Bibliography & Glossary
Acanthus – a stylized leaf ornament based on the acanthus plant of the Mediterranean region.
Acorn and oak leaf – an ornament originating in the seventeenth century,usually in a running pattern along the top edge of the frame.
Anthemion – based on the honeysuckle leaf,it is often used with palmettes as a band of decoration.
Arabesque – a scrolling decorative pattern which can be geometric designs as in the Moresque or a stylized foliage motif with roots in Roman and Italian Renaissance architecture.
Astragal – a convex decoration known also as a bead or pearl.
Bead and reel – a decorative band with several beads or pearls alternating with an elliptical bar.
Capital – the decorative cap of a column.
Cartouche – a decorative panel with scrollwork resembling a shield or crest.
Diaper – a diamond shaped pattern.
Egg and Dart – also known as egg and tongue or egg and leaf this is a running ornament of classical origin comprising of an oval alternating with a dart or leaf.
Festoon – a garland interwoven with fruits, foliage and flowers.
Fluting – a series of concave grooves most commonly seen on columns of tabernacle frames.
Fluted cove – a series of parallel grooves cut into the cove of the frame perpendicular to the profile.
Gadroon – a slanted oval shaped relief pattern.
Greek key (fret) – a continuous pattern of intersecting vertical and horizontal bands.
Guilloche – a pattern of twisted bands with circular spaces between them.
Hazzle – a zigzag pattern incised into the gesso.
Intarsia – an inlaid piece of wood or other material. Marquetry.
Laurel leaf and berry – a decorative element usually running along the top edge of the frame.
Leaf and dart (leaf and tongue,heart and dart) – these two elements are formed in an alternating pattern which can be found on the back edge or the sight edge of a frame.
Lunette – the semicircular area found on certain styles of tabernacle frames.
Pearls and beads – semicircular ornaments found in a repeated often near the sight edge.
Punchwork – surface decoration made with a shaped tool or stamp referred to in Italian as 'in granito'.
Reeding – a series of parallel convex molding occasionally tied by a strap, ribbon or curling leaf.
Ribbon and stick – decoration that creates the appearance of a ribbon spiraling around a narrow dowel.
Ripple molding – a series of small tight grooves repeated in a band around the frame.
Rock pattern – prevalent in frames used by the early Hudson River School artists, the cove of the frame had a stencil applied and a fine silica put down on the surface and gilded. The textural result was in keeping with the naturalistic landscapes.
Rope twist – ornament carved in a twisted form to resemble a rope.
Running ornament – a pattern of decoration repeated on all sides of the frame.
Sand cove – a small cove or flat panel that was coated with sand and gilded.
Sgrafitto – a decoration made from carefully scribing a painted surface to reveal the gilding underneath.
Strapwork – a decorative band or crossing bands that appear along the top edge of the frame.