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The bottom of the two components of the capital of a column, the other being the abacus.

Description: In the Greek Doric order the capital proper consists of a spreading convex moulding, the echinus, and a low square block, the abacus. The upper part of the echinus tends to be a swelling bowl shape, while the lower part of the echinus is almost always decorated with a flat strip, with incised horizontal lines, called fillets (or annulets). In Ionic architecture, the echinus can be observed between the volutes and below the abacus, and as having a decorative, molded appearance. The prominent flat-topped echinus in the Ionic order separates from the shaft of the column the linked side spirals of the volute member of the capital. The Ionic capital begins with a flat-topped moulding which has a profile like that of the Doric echinus. Above this echinus rests the volute member, whose drooping spirals cover and partly absorb the echinus at the sides. At the front faces, palmettes mask the angle where the echinus vanishes under the volutes.

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