Kunst

des Altertums).

„ 23. Border ornamentation of a bronze basin found in the Wies, Styria (Hoerner).

„ 24. Clay figure found in a BcEotian grave (Hoerner).

„ 25. Stone axe of Montezuma (Sir John Evans).

„ 26. Sword of the Bronze Age (Liibke).

„ 27. Needle of the Bronze Age (Liibke).

„ 29, and 32. Bronze Clasps (Brockhaus).

„ 30. Scabbard (Brockhaus).

„ 31. Figure of Charon on a bronze relief plate found in North Syria (Hoerner).

„ 33. Bronze fibula (Brockhaus).

„ 34. Double earthenware vessel found at Langenlebron in a grave of the Hall-

stadt period (Hoerner).

„ 35. Scissors (Brockhaus).

„ 36. Bronze wedge (Brockhaus).

„ 37. Neck ornament (Liibke).

„ 38. Needle (Lübke).

„ 39. Bronze sword (Lübke).

„ 40. Stone spear-head (Brockhaus).

„ 41. Bronze fibula (Brockhaus).

„" 42. Stone knife (Brockhaus).

„ 43. Stone sickle (Liibke).

„ 44. Iron spear-head (Brockhaus).

„ 45. Iron vestment pin (Brockhaus).


Plate 3.


Plate 2.

Prehistoric Ornament.

Fig 1. Ancient Peruvian Vase (Brockhaus Konversationslexikon).

2. Granite Vase found in Honduras (Brociihaus).

3, 4, 26, 27, 41, 42, and 44. Bronze weapons (Lübke, Kunst des Altertums).

5, Urn found in the district of the Elbe (Reichhold, Flachornament des Altertums).

6, 23, and 30. Knives found in the Swiss pile-dwellings (Reichhold).

7, Relief on the Monolith Gate of Tiahuanaco (Liibke).

8, and 11. Wedges of the Inkas period (Brockhaus).

9, 10, 12, and 14. Earthenware vessels found in America (Reichhold).
13. Relief from a Mexican temple (Brockhaus).

15. Earthenware vessel found in the island of Cyprus (Reichhold).

16. Sepulchral urn found in England (Reichhold).

17. Sepulchral urn found in Sweden (Reichhold).

18. Ornament from a building in Prinxillo (Liibke).

19. 20, 43, and 45. Earthenware vessels from the Middle Rhine (Reichhold).

21. Old Italian sepulchral urn with engraved ornamentations (Reichhold).

22. Relief cut in the rocks in Izamal, Yucatan (Brockhaus).
24, 25, 28, 29, 31—34, and 36. Bronze jewels (Lübke).
35. Fragment of a column (American), found in Tula (Brockhaus).
37 to 39. Metal-vessel ornamentations of the Bronze Age (Lübke).
40. Idol.

Plate 3.

Primitive Ornament.

Fig. 1. Mat from the Southsea (Finsch, Erfahrungen und Belegstücke aus der Südsee).
2. Fan screen of painted feathers from Australia (Racinet, Tornement polychrome).
„ 3, and 5. Painting from an Australian canoe (Racinet).
„ 4. Painted Woodcarving from Central Africa (Racinet).

6. Model of a house of the Haida, Queen Charlotte's Islands. In the Anthro-
pological Museum of Berlin.

7. Ebony spatula with incrusted work from New Guinea (Reichhold, Kunst und

„ 8. Specimen of woven work from Australia (Racinet).
„ 9. Club from New Zealand (Racinet).

„ 10. Native chair, Camerun. In the anthropological Museum of Berlin.
„ 11. Woodcarving from a canoe in New Zealand. In the Louvre (Racinet).
„ 12, and 13. Terminal heads of paddles from Polynesia (Glazier, A manual of Historic

Door of the grand Theocalli of Uxmal, Yucatan (Gailhabaud, Denkmäler).

Frame: Mexican Ceramic Ornaments in the British Museum (Owen Jones,

Grammar of Ornaments).


/ ^

Egyptian wood columns (Prisse d'Avennes, hist. d. I'art egyptien).


Egyptian Dress (Lübke).

ong before civilisation was tcnown in Egypt there
existed at one time in Ancient Syria and Ba-
bylonia, countries once so rich and flourishing,
a civilisation much older than that of Egypt.
Proofs of this civilisation have been brought
to light in the excavations carried out in recent
years in these two countries. It is, however,
Egypt that has supplied us with those series
of monuments by means of which the most
ancient historical facts now in our possession
have been put together and verified. Even
so far back as 4000 B. C. an extensive artistic spirid reigned throughout Egypt.
The historic period of the country, which dates from about the year 3200 B. C.
when Mena was king, comprise thirty dynasties, and is divided in accordance
with the records of the priest Manetho into four principal periods, namely:

1. The Ancient Kingdom dating from about 4180 B. C. to about 3000 B. C.
This period, reached jts highest glory under Khyan, the last king of the tenth
dynasty. The city of Memphis in Lower Egypt flourished during this period.

2. The Middle Kingdom dates from 3000 to 1587 B. C. The principal
centres were in Middle and Upper Egypt with the capital Thebes. The highest
period of development characteristic of this epoch was reached about 2660 B. C.
during the 12*"^ dynasty, the decline and decay of this development being brought
about by the conquest of the country by the Hyksos who had their centre of
government in the city of Tanis.


3. The Modern Kingdom dates from the year 1587 to 702 B.C. The

principal city was Thebes in Upper Egypt. The highest period of development
was reached in the years 1516 to 1234 B. C. under Hat-Shepsut, Rameses,
Seti, and Rameses II., of the IS*'' and 19*'' dynasties. The decline began about
the year 950 B. C.

4. The Later Period dates from the year 664 B. C, the period of the
restoration by Psammeticus with the capital Sais. The final development took
place under the 26*'' dynasty between the years 663 to 525 B. C. when the
country was conquered by the Persians, during whose occupation few buildings
were erected. In 332 B. C. a revival took place under the rule of Alexander
the Great which was continued by the Ptolemies from the year 323 B. C. and
by the Romans from 31 B. C.

The life led by the ancient Egyptians was characterised by distinctly marked
order and regularity, and to this is due the clearness, exactness and dignity,
which distinguish Egyptian works cf art. They are deficient however in that
warm spirit which animates Grecian art, and are in consequence cold and stiff.
Owing to the scarcity of timber, all the great enclusures of temples, palaces,
and domestic structures generally were built in unbumt brick, a material which
necessitated a much greater thickness for the lower part of the wall at the base,
and this type of construction would appear to have been the model on which
all the great monuments in stone were based, thus accounting for the raking
walls given to the pylcns and temples

Apart from a pure geometrical setting-out, Egyptian ornament consists of a
rigidly systematic arrangement of plants native to the country. The well-known
Egyptologist, Louis Borchardt, has arranged a clear classification of Egyptian
plant-ornamentation, and the complete plants used as models being arranged by
him as follows:

1 . The Lotus-flower, Nymphaea Lotus L, Nymphaea Cerula L., and Nym-
phaea Nelumbo L.

2. The Lily, the botanical name of which has not yet been fixed.

3. The Papyrus flower, Cyperus papyrus L.

4. The Date-palm, Phoenix dactylifera L.

5. Reeds and a kind of Withe* were also cften employed as can be
seen from certain fragments discovered in the excavations.

The lotus and papyrus flowers were, however, used the most often by the
Ancient Egyptians in the ornamentation of all kinds of work, from the most
colossal Egyptian columns down to the smallest objects. Borchardt denies that
there is any constructive importance to be attached to the Egyptian plant-column.
To the ancient Egyptians, the temple meant the world, the ceiling was the heavens,
under which the columns, made to represent plants, rose up from a mound of

Probably the leaf of the maize or Indian corn.


earth. That the imitation of a plant was used as a support for the ceiling is
an idea which cannot be accepted. As, however, supports for carrying the ceiling

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Online LibraryAlexander SpeltzStyles of ornament : exhibited in designs and arranged in historical order with descriptive text : a handbook for architects, designers, painters, sculptors, wood-carvers, chasers, modellers, cabinet-makers and artistic locksmiths as well as also for technical schools, libraries and private study → online text (page 1 of 20)