Designer’s Alphabet, G is for………..

Guilloche, (pronounced gil- LOSH) an ornamental carved band consisting of two or more ribbons or ropes flowing in interlaced curves. They show up in an infinite variety of patterns, many based on an intertwined knot. The examples here are from Swan’s circa 1757 Georgian Stylebook where he refers to them as “Galoss”. Perhaps someone with a good 18th century dictionary can help explain Swan’s term for a Guilloche. The form appears far back into pre-history in ancient Nineveh as well as Celtic examples. Here’s a link to an example Peter Follansbee carved in oak on a small box.

Decorative guilloche patterns show up in carved wood and stone, mosaics, tapestries, architecture, furniture, and paintings. If you have any photos to share please send them to and I’ll add them to this post.

About walkerg

Woodworker and writer
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1 Response to Designer’s Alphabet, G is for………..

  1. Greg says:

    I really like these occasional posts about design. I tend to remember them better when there is just one and I am looking forward to the next. If I bought a book with all these things compiled together, I think I’d forget most of them.

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