Cartouche (design)

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Cartouche on a Neo-Baroque house from Bucharest, Romania

A cartouche (also cartouch) is an oval or oblong design with a slightly convex surface, typically edged with ornamental scrollwork. It is used to hold a painted or low-relief design.[1] Since the early 16th century, the cartouche is a scrolling frame device, derived originally from Italian cartuccia. Such cartouches are characteristically stretched, pierced and scrolling.

Another cartouche figures prominently in the 16th-century title page of Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, framing a minor vignette with a pierced and scrolling papery cartouche.

The engraved trade card of the London clockmaker Percy Webster shows a vignette of the shop in a scrolling cartouche frame of Rococo design that is composed entirely of scrolling devices.

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  1. ^ Ching, Francis D. K. (1995). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. New York: John Wiley and Sons. p. 183. ISBN 0-471-28451-3.
  2. ^ Fullerton, Mark D. (2020). Art & Archaeology of The Roman World. Thames & Hudson. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-500-051931.

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