The Scalloped leaves of this Mediterranean plant (Acanthus spinosus) have lent their form to carved ornament since antiquity.
The acanthus leaf was first depicted by the Ancient Greeks and evolved by the Romans to the curled tip variant most commonly seen.
This shape is often seen on Corinthian and Composite capitals, on friezes and as decorative mouldings in sculpture and wood.
It became a fashionable design for metalwork and furniture in the 18th century.
William Morris used the form extensively in his designs.
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