Some of the earliest examples of balustrade designs are from ancient reliefs or sculptural murals, dating from sometime between the 13th and 17th centuries B.C.
In renderings of Assyrian palaces, balustrades are likely to be seen lining the windows. Conspicuous by their absence during the Greek and Roman eras, they appear in the late 15th century, particularly in Italian palaces.
One recognisable example of the architectural element appears at the Castle of Velez Blanco; a 16th-century Spanish structure designed with inspiration from the Italian Renaissance. The balustrade material is an intricate marble that lines a second-floor walkway, overlooking a courtyard.
Balustrades continue to be a popular choice of home decor today that also present the advantage of being safe. They are used in a vast variety of shapes and materials including simple wooden posts and wrought-iron spindles.