Back edge: The outer edge of the frame, furthest away from the painting.

Enrichment: A run of carved or moulded ornament.

Fillet: A narrow flat step between mouldings of a frame.

Flat: A separate frame sitting in the main frames rebate, closest to the painting.

Frieze: The flat central area between the inner and outer mouldings of a frame.

Hollow: A concave section; often describing the main curve to the front of the frame.

Member: Each side of a frame is called a member; top member, bottom member, right and left members.

Mouldings: A shaped or recessed design running along the frame, which may be plain or enriched.

Ogee: A moulding with an S-shaped profile consisting of a double curve, half concave, half convex.

Rail: The curved top edge of a frame.

Rebate: The recess beneath the sight edge designed to take the picture.

Running pattern: Decoration running along the members of the frame.

Scoop: Another name given for the front hollow.

Section profile: The profile of the frame cut at right angles to the sides. The section profile if used for scaled line- drawings, showing the frames construction, mouldings and enrichments.

Sight edge: The inner edge of the frame nearest to the painting.

Slip frame: An inserted flat or slightly beveled separate frame fitted into the rebate of the main frame.

Spandrels: The shaped additional inner structure filling the space between a rectangular frame and an oval or circular painting.

Sweep: The curving outer edge of a rococo frame.



Acanthus: Stylist ornament leaf based on the leaf of the acanthus plant.

Bead and reel: A thin convex moulding in the form of alternating circular and elongated motifs.

Cabochon: An egg contained within a circular surround, sometimes used as a top edge or a back edge ornament.

Carlo: A characteristic ornament applied to the hollow or sight edge of a Carlo Maratta frame, made up of acanthus and tongue.

Diaper: A repeated all over surface pattern of small lozenges filled with florettes.

Egg and Dart: An ornament of alternating oval and pointed motifs also can be called egg and tongue.

Fluting: A series of parallel concave grooves generally cut across the hollow at right angles to the frame side.

Gadrooning: A series of convex shaped ridges, set in a repeated decorative pattern.

Guilloche: A continuous band of interwoven spirals, forming a series of circles.

Hatching: A fine crisscross pattern scored into the white layers to animate flat background area.

Hazzling: A fine zigzag line scored into the white layers to animate flat background areas.

Hessian: Hessian material is adhered onto frames to add texture, more commonly seen on the slip frames.

Husk: A short flat opening bud, usually in a continuous line.

Laurel leaf: A laurel with its berries, often in a run, which decorates the top edge of a frame.

Leaf and Tongue: A small scale running pattern made up of alternating leaves and tongues, usually applied to the sight edge or back edge.

Mitre Leaf: A Large leaf usually an acanthus, which covers the mitre joint on all four corners.

Moresque: Intricate surface decoration resembling patterns found in Moorish architecture.

Netting: Used to create a honeycomb pattern on the front hollow

Pearl: A small round bead, resembling a pearl often found repeated in a series close to the sight edge.

Punching: A type of decoration achieved by using a fine punch to ornament a surface, which has been whitened and gilded.

Raffle Leaf: A leaf with raffled edges, often in the form of the acanthus leaf.

Reeding: A series of thin convex ridge mouldings, set parallel to each other, resembling a group of bundled reeds.

Ribbon and stick: A thin convex dowel in the form of a ribbon twisted around a stick.

Ripple mouldings: A moulding with a ripple effect, applied usually in one or more bands. A style that originates from Holland in the seventeenth century.

Rocaille: A type of asymmetrical decoration used on Rococo frames.

Sanded frieze: Grains of sand applied to a sized frieze, then gilded.

S-Scrolls: An S shaped scroll often partly overlaid with foliage and used to ornament the top edge of rococo frames.

Waterleaf: A small veined leaf often found in a repeat format; a waterleaf followed with a tongue, along the sight edge.



Acrylic: A family of synthetic resins made by polymerising esters of acrylic acids. Used extensively in emulsion paints, varnishes and adhesives. Acrylic can also be found in sheet form under trade names such as Lucite, Plexiglass and Perspex.

Animal glue: Made from collagen, used to make gesso or white layers.

Bole: A fine pipe clay with pigments added and mixed with a size, used in preparation for a smooth surface for gilding.

Burnishing: A process of polishing water gilding with an agate.

Composition:  Pliable dough like mixture, made from a mixture of ingredients including whiting, pearl glue, rosin, and linseed oil. Then pressed into moulds to make ornament.

Consolidation: Re-adhering two layers together.

Corking: Small pieces of cork are paper taped into position in the rebate holding the panting snuggly, stopping any movement to the panting within the frame.

Double gilding: A process in water gilding of laying a second layer of gold leaf.

Dutch metal: An alloy of copper and zinc used in leaf form as a substitute for gold leaf. It tarnishes with age.

Ebonised: Stained wood, polished to give the appearance of ebony.

Gesso: A mixture of Whiting and protein glue, applied in several layers as the ground layer for frames.

Gilding: The application of gold leaf to a prepared surface.

Glazing: Some paintings need protection due to fragility or to act as a protective barrier whilst on display. Low reflective glass can be fitted this gives a clearer vision of the painting.

Gold size: A mordant used in oil gilding, to adhere gold leaf to the prepared surface.

Matt gold: an area of gilding usually protected with a coat of weak protein size.

Mordant: An adhesive.

Moulding material: Silicone rubber with a catalyst is used to take moulds from existing ornament.

Museum plates: Brass fittings to keep the painting secure within the frames rebate.

Paper tape: To Line the rebate to protect the painting from the wooden surface. Also used to keep the stretcher keys in position.

Pearl glue: Adhesive used in furniture and frame making, and to adhere the decorative ornament to the frame.

Schlag leaf: A thick metal leaf usually made of an alloy of copper and zinc and sometimes called Dutch metal.

Silver leaf: Applied in the same way as gold leaf, but will tarnish with age if not protected with a lacquer. Sometimes silver leaf is seen with a shellac finish making the surface emulate gold.

Size: Weak protein glue.

Watercolour: Pigment mixed with water and gelatine to form a fine paste, used in frames conservation to in-paint very small losses.

Water gilding: Applying gold to the surface using water, by wetting the bole layer to activate the size, enabling the gold to stick.

Whiting or whitening: An essential component of gesso and composition, made from natural chalk, calcium carbonate in Northern Europe, or calcium sulphate in Italy.

Velvet ribbon: Adhered to the rebate to stop abrasion to the painting’s surface.