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Abraham de Bruyn, Ornamental template for a mirror with a swing frame, around 1580
Schweifwerk initial from Lucas Kilian's ABC booklet , 1627

The Schweifwerk is a form of decoration that emerged from the fittings . It consists of C- and S-shaped swings, the ends of which are thickened like clubs (hence also called club swing ) and partially overlap. It can be combined with masks, flower garlands, Mauresques or grotesques .

This ornament was developed and used mainly in German-speaking countries at the transition from Mannerism to Early Baroque (approx. 1570–1630). Engravings by Lucas Kilian , Virgil Solis and Wendel Dietterlin spread his forms.

A further development is the auricle or cartilage , which is characterized by softer, doughy shapes.


  • Tailing. In: Lexicon of Art. Volume VI, Leipzig 2004, ISBN 3-86502-084-4 , pp. 559-560.
  • Günter Irmscher: Das Schweifwerk - Investigations into an ornament type from around 1600 in the field of ornamental template sheets. Dissertation . Cologne 1978, DNB 790892251 .


  • Selection of works in the picture index of art and architecture, German Documentation Center for Art History - Photo Archive Photo Marburg