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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 cartoccia. 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 device of pierced and scrolling papery cartoccia.
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.
Cartouche containing an empty shield surmounted by a lion and framed by a lion and a child, by Stefano della Bella, 1646, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Etching of a complex cartouche, by Bernard Turreau, 1716, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Forges of Vulcan, from the Book of Cartouches, probably by François Boucher, mid-18th century, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Cartouche surrounded by a pair of festoons made of flowers, in Bucharest
Neo-Baroque cartouche-window with a male mascaron, in Bucharest
A cartouche above a Neo-Baroque door and a smaller one in its middle, in the House of Scientists (Lviv)
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