Quatrefoil – an ornamental design of four lobes or leaves as used in architectural tracery [the stone frames around stained glass], resembling a flower or four-leaf clover. From the Anglo-Norman French “quatre” for “four” and “foil” for “leaf.”
Image of quatrefoil via Wikipedia.
The quatrefoil often appears in Gothic architecture, and in Christian imagery, the four leaves frequently represent the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. There is evidence, however, that the design has Islamic origins. The Moorish fountain below is an example of a “barbed” quatrefoil:
“The formal and secluded courtyard gardens of the Moorish palace La Alhambra. Spain. Photo by Henri Lassande.” Via Pinterest.
The quatrefoil has been a recurring design motif since the late 15th century, and its clover shape makes it perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.
“Bookshelf interiors are painted green [Bunker Hill Green by Benjamin Moore], a touch [designer Celerie] Kemble says brings order to the colorful chaos of books.” Alexandra Side Chair by Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair [Available through Janet Brown Interiors, a Richmond resource for Hickory Chair.] Interior design by Celerie Kemble. Photography by Pieter Estersohn and John Bessler. Written by Lisa Cregan. “New York Apartment with Elegant British Style” produced by Jenny Bradley. Traditional Home.
“The chair in the master bath is a Suzanne Kasler design for Hickory Chair [available through Janet Brown Interiors].” Interior designer Suzanne Kasler’s Regency-style home in Atlanta. Photography by Pieter Estersohn. Text by Jen Renzi. “At Home With Suzanne Kasler” produced by Howard Christian. Architectural Digest (April 2012).
Doge’s Palace, Venice. Photo via Palazzo Ducale website.
“The house, currently set on three acres, was built in the mid–19th century and has undergone a series of renovations; the most recent one was completed for Kingsley in 1998 by architect Michael Reardon.” Interior design by Ron Wilson. Photo: Andrew Tort. “Architectural Digest Visits Sir Ben Kingsley” by Holly Brubach. Architectural Digest (January 2003).
Add a quatrefoil to your table with Mirasol cocktail napkins by Matouk. “Inspired by a stroll down Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, the unique arch trim of shop awnings becomes a tasteful complement to exquisite table linen.” Mirasol napkins, cocktail napkins and placemats from Matouk, Available through Janet Brown Interiors.
“Uppingham Cavetto Mirror” by Theodore Alexander. Janet Brown Interiors is your Richmond source for Theodore Alexander.
“The foyer, as seen from the living room, contains quatrefoil chairs and a stool, all by Hickory Chair [available through Janet Brown Interiors]; the living room’s Swedish clock is from Liza Sherman Antiques, and the table lamp is by Christopher Spitzmiller.” Interior decoration by Alexa Hampton. Architect: Joel Barkley. Photography by Durston Saylor. “A Sophisticated Connecticut Home” by Jesse Kornbluth. Architectural Digest (June 2011).
Van Cleef and Arpels Vintage Alhambra Onyx and Gold Necklace. Photo via 1stDibs.
“Negative space in these carpet blocks allow many intricate motifs to come together and tell a cohesive story.” Madura Lapis Euro pillow by John Robshaw. Hand block printed. 26″ by 26″ (pillow insert sold separately). [John Robshaw pillows and linens available through Janet Brown Interiors.]
The quatrefoil can be seen a few places around Richmond. In 2009, Martin Branding Worldwide created a new logo for St. Catherine’s School. The image can be found on many cars around town:
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at the corner of Grove Avenue and Three Chopt Road echoes the Early English Gothic Style and features several quatrefoils on its facade:
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Richmond, Virginia. Photo via Facebook.
Come visit Janet Brown Interiors to find a clover or a touch of green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!
Post by Kathleen Sams Flippen for Janet Brown Interiors.