A baluster (according to OED derived through the French balustre, from Italian balaustro, from balaustra, "pomegranate flower" [from a resemblance to the swelling form of the half-open flower (illustration, left)], from Latin balaustium, from Gr. The Oxford English Dictionary ( OED) published by the Oxford University Press (OUP is a comprehensive Dictionary of the English balaustion) is a moulded shaft, square or circular, in stone or wood and sometimes in metal, standing on a unifying footing and supporting the coping of a parapet or the handrail of a staircase. A parapet is a wall-like barrier at the edge of a Roof or structure. Handrails are railings used on Stairways and Escalators They are designed to be grasped by the hand while ascending or descending the stairs Multiplied in this way, they form a balustrade.  Individually, a baluster shaft may describe the turned form taken by a brass or silver candlestick, an upright furniture support, or the stem of a brass chandelier, etc. .
The earliest examples are those shown in the bas-reliefs representing the Assyrian palaces, where they were employed as window balustrades and apparently had Ionic capitals. A bas-relief (baʁəljɛf in French; French for "low relief" derived from the Italian basso rilievo) or low relief is a Sculpture Early history The most Neolithic site in Assyria is at Tell Hassuna, the center of the Hassuna culture The Ionic order column forms one of the three '''orders''' or '''organizational systems''' of Classical architecture, the other two canonic orders being the As an architectural element the balustrade did not seem to have been known to either the Greeks or the Romans (Wittkower 1974), but baluster forms are familiar in the legs of chairs and tables represented in Roman bas-reliefs, where the original legs or the models for cast bronze ones were shaped on the lathe, or in Antique marble candelabra, formed as a series of stacked bulbous and disc-shaped elements, both kinds of sources familiar to Quattrocento designers. The term ancient Greece refers to the period of Greek history lasting from the Greek Dark Ages ca Ancient Rome was a Civilization that grew out of a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 10th century BC The application to architecture was a feature of the early Renaissance: late fifteenth-century examples are found in the balconies of palaces at Venice and Verona. Venice ( Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venesia or Venexia) is a city in Northern Italy, the capital of the Verona is a city and provincial capital in Veneto, Northern Italy. These quattrocento balustrades are likely to be following yet-unidentified Gothic precedents; they form balustrades of colonnettes as an alternative to miniature arcading. The cultural and artistic events of 15th century Italy are collectively referred to as the Quattrocento (from the Italian for '400 or from "millequattrocento" 1400 See also Gothic art Gothic architecture is a style of Architecture which flourished during the high and late medieval period. Rudolf Wittkower withheld judgement as to the inventor of the baluster but credited Giuliano da Sangallo with using it consistently as early as the balustrade on the terrace and stairs at the Medici villa at Poggio a Caiano (ca 1480), with employing balustrades even in his reconstructions of antique structures, and, importantly, with having passed the motif to Bramante (his Tempietto, 1502) and Michelangelo, through whom balustrades gained wide currency in the 16th century. Rudolf Wittkower (1901 - October 11 1971) was a German art historian Giuliano da Sangallo (c 1443 – 1516 was an Italian sculptor architect and Military engineer active during the Italian Renaissance A terrace can be defined as an outdoor occupiable extension of a building above ground level Poggio a Caiano is a town and commune in the Province of Prato, Tuscany region Italy. Donato Bramante (1444 – March 11, 1514) was an Italian Architect, who introduced the Early Renaissance style to Milan and the High Renaissance San Pietro in Montorio is a church in Rome, which includes in its courtyard The Tempietto (a small commemorative martyrium) built by Donato Bramante Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni Two biographies were published of him during his lifetime One of them by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that he was the pinnacle of all Wittkower distinguished two types, one symmetrical in profile that inverted one bulbous vase-shape over another, separating them with a cushionlike torus or a concave ring, and the other a simple vase shape, whose employment by Michelangelo at the Campidoglio steps (ca 1546), noted by Wittkower, was preceded by very early vasiform balusters in a balustrade round the drum of Santa Maria delle Grazie (ca 1482), and railings in the cathedrals of Aquileia (ca 1495) and Parma, in the cortile of San Damaso, Vatican, and Antonio da Sangallos crowning balustrade on the Santa Casa at Loreto, finally installed in 1535. In Geometry, a torus (pl tori) is a Surface of revolution generated by revolving a Circle in three dimensional space about an axis Coplanar The Capitoline Hill, between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the seven hills of Rome. Our Lady of Graces (Italian Madonna delle Grazie or Nostra Signora delle Grazie) or St Mary of Graces (Italian Santa Maria delle Grazie) is Aquileia (also called Aquilegia, Friulian Acuilee/Aquilee, Slovene Oglej) is an ancient Roman city in what is Parma is a City in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna near Modena famous for its Architecture and the fine countryside around it Antonio da Sangallo may refer to Antonio da Sangallo the Elder (c The Shrine of the Holy House ( Santuario della Santa Casa) is a Catholic place of Pilgrimage in Loreto, Italy. , and liberally in his model for the Basilica of Saint Peter Because of its low center of gravity, this "vase-baluster" may be given the modern term "dropped baluster". The Basilica of Saint Peter (Basilica Sancti Petri officially known in Italian as the Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano and commonly known as St 
The baluster being a turned structure tends to follow design precedents that were set in woodworking and ceramic practices, where the turner's lathe and the potter's wheel are ancient tools. The pomegranate ( Punica granatum) is a Fruit -bearing Deciduous Shrub or small Tree growing to between five and eight metres tall Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni Two biographies were published of him during his lifetime One of them by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that he was the pinnacle of all The Capitoline Museums ( Italian Musei Capitolini) are a group of art and archeological Museums in Piazza del Campidoglio Turning is the process whereby a centre lathe is used to produce "solids of revolution" A lathe (ˈleɪð is a Machine tool which spins a block of material to perform various operations such as Cutting, Sanding, Knurling In Pottery, a potter's wheel is a machine used in the shaping of round ceramic wares The profile a baluster takes is often diagnostic of a particular style of architecture or furniture and may offer a rough guide to date of a design, though not of a particular example. Some complicated Mannerist baluster forms can be read as a vase set upon another vase. Mannerism is a period of European art which emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. The high shoulders and bold, rhythmic shapes of the Baroque vase and baluster forms are distinctly different from the sober baluster forms of Neoclassicism, which look to other precedents, like Greek amphoras. Baroque art redirects here Please disambiguate such links to Baroque painting, Baroque sculpture, etc Neoclassicism (sometimes rendered as Neo-Classicism or Neo-classicism) is the name given to quite distinct movements in the decorative and An amphora (plural amphorae or amphoras) is a type of Ceramic Vase with two handles and a long neck narrower than the body The distinctive twist-turned designs of balusters in oak and walnut English and Dutch seventeenth-century furniture, which took as their prototype the Solomonic column that was given prominence by Bernini, fell out of style after the 1710s. The Solomonic column, also called Barley-sugar column, is a helical Column, characterized by a spiraling twisting shaft like a corkscrew "Bernini" redirects here For people named Bernini see Bernini (surname.
Once it had been taken from the lathe, a turned baluster could be split and applied to an architectural surface, or to one in which tewctonic themes were more freely treated, as on cabinets made in Italy, Spain and Northern Europe from the sixteenth through the seventeenth century. 
Outside Europe, the baluster column appeared as a new motif in Mughal architecture, introduced in Shah Jahan's interventions in two of the three great fortress-palaces, the Red Fort of Agra and Delhi, in the early seventeenth century. Mughal architecture, an amalgam of Islamic, Persian and Indian architecture, is the distinctive style developed by the Mughal Empire Shihab-ud-din Muhammad Shah Jahan I (full title Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram Abu'l-Muzaffar Shihab ud-din Muhammad Sahib-i-Qiran-i-Sani Shah Jahan I Padshah Ghazi Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, India. Delhi (दिल्ली ਦਿੱਲੀ دلی d̪ɪlːiː sometimes referred to as Dilli) is the second largest metropolis of India, with a population Foliate baluster columns with naturalistic foliate capitals, unexampled in previous Indo-Islamic architecture according to Ebba Koch, rapidly became one of the most widely-used forms of supporting shaft in Northern and Central India in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Ebba Koch is an architectural historian an Art historian, and a political historian presently she is a professor at the Institute of Art History in Vienna,  The modern term baluster shaft is applied to the shaft dividing a window in Saxon architecture. For their language see Anglo-Saxon language. Anglo-Saxon is the term usually used to describe the invading Tribes in the south In the south transept of the abbey at St Albans, England, are some of these shafts, supposed to have been taken from the old Saxon church. St Albans is the main urban area of the City and District of St Albans in southern Hertfordshire, England, around north of central London. Norman bases and capitals have been added, together with plain cylindrical Norman shafts. For other buildings in Normandy see Architecture of Normandy.
The word banister (also bannister) refers to the balusters of a staircase. Cast iron usually refers to grey cast iron, but identifies a large group of Ferrous Alloys which solidify with a Eutectic. The term hardwood is used to describe Wood from broad-leaved angiosperm Trees mostly Deciduous, but not necessarily in the case of tropical Softwood is a generic term used in Woodworking and the Lumber industries for Wood from Conifers (needle-bearing trees from the order Pinales  However the term banister implies a more modern, narrower support to a handrail than a traditional baluster.
The word banister is also often used to refer to the handrail of a staircase. Handrails are railings used on Stairways and Escalators They are designed to be grasped by the hand while ascending or descending the stairs