A cartouche (also cartouch) is an oval or oblong design with a slightly convex surface, typically edged with ornamental scrollwork. It is used[by whom?] to hold a painted or low-relief design. 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.
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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.
Lion cartouche Stefano della Bella, 1646, the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Design of a cartouche, by Stefano della Bella, 1647, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
Etching of a complex cartouche, by Bernard Turreau, 1716, the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Frontispiece for Figures françoises et comiques by Robert Hecquet, 18th century, the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Forges of Vulcan, probably by François Boucher, mid-18th century, the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Cartouche surrounded by floral festoons, Bucharest
Neo-Baroque cartouche-window with a male mascaron, Bucharest
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