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Corbels have long been an integral part of architecture. Throughout the centuries, these subtle and yet very strong architectural components lend their support to extruding surfaces, giving these surfaces the much needed ability to bear weight. Corbels get their name from the Old French word based on the Latin "corvellus." Corvellus is Latin for "raven," which indicates that corbels are named for their beak-like shape. While these much needed components were originally made from concrete or stone, the Victorian Era ushered in the concept of wooden corbels. Able to be made much smaller than their stone counterparts, this allowed for the use of corbels to spread from the libraries and cathedrals, into smaller community buildings and even an individual's home, while allowing for another transition. Originally, corbels were primarily a creature of function. Though often still made with artistry in mind, they were mainly an invention born of necessity. With the advent of wooden corbels, design became a primary feature. Instead of structural corbels that were also decorative, the focus changed. Now corbels were seen as mainly decorative, though also structural.


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