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

KOR bl, kor BELL

[Overlapping] corbels in a corbel table
Arcaded corbel table


1. A projecting bracket of stone, brick, etc., which supports a cornice, arch, or oriel

2. An overlapping arrangement of bricks or stones [overlapping corbels] in which each course extends farther out from the vertical of the wall than the course below. Usually supports a cornice or overhanging member. Example: Right illustration above.

French: "corbel" = a raven; hence, a beak-like projection

Found in almost all styles of architecture

An ancone is a type of corbel

Corbel table:  A projecting molded stringcourse supported by a range of corbels.  Sometimes these corbels carry a small arcade under the stringcourse [arcaded corbel table]. Not to be confused with a blind arcade.

Corbel arch:  An archlike structure in which the sides are formed by corbeling;  construction like an arch but composed of masonry courses corbeled until they meet; a structure which spans an opening like an arch by having successive courses of masonry project farther inward as they rise on each side of the gap.

A "true arch" uses a keystone, which is tapered from top to bottom. That allows a smooth, round curve. The corbel arch was a predecessor to that.


The corbel was adapted for use in interiors and on furniture, and was popular in Renaissance designs.

CORBEL examples from Buffalo architecture:

CORBEL examples outside of Buffalo:

CORBEL TABLE examples from Buffalo architecture:

CORBEL TABLE examples outside of Buffalo:

Photos and their arrangement © 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
.| ...Home Page ...| ..Buffalo Architecture Index...| ..Buffalo History Index... .|....E-Mail ...| .

web site consulting by ingenious, inc.