Egg-cellent design motif

How do you like your eggs? Sunny side up, over easy, scrambled, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, poached, coddled? I like them just about every way except hard-boiled. Unless the hard-boiled eggs are part of something larger, like a salad or a sandwich.

I especially like them over easy or poached. I love the runny yolk that can be sopped up with toast. One of  Mr. CARO’s kitchen specialties is Eggs Benedict, just like you see in the picture below. He makes this breakfast so well that I never order it out anymore because I know his is better. (Is anyone else craving breakfast foods now?)

Image courtesy of

Okay, back to my real subject. We’re going to look at an entirely different type of eggs today and add to our Design Vocabulary. In fact, if you bite into these eggs, I can almost guarantee that you’ll require some serious dental surgery.

We’re talking today about the design motif called “egg and dart”. This decorative pattern dates back to ancient times, as in ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, and is still produced today on everything from architecture to housewares. Here is a close-up example:

Image courtesy of

Can you see where the motif gets its name? Here is the “egg”:

And here is the “dart”:

(My graphics are dazzling, I know. Try not to swoon.) The “dart” often looks like more of an arrow. You may even, occasionally, hear this motif referred to as “egg and arrow”, but the more common term is “egg and dart”.

You can find the egg and dart motif in many places that need some sort of decorative border or edge. Such as this historic cornice molding on the ceiling at Thomas Jefferson’s home in Virginia:

Image courtesy of

Or mixed in with other popular design motifs on this mantle piece:

Image courtesy of

Or these two products…

..both of which are available now at Home Depot. (Yep, Home Depot!) This motif is still in demand, especially if you are restoring an older property. Great examples of egg and dart on housewares include this clock:

Image courtesy of

And the edging around this antique tray:

Image courtesy of

Some talented artist even used the egg and dart motif as a focal point decoration on this modern custom park bench:

Image courtesy of

I love this example! It just goes to show you how a great ancient design can still be versatile and modern with a new application. Nowadays, you can even find new items being made to look older by just applying older motifs. This lovely cornice box looks like it has some very fine carving of the egg and dart motif, but is actually just painted on by a talents artist in the UK.

Image courtesy of

That is beautiful work, isn’t it?!

Is there an egg and dart motif on something in your home? Are there older buildings in your area that sport the egg and dart pattern as part of their architecture? While we’re at it, how do you like your eggs? Leave a comment below and join the conversation!

Like to learn more Design Vocabulary terms like this? You can click right here to see all of the terms we’ve covered so far. Happy reading!

Posted on October 13, 2011, in Design Vocabulary. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I never knew this what that was called. I’ll be on the look out for it and be able to speak with authority about “egg and dart”.

    I like my eggs over easy.

  2. We have that on our mantle! The pattern, I mean, not the actual eggs.

    I only like hard boiled eggs when they’re deviled…not that I’ve ever made them myself.

  3. I have never had eggs benedict, but now i want some!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: