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The spiral, scroll-like element on the capital of an Ionic column.

Description: In the Ionic order the most distinguished feature is the capital, which is ornamented with four spiral scroll projections called volutes. The volute member, which rests atop a flat-topped echinus moulding, resembles a cushion with its loose ends wound up in drooping spirals on either side of the shaft. The major element of the volute is the eyed-spiral, which is defined in relief on the front and back faces of the ends (normally arranged to exhibit a flat face on the opposite sides; in later works the volutes are made to spring out at an angle from a corner). On the front and back faces is a small curling channel, edged by a moulding. This channel curls round into the spirals of the volutes, which usually have a button-like eye, or oculus, at their center. The side face of the volute on a parallel-sided Ionic capital is called the pulvinus.

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