The front legs of the saber curve forward; the rear legs curve behind the seat. These finely splayed legs became popular on early-19th-century regency and empire chairs, stools and sofas.
The leather-upholstered, timber-framed klismos chairs in this shot have subtle saber legs, allowing them to work well with the other contemporary pieces in the room.
Like the saber leg, the reeded leg has its origins in ancient Greek and Roman motifs. Around the turn of the 19th century, this style became more popular in regency and empire furniture, especially the Sheraton styles.
The reeded leg has vertically carved rounded grooves, with narrow channels that separate each reed. These convex moldings stand out from the surface.
Modeled on ancient Greek columns, the fluted leg has concave — rather than convex — vertical channels carved into the leg, unlike the reeded leg. Neoclassical furniture styles from the late 18th century used the fluted leg to great effect.
The trumpet leg, as the name implies, resembles an upside-down trumpet. King William III — who ruled England during the late 1600s with Queen Mary II —often employed craftsmen from his native Holland, who created more decorative and elaborate designs than the previous Gothic styles.
This furniture leg is usually on the thick side, and can have many curves. Flaring upward and then outward from a narrow base, this leg is often capped with a dome. The foot may be a ball or a Spanish foot (a flared foot ending in a scroll).
Originating in Italy in the early 18th century, the cabriole leg curves outward at the knee and inward at the ankle. Inspired by a leaping goat's rear leg, this elegant S shape provides great support to larger pieces of furniture.
The cabriole leg may have a paw, scroll, club, or claw and ball foot, which you see on a lot on Chippendale furniture. The knee may also have an ornamental carving of a shell or lion.
The elephant trunk leg. The elephant trunk leg, also known as the banana leg, originated during the Ming Dynasty. It's often found on low pieces like the Chinese kang table. The elephant trunk leg tends to be quite thick; it curves out from the top and then curves back into the leg.
This late-baroque-era style of furniture leg was developed in the second part of the 17th century. The Flemish scroll leg can be distinguished by either a carved S or C shape at the top. Furniture from this period tends to be heavy and dark, with elaborate carvings.