Glossary

Abrasion Damage resulting in a loss to the surface caused by friction such as rubbing or scraping.
Acid Burn This occurs when artwork is matted and framed using materials that are not conservation quality (acid-free). Acid burn presents as a yellow or brown discoloration on the sheet.
Acid Migration The movement of acid from an acidic material to material of lesser pH or no acidity, either from direct contact or through exposure to acidic vapors in the surrounding environment.
Acidic A state in which the pH is less than pH7. Pure cellulose is initially slightly acidic, but on exposure to light, oxygen, pollutant gasses, and acidic materials in its environment, its pH can decrease, thus increasing in acidity, resulting in degradation of the sheet.
Acrylic Often known as the brand name “Plexiglas” , it is a clear plastic glazing used for oversized artwork , or for artwork that is shipped, or often handled, when glass is not an option.
Acrylic Facemount The application of an optically clear adhesive directly to the face of a print and adhering it to a sheet of acrylic. The print is then backed with a rigid substrate such as dibond. A cleat is installed on the back for hanging, which then creates a frameless floating appearance of the completed work when installed on the wall.
Acrylic Gesso A mixture of calcium carbonate, white pigment and an acrylic binder. Coating a canvas with this substance prior to painting with acrylics will improve the longevity of the artwork and canvas support.
Acrylite A trademark name for clear acrylic glazing.
Adhesive A synthetic, or organic agent used to join two materials.
Agate A tool used burnish gold leaf in the final stage of water gilding to create a bright reflective finish.
Aged Mirror The process of either application of altering a metal amalgam on glass to create an antique like reflection, or application of a metal amalgam on a specialty glass to create a artisanal reflection.
Albumen Print A photographic print ppopular in the 2nd half of the 19th centruy that involved coating a sheet of paper paper with albumen (egg white) and then silver nitrate. Unlike daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tin types, these prints involved using a negative, so that multiple prints could be produced from the same image.
Alkaline Having a pH greater than 7.
Allowance Typically an 1/8″ extra space in the widths and lengths of a frame to ensure that all of the housed components (the artwork, matting, mounting boards, backing and glazing) will properly fit. The additional space accommodates the potential expansion and contraction of hygroscopic materials as they respond to fluctuations of RH.
Aluminum Frame Preferred for it’s durability, light weight and economical attributes, aluminum frames are frequently purchased as sectional frames, in custom lengths, and can also be welded and custom finished.
Ambrotype Developed in the early 1850s, it is an early form of photography that produced a negative image on a coated piece of glass. The glass was then backed with a dark coating or background to create the positive image. The images are often housed in a small decorative case. Ambrotypes were less time consuming and were more cost effective to produce than its predecessor, the daguerreotype.
Andre Charles Boulle A French furniture maker that lived from 1642-1732. He was known for his elaborate designs that featured scrolling inlaid designs in brass, tortoise shell and exotic wood.
Anoxic Complete depletion of oxygen.
Anthemion Popular motif used in the last 18th and early 19th century, it has the stylized appearance of a palm frond. Also referred as a palmette.
Antique An item that is over 100 years old.
Antiquing The process of adding or imitating the appearance of age to a finish.
Anti-reflective (AR) Significantly reduces reflection through use of an optical coating or surface treatment, without losing clarity.
Aqueous Water based
Arabesque An ornamental design composed of intertwined scrolling foliage.
Archival A generally used term that suggests that a material or product is permanent, durable or chemically stable which can safely be used for preservation purposes.
Armand Lee A Chicago firm that was founded in the early 1940s by Armand Lee that specializes in custom carved, finished and gilded frames, artisanal mirrors, archival framing and services related to support the museum, interior design and interior architecture industries.
Arris The high point between two grooves in a fluted design.
Artisanal Mirror The process of either application of altering a metal amalgam on glass to create an antique like reflection, or application of a metal amalgam on a specialty glass to create a artisanal reflection.
Arts And Crafts A movement in fine and decorative arts between 1880-1920 that focused on the value of handcraftsmanship in response to the mechanization of items resulting from the industrial revolution.
Astragal Small moulding used on glass or between glass panels on furniture.
Back Cover The board that covers and protects the back of the text block.
Backboard A protective rigid backing that is placed behind the mountboard in a frame. Materials used can vary depending on the time period and quality of the framing. Oftentimes it is cardboard, foam core, coroplast, dibond, etc.
Backing A final cover on the back of a frame, which is most often a paper dustcover.
Bainbridge Alphamat Artcare Board Composed of alphacellulose face paper, core and backing, with zeolites and added buffers, the board is acid-free and lignin free, fade and bleed resistant. Available in over 400 shades and surface treatments with sheet size up to 40″ x 60″ in select shades. This is a popular option for creative designs with an acid free board, when cotton ragboards are not a necessity.
Bainbridge Alpharag Artcare Board Composed of 100% cotton fiber ragboard used for archival supports and matting. Fade and bleed resistant. Naturally acid-free and lignin free. Available in 24 shades with sheet sizes up to 48″ x 96″ in white.
Banding A decorative inlaid veneer boarder or edge on a piece of furniture.
Barbizon Late 19th century profile with cast ornamentation of running acanthus and floral motif, with incised cross hatch design on the rail. Often used by American and French painters of the Barbizon school.
Basketweave A design popular in Dutch frames and cabinetwork that has an appearance of stylized woven reeds.
Bas-relief French for “low relief”, it is a type of carving where the rendered design or elements stand out from a flat surface.
Batik A wax resist dying technique used to create patterns and imagery in textiles.
Bead And Reel Traditional ornamental design that is a combination of round beads, with a disk shaped flanking and elongated bead.
Beading Traditional ornamental design of repeating round spheres. Also called pearls.
Beva 371 A reversible thermoplastic adhesive that is widely usded in a variety of conservation treatments.
Bevel An edge that has been cut at a slant to create more visual interest, often seen on mirrors, openings in mats, and frames.
Bfk Rives Paper 100% cotton rag, acid free paper that is often used for printmaking and drawing. Each sheet is watermarked, “Arches France” and has two natural deckled edges and two tear deckled edges.
Blanching An area of finish which has developed an unintended a white or milky appearance usually form the result of exposure to moisture or elevated levels of humidity.
Blistering A raised area, bulge or bubble on the surface of an object that occurs between adjacent layers of different materials. This loss of adhesion may be due from exposure to excessive heat or incompatibility to materials.
Bloom An area of finish which has developed an unintended a white or milky appearance usually form the result of exposure to moisture or elevated levels of humidity.
Bole Colored clay layer mixed with glue size used as a prepatory layer to adhere gold leaf to a surface. The tonality of bole can vary depending on the time period and region of the fabrication of the frame.
Book Hinge The fold or joint in the endpaper between the pastedown and the fly leaf
Book Mat A mat where the window mat is hinged along the longest side to the ragboard mount, thus resembling a book.
Brittle Often observed in works on paper with acid burn or high levels of acidity, which are weak, inflexible and easily broken.
Bubble Glass Convex glass is curved outward and is usually oval in shape. It was commonly used in the late 19th century in framing of photographic portraits. It is also prominent as a support for reverse painted glass.
Bumper A small pad made of felt or rubber that is placed on the back of the lower corner of frames. It prevents the frame from sliding on the wall, and also creates a small gap from the wall, for air circulation.
Burnish A polished, area of increased sheen resulting from intentional or accidental exposure to contact and/or friction.
Cabinet Card Popular in the 1870s into the turn of the 20th century, it is a small albumen print that was mounted to cardstock typically measured 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″
Calcium Carbonate Used as a filler in alkaline paper-making, as coating pigment and as a buffering agent. Often an ingredient in gesso.
Carlo Maratta Popular in the late 17th to mid 18th century this profile had an acanthus leaf at the site edge of the frame.
Carte De Visite Popular in the 1860s and the same size as a calling card, it is a small albumen print that was mounted to cardstock.
Cartouche Ornamental scrollwork that appears at corners and centers of ornate frames
Casein A traditional aqueous, milk based paint.
Cassetta Italian for “small frame”, characterized by a central flat panel or frieze with a raised moulding adorning the outer edge and sight edge.
Cast Paper An artistic technique that uses wood pulp or paper fiber to craft three dimensional sculptures using a mold. It may refer to full sculpture or relief designs. One example is papier-mâché.
Chain Lines Thick lines present in laid paper created by the thin wires present in the paper mould/screen.
Charles Prendergast (1863-1948) Canadian-American Post-Impressionist artist who also designed and fabricated frames. The younger brother of the artist, Maurice Prendergast.
Cibachrome A photographic process that reproduces film images on photographic paper using multiple layers of dyes in a polyester base.
Clamshell Box An archival box that stores documents, artwork, maps, books, etc. Frequently custom made to safely store fragile books. Boxes can be customized with a variety of materials including bookcloth, marbled paper, leather eterior, tooling, etc. Used in private collections, museums and libraries.
Clear Mirror Glass that is treated with a metal amalgam that results a clear image.
Cleat A hanging system comprised of a wood or metal moulding used in pairs, where one half is mounted directly to the wall, and the matching half is affixed to the frame.
Clip Frame Generally refers to a “frameless” picture frame, wherein the image is pressed between two sheets of glass or one sheet of glass and a rigid backing with a series of clips. This system leaves the edges of a work and if applicable, matting; exposed and vulnerable to exposure to moisture and cleaning agents.
Closed Corner A frame where the ornamentation and finish is applied after the frame has been joined. Resulting in a frame where the miters are not visible at the corners.
Coated Wire A hanging metal wire that is covered in a clear or opaque plastic coating. Coating provides additional strength, helps prevent oxidation of the metal in the wire, and protects it from fraying.
Coating A substance such as wax or varnish that is applied to the surface to change or protect it.
Cock Beading Small moulding that is often used as a design element along the edges of drawers.
Coi A certificate of insurance is a document that is used to provide information on specific insurance coverage.
Cold Press Paper A textured with a heavy tooth used a support for watercolor and archival printing.
Compo An abbreviation for “composition ornamentation”, a method of applying cast designs to adorn frames, prior to the finish process gilding. An alternative to hand carved elements.
Conservation The treatment or action to prolong the existence of an object with the least possible intervention
Conservation Clear Acrylic Acrylic, a clear shatter resistant glazing that blocks up to 99% UV rays.
Conservation Clear Glass Clear glass that blocks up 99% UV rays.
Consolidate Stabilization of a surface through application of reversible adhesives.
Convex Glass Glass that is curved outward and is usually oval in shape. It was commonly used in the late 19th century in framing of photographic portraits. It is also prominent as a support for reverse painted glass.
Copper Leaf Leaf that is 99.9% copper. It can be sealed to avoid tarnishing, or intentionally patinated to create the desired effect.
Corner Strap A decorative element applied on the corner of a frame. Often used on gilded, reeded profiles.
Coroplast A plastic version of cardboard that is waterproof and light weight often used for backing board.
Cotton Rag  Paper or matboard made from 100% cotton fiber. Unlike most paper made from wood pulp, cotton rag paper is stronger, more durable, acid-free, and suitable for archival use.
Cove A concave scoop present on a profile.
Cover Heavier paper or board that attaches to the text block.
Craquelure A network of fine cracks in a varnish or paint layer, which may be caused by a number of different deterioration mechanisms; e.g. different rates of drying, or expansion and contraction between two layers, or the increasing brittleness of one layer relative to another.
Crease A fold or an interruption in the planar surface that does not break through the support.
Crescent Conservation Matboard Composed of alphacellulose face paper, core and backing, the board is acid-free and lignin free, fade and bleed resistant. Available in over 400 shades and surface treatments with sheet size up to 40″ x 60″ in select shades. This is a popular option for creative designs with an acid free board, when cotton ragboards are not a necessity.
Crescent Ragmat Museum Board Composed of 100% cotton fiber ragboard used for archival supports and matting. Fade and bleed resistant. Naturally acid-free and lignin free. Available in 37 shades with sheet size up to 48″ x 60″ in white.
Cross Hatching Series of interesting lines used as a design element which are typically incised in gesso and then finished.
Daguerreotype Developed in 1839, this was the first photographic medium that was available to the public. The image is produced on a light sensitive silver plated sheet of copper. Images are often housed in a small decorative case.
Deckle The rough, unfinished edge of a sheet of a sheet of paper. Often watercolor and printmaking papers have deckled-edges.
Diaper Pattern An overall repetitious pattern or design composed of clearly defined geometrical elements.
Dibond The brand name of a rigid sheeting coated on both sides with aluminum, surrounding a polyethylene core. Commonly used in mounting artwork or photographs when additional rigidity is required for a support.
Disaster Plan A document created by collectors, collection managers and museums to identify risk exposures and strategize on recovery efforts, to prevent damage to collections and artifacts.
Discoloration A change in the original color or tonality of a piece.
Donald P. Herbert Designer of the original metal sectional frame in 1968.
D-ring Hanging hardware with D-shaped metal ring attached to a flat metal strip that is screwed into the wood of the back of the frame.
Dutch Frame Traditionally made of dark wood, ebonized materials with ripple or basketweave moulding. Dutch frames are prized for their craftsmanship, elaborate yet understated beauty.
Dutch Leaf Imitation gold leaf, composed of varying concentrations of copper and zinc.
Eased Face Stem A stem profile that has a slightly rounded face.
Eastlake Style Derived from Charles Eastlake designs, floral and linear designs that are incised in lacquered surfaces.
Ebonized A surface that has been darkened or stained black to emulate ebony.
Efflorescence Dissolution, outward migration and precipitation of salts from within a material. Salts are typically visible on a surface as small crystals, white powdery or crusty deposits.
Egg And Dart A repetitive design often used in neoclassical ornamentation that involved and egg shape alternating with a dart shape. Most commonly seen at the top of an ionic style capital on a pillar.
Encapsulation A transparent enclosure of polyester film that is sealed along the edges via ultrasonic weld, heat or adhesive.
Endpaper Leaves of thick paper used to cover the inside of the cover board and support the hing. The outer leaf is the pastedown, the turning page is the fly leaf.
Etienne-louis Infroit (1720-1794) 18th century French frame maker
Exit Holes Perfectly round holes evident in a wood support that measure in diameter from 1/32”-1/8” caused from a borer beetle exiting the wood to continue its life cycle.
Facemount The application of an optically clear adhesive directly to the face of a print and adhering it to a sheet of acrylic. The print is then backed with a rigid substrate such as dibond. A cleat is installed on the back for hanging, which then creates a frameless floating appearance of the completed work when installed on the wall.
Fading Localized or overall shifts in a pigmented surface that has occurred as a result of exposure to UV light.
Faux Bois French for “false wood”. It is the trompe-l’œil practice of a painted surface to imitate wood grain, or varying species of wood.
Faux Finish A painting technique that emulates another surface or material.
Federal Time period in American design usually classified between 1790-1830.
Ferrule The metal or plastic cover that aligns and secures the adhered hairs together on the handle of a paintbrush.
Festoon An ornamental garland of fruit, foliage and flowers.
Fillet A narrow, decorative lengths of molding that can be installed along the site edge of a frame or liner, or along the edge of a mat opening.
Finish The color, leaf or coating that is applied to a frame.
Finished Corner Frame A frame where the ornamentation and finish is applied after the frame has been joined, resulting in a frame where the miters are not visible at the corners.
Flat Stem A slender unadorned frame profile that has a flat narrow face. Also often referred to as a gallery frame or profile.
Flight Hole Perfectly round holes evident in a wood support that measure in diameter from 1/32”-1/8” caused from a borer beetle exiting the wood to continue its life cycle.
Float Frame A style of frame for a gallery wrapped canvas print or original painting. The stretched painting is mounted to the L shaped profile from the back instead of engaged in the front like a standard frame. This allows for the painting to be set within the frame, with the edges revealed, for a floating effect. float frames are often streamline, unadorned, but can be customized into a more ornamental frame for a unique presentation.
Float Mount A mounting technique where the edges of the artwork are left uncovered by a mat board. With this application the artwork appears to be floating on the mount within the frame or mat window.
Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944) An American modernist painter, poet, set and costume designer who also designed frames for her artwork.
Fluted A series of parallel incised lines that run perpendicular to the length of the rail. Often used to adorn a cove. In architecture it is a common vertical design element on columns.
Fly Leaf The turning page of the end paper.
Flyspecks A painted finish application of small specks of dark paint applied to imitate fly excretions on a surface to emulate an aged surface.
Foamboard A light weight polystyrene board clad with clayloaded paper, or acid-free paper often used for backing boards in frames.
Foliate A series of leaves or leaf like ornamentation
Foot The bottom of the page.
Fore Edge The front edge of the text block.
Foxing Reddish brown spots associated with mold growth or oxidation from small metallic components. The spots can vary in size and can be discrete or diffuse within the support.
Frameway Studios Frame shop in Chicago that served the artist industry from 1984 to 2009.
Frass A fine dust or support material left behind from a feeding insect. Often is referred to having the appearance of sawdust.
Frederic’s Frame Studio Founded in 1965 by Frederick Baker and Erich Klein, the studio fabricated handmade frames on their premises located at 1230 West Jackson until they closed in 2018.
Fretwork Often incised in gesso, a continuous pattern of bands along a flat panel.
Front Cover The board that covers and protects the front of the text block.
Gallery Frame A slender unadorned frame profile that has a flat narrow face. Also often referred to as a flat stem frame or profile.
Gallery Wrap A style of wrapping a canvas onto a stretcher where the staples or tacks on placed on the back of the stretcher to create a clean appearance on the sides.
Gatorboard A moisture resistant laminated board with a dense foam core.
Gesso A traditional support composed of calcium carbonate, hide glue and water. Often built up over several layers prior to the additional of a clay bole and gold leaf.
Gilding The process of applying gold leaf to a surface.
Gilt Covered by gold or a gold finish.
Glazing A protective transparent material used in framing, such as glass, polycarbonate and acrylic sheeting.
Gold Leaf Available in a variety of karats ranging from 18k-24k. The addition of other metal alloys, such as copper, palladium, and silver affects the karat and tonality of the leaf. Traditionally old leaf is applied in thin sheets onto a solid surface to create the appearance of solid gold.
12k White Gold Leaf Gold leaf that is composed of 51% Gold, 48% Silver and 1.0% Palladium. Often used for gilding decorative picture frames. The high silver content gives the leaf its “white gold” appearance.
18k Gold Leaf Gold leaf that is composed of 75% Gold and 25% Silver. Often used for gilding decorative picture frames. The 25% silver content gives the leaf it’s a cooler slightly green appearance and is often called Lemon Gold.
22k Gold Leaf Gold leaf that is composed of 91.8% Gold, 7.2% Silver and 1.0% Copper. Often used for gilding decorative picture frames.
22k Moon Gold Leaf Gold leaf that is composed of 92% Gold, 3.5% Silver and 4.5% Palladium.
23k Gold Leaf Gold leaf that is composed of 95.8% Gold, 3.5% Silver, 0.7% Copper.
24k Gold Leaf Gold leaf that is 99.9% gold.
Gouge Physical damage to a support or media that appears as a small sharp impression, that is often resultant from a sudden impact from a sharp or crisp edge.
Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721) English sculptor and master carver who is known for his exquisitely detailed floral garlands and still lifes carved from lime wood.
Guilloche An architectural and frame design that involves a repetitive pattern of interlaced circular bands.
Handling Dents Small creases that appear in paper supports that are often crescent shaped that have usually resulted from improper handling.
Head The top of the book.
Headcap The top edge of the spine.
Hicks Style American frame design, popular in the 2nd quarter of the 19th century, commonly characterized with the presence of a flat profile and corner blocks.
Hinge A piece of Japanese paper used to attach a paper artifact to a mount in such a way that a portion of the hinge is adhered to the back edge of the artifact, while the remaining portion of the hinge is adhered to the surface of the mount. Typically used with wheat paste or a methyl cellulose adhesive. this attachment system provides a reversible structural support in museum quality framing.
Hot Press Paper A paper that is extremely smooth with very little surface texture. Often used as a support for watercolor paintings, as well as archival digital printing.
Humidification Controlled application of moisture to relax distortion within works on paper.
Hygroscopic The state of a material to absorb and retain moisture, generally in relation to humidity.
Inclusion A foreign material included within a paper support or other support layer, generally added inadvertently during the time of manufacture or original preparation.
Inherent A condition existing in something as a permanent or characteristic attribute.
Inherent Vice The tendency in an object to deteriorate because of the fundamental instability of the components of which it is made of.
Inlay Pieces of wood, metal, stone, mother-of-pearl, ivory, bone, etc that are set into a surface of a piece to create a decorative pattern. Usually all at the same level.
Inpainting A conservation technique in which areas of loss in the media are meticulously compensated so that there is no overlap of the compensation and the adjacent original paint layer. Inpainting is reversible and undertaken in a different medium than the original.
Interpretation The stylized rendition or an influence of a classic element into a new concept or design.
Kabuki Frame A rounded corner lacquer frame with a sculptural, contrasting gilded ornament at each corner.
Kobe Corner An Asian inspired frame design featuring rounded, “m” shaped corners. Uniquely peaking in the middle of the apex at the joint.
Kozo Paper Long fibered Asian paper that is strong and durable, used for archival hinging and conservation treatments.
Laid Lines Thin lines present in laid paper created by the thin wires present in the paper mould/screen.
Laid Paper Characterized by a ribbed texture created by the wire sieve during its fabrication, laid paper was the primary paper support used from the 12th into the 19th century.
Laid Paper A paper that has an overall watermark of a grid pattern of intersecting wire marks from the screen on which the paper was made. This was the predominant paper used until the early 19th century.
Lambs Tongue A decorative pattern often adorning the sight edge or exterior edge of a profile that involves a tapered tongue shaped design.
Lap Lines Lines created with the overlap of sheets of gold leaf on a surface. Often used as a design element.
Leaf And Berry Ornamental relief design depicting laurel leaves and berries, sometimes accompanied with decorative straps.
Leaf And Dart Two design elements that create an alternating pattern that commonly adorn the site edge, or outer edge of a profile.
Leaves The individual bound sheets or pages within a textblock.
Lemon Gold Leaf 18k Gold leaf that is composed of 75% Gold and 25% Silver. Often used for gilding decorative picture frames. The 25% silver content gives the leaf it’s a cooler slightly green appearance.
Length Moulding Frame moulding that is mass produced and finished in lengths. It is then cut down to the desired size and then joined. The mitres are visible at all corners. The majority of custom frame shops fabricate their frames in this manner.
Light-fast Fade-resistant to UV rays present in sunlight. Refers to the pigments and dyes present in artist’s materials, paper, matboards and fabric.
Lignin An organic substance found in plant and wood matter. Considered impure matter in paper pulp. Causes discoloration over time when contained in paper supports and mat board.
Liner A frame molding used within the outer molding/frame. The liner may be covered with fabric, gilded or painted. The liner serves the same purpose as a mat: to enhance the artwork, as well as provide a visual space between the art and the frame.
Lip The inner edge of the picture frame rabbet, under the face of the frame. The lip conceals the rabbet and provides an extension that keeps the artwork from simply falling through the front of the frame.
Live Edge The natural edge of the wood that is incorporated in the furniture design.
Low-iron Glass A glass that has a lower iron content than standard glass, resulting in a glass with greater clarity without a greenish tint.
Lucite A trademark name for clear acrylic glazing.
Marquetry The addition of shaped pieces of veneer to create a decorative image, pattern or design.
Mat Burn A localized stain and degradation of the support, usually on paper, caused by contact with an acidic mat board.
Mecca Gilding Popular in the mid-19th century, it is the practice of a burnished silver leaf with a pigmented varnish to have the appearance of gold leaf.
Melinex A thin, transparent film made from polymers, also called “polyester film”. Mylar picture corners are often used in conservation/archival picture framing because they cannot be easily seen, and do not require permanently affixing the artwork to a backing.
Metal Leaf Imitation gold leaf, composed of varying concentrations of copper and zinc.
Metal Sectional Frame Originally designed in the late 1960’s to create an affordable framing option of exhibition display. Made of varying finished extruded aluminum, can be cut in custom ordered measurements or purchased pre-cut in standard lengths.
Methyl Cellulose A clear, water-soluble emulsion produced from modified cellulose and used as an adhesive for its stability and reversibility.
Microcrystalline Wax A chemically inert petroleum based wax that is frequently used in conservation treatments.
Mid-century Modern Style descriptor for items created between 1933-1965.
Mold A surface growth of fungus which may have varying color, shape, texture and configuration. It generally grow in conditions where relative humidity is 60% or greater and little air circulation. Mold growth can resulted in instability and deterioration of the support layer as well as potentially permanent discoloration.
Molding The material the frame profile is composed of, such as, wood, aluminum, acrylic, steel, etc.
Moon Gold A 22k gold leaf with palladium and silver alloys (91% gold, 4.5% silver and 4.5% palladium).
Mount A support or background for a work of art that serves both aesthetic and structural purposes.
Mueller Brothers Inc A frame shop located 434 S. Wabash Ave in Chicago. Armand Lee was a salesman for this firm, in the 1930’s prior to opening up his own frame shop, Armand Lee in the early 1940’s.
Museum Glass Anti-reflective glass that blocks up to 99% UV rays
Mylar A thin, transparent film made from polymers, also called “polyester film”. Mylar photo corners are often used in conservation/archival picture framing because they cannot be easily seen, and do not require permanently affixing the artwork to a backing. Mylar is a trademark registered by Dupont Tejjin Films.
Nameplate A plaque placed on the center of the lower frame rail, that can be made of engraved metal, or calligraphed gold leaf on wood, that usually includes the title, artist and select dates.
Newcomb-macklin Company A firm that produced hand-carved, gilded frames in Chicago from 1883-1979. Their building was located at 2 West Kinzie and is still standing today. They are best known for their frames from the Arts and Crafts movement between 1900-1925.
Newsprint A highly acidic paper made out of wood pulp used for newspapers and as a sketch paper for students. It quickly degrades over time and is not recommended as a support for longer term artwork.
Non-glare Glass Glass with an etched surface designed to soften reflected light.
Norpico Firm that fabricated reproduction mirrors in Chicago in the 20th century.
Off-gassing May occur either when the two materials are in contact with each other, or by vapor transfer from one material to adjacent materials not actually in contact with it. Often evident as ghosting or haziness on the interior of glazing within a frame.
Offset A mirror image created by transfer of media or binder to an adjacent sheet of paper, glass, board, or by chemical migration of constituents in the paper or medium, such as oil in printer’s ink or lignin derived staining.
Oil Gilding The process of applying a thin layer of gold on the surface of a solid base. Oil gilding is less labor intensive than water gilding and is the preferred method for gilding elaborate ornamental relief. Oil gilding cannot be burnished.
Op3 Acrylic glazing that provides 98% UV protection.
Optium Museum Acrylic Acrylic, shatter resistant glazing that is anti-reflective, blocks up to 99% of UV rays, is abrasion resistant and anti-static.
Overpaint Paint that has been applied over the original surface to conceal the damage or loss.
Ovolo A rounded convex profile.
Palladium Leaf Palladium leaf offers a cool metallic tone comparable to silver, but does not tarnish.
Palladium Leaf A bright silver colored metal leaf that is resistant to tarnshing.
Palmette Popular motif used in the last 18th and early 19th century, it has the stylized appearance of a palm frond. Also referred as an anthemion.
Papyrus A support made from overlapped parallel strips of reed plant stalks.
Parcel Gilt An item that has areas of gold leaf present on the surface.
Parchment A support made from one of a variety of treated animal skins. Known for its smooth, and slightly translucent surface, was often used in formal documents.
Parquetry A geometric design or pattern made of pieces of wood for a decorative effect.
Pastedown The endpaper that is pasted to the inside of each cover.
Pastiglia A low relief design that is built up and modeled in gesso.
Patent Leaf Also called transfer leaf. Each leaf is lightly affixed to a sheet of special transfer paper. Easier to use, and more versatile, it is often used outdoors, or onto large architectural components (domes, ceilings, walls, etc).
Patinate To coat a surface to change its appearance or to give the appearance of age.
Patinated Mirror The process of either application of altering a metal amalgam on glass to create an antique like reflection, or application of a metal amalgam on a specialty glass to create a artisanal reflection.
Pentimento The reappearance of an underlayer of paint, or under drying created as a result of the fading/increased translucency of the overpainting as it ages.
Perspex A trademark name for clear acrylic glazing.
Photo Corners Used to secure a photograph or work on paper to a mount to avoid contact with adhesive.
Pierced The negative space between frame ornamentation where the background or wall support is revealed.
Pietra Dura Italian for hard stone, it is a technique that involves using cut and highly polished stones to create decorative inlaid patterns.
Pigment A colorant, which may be derived from a wide variety of substances, organic and inorganic, natural and artificial. The colorant is insoluble in the binder it is suspended within.
Pilaster A rectangular column that projects from a two-dimension surface used for decoration rather than structural support.
Plaster Ornamentation Originating around 1870, plaster ornamentation was often applied at the same time as the gesso support.
Platemark The concave impression made in a paper support by a printing plate as it was run through a printing press.
Plexiglas A brand name for acrylic which is a clear plastic glazing used for oversized artwork , or for artwork that is shipped, or often handled, when glass is not an option.
Plexiglas A trademark name for clear acrylic glazing.
Plexiglass A general term for clear acrylic glazing.
Plinth A block that is placed between the sculpture and the top of a pedestal.
Polychrome An architectural or decorative item that is painted in several colors.
Polypropylene An inert, clear plastic used for wrapping/protecting items for archival storage.
Powder Coat A process to finish metal where a dry powder is applied electrostatically and cured under heat. The end result is a finish similar to typical application of liquid paint, but is more durable.
Powderpost Beetle A beetle that lays eggs within and feeds on wood. The larvae and pupae feed on the starch in the wood while boring channels in its wooden host. Once developed into an adult, the insect bores out of the piece, leaving an exit hole.
Preservation Action taken to maintain an object in its existing condition to minimize the rate of change, and slow down further deterioration and/or prevent damage.
Pressure-sensitive Tape Adhesive tape that adheres to a surface when pressure is applied. The adhesive frequently degrades leaving a residue to the surface where it was affixed, which might stain or embrittle the paper support.
Profile The shape of a frame moulding
Provenance A record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to verify it’s history, authenticity or quality.
Punchwork Design characterized by a series of indents within the gesso prior to application of polychrome or gilding.
Radiator Paint Composed of brass, it was often used as a DIY treatment to repair gilded frames. Over the years the brass oxidizes and turns to a dull brown, obscuring the original gold leaf beneath.
Raised Bands The dimensionsal bands on a leather spine.
Raking Light Light source positioned on only one side of the support to create strong shadows that accentuate textures and deformations of a surface.
Reeding Popular in the late 19th century among artists such as Whistler and Degas, the design is composed of a series of narrow, parallel convex bands, or ribs that extend the length of the frame rail
Relative Humidity The amount of water vapor held by a volume of air relative to the maximum amount which air at that temperature can hold. Expressed as a percentage of the actual water vapor held divided by the maximum water vapor which could be held at that temperature.
Re-silvering Mirrors can be resilvered to address damage the reflective coating beneath the glass. This damage can be considered part of the character and hence desirable on an antique mirror, and alternative options can be provided.
Restoration Action taken to modify the existing material and structure of an object in order to return it to a known earlier condition or original state.
Reverse Painted Glass Application of paint, decoupage or gilding on the interior side of glass which is protected by a backing board within a frame, with the exterior side remaining unchanged for viewing.
Revival The reintroduction of a classic style or incorporation of an antique element into a new concept or design.
Ribbon And Stave Ornamental relief of a ribbon twirling around a narrow stick
Ripple A design popular in Dutch frames and cabinetwork, characterize with a repeating perpendicular ridge along the length of the rail.
Riser The amount of distance between the top edge and the flat top of a stretcher bar. The depth of a riser determines how much distance you will have between the canvas and the top face of the stretcher bar.
Rising Museum Board Composed of 100% cotton fiber ragboard used for archival supports and matting. Fade and bleed resistant. Naturally acid-free and lignin free. Available in 10 shades with sheet sizes up to 60″ x 104″ in select shades.
Robert Kulicke Inventor of the original welded aluminum frame.
Rosette A round, stylized rose or floral shaped design, often adorning corners of federal or Neoclassical period frames.
Salvator Rosa Popular in the late 17th to mid 18th century this profile had an acanthus leaf at the hollow of the frame.
Sand Panel Type of 19th century finish that is comprised of a gilded coating of sand.
Sansovino Frame Heavily adorned Italian frames from the 2nd half of the 16th century influenced by architecture at the time, characterized with fruit garlands, overlapping scrolls, pediments, etc.
Seaberg Framing A Chicago firm that was founded in 1976 that specializes in archival, custom framing services for artists, galleries, museums and clients.
Seamed Optium Two or more sheets of Optium bonded together to create a custom oversized sheet to accommodate large works. Under typical viewing conditions, the seam is not ready evident.
Sectional Frame Patented in 1970 as an affordable and easily assemble frame. Variations of the design are still in use today.
Security Hardware Tamper resistant hardware affixed to the wall and back of a frame that allows for removal with a key.
Sgraffito A design element made by scratching through a surface to reveal the layer of contrasting color or finish below. Oftentimes on frames, a layer of black finished is scratched to reveal a layer of gilding below.
Shadow Box A frame with increased depth to accommodate artwork or artifacts that have dimensional elements.
Shagreen Shark or stingray skin that is used a decorative element to adorn a surface.
Silver Gelatin Print Developed in the 1880s, this is the most common black and white photographic medium. Images are produced with silver halides suspended in a layer of gelatin on a fiber based paper.
Silver Leaf Leaf made of silver. It is often sealed to maintain it’s natural appearance and luster, and to avoid tarnishing.
Silvering The chemical process of coating glass with a reflective substance. Oftentimes to create a mirror.
Sintra A durable PVC board that is lightweight and is often used as a substrate for mounting prints and photos to.
Solander Box An archival presentation case that is stored horizontally that opens flat used for storing documents, artwork, maps, etc. Used in private collections, museums and libraries.
Spacer An insert made of plastic, wood, or mat board which holds the artwork away from the surface of the glazing.
Spandrel A shaped liner designed to accommodate an oval or round piece within a rectangular pr square frame.
Spine The part of the book cover that covers the binding of the text block.
Stacked Molding Multiple moldings that are combined to create one frame.
Standford White (1853-1906) American architect and frame designer. Designed classical gilded frames for prominent artists such as Augustus St. Gaudens, Abbott Thayer and Thomas Wilmer Dewing.
Strainer An inner frame that is installed provide extra support to the decorative exterior frame.
Strap Hanger A long narrow metal hanger that accommodates 2-4 screws and is attached on either side of the frame to secure hanging wire.
Stretcher A stretcher is a wooden frame designed to support stretched canvas. Stretchers are designed for the insertion of keys to adjust canvas tension.
Swan A frame profile that is a shallow “s” shape which resembles the contour of a swan.
Tail The bottom of the book.
Textblock The inside pages or leaves of a book.
Thanheardt Burger Corporation A firm that produced hand-carved, gilded frames from 1927-2016 in LaPorte, Indiana
T-hinge A hinging method for attaching artwork to a mount. The top of the artwork is affixed while the bottom hangs free. Often used when the window mat engages the perimeter of the artwork.
Tideline A stain which occurs when a liquid dries, depositing dissolved material at its perimeter. A tideline is characterized by a discrete edge that is typically darker than the rest of the stain.
Tig Tungsten Inert Gas Welding. TIG welding is mostly used for critical weld joints, welding metals other than common steel, and where precise, small welds are needed.
Tig Frame Closed corner welded aluminum frame. The aluminum surface can be polished, brushed, or powder coated a desired color.
Tiger Maple A desired hardwood that is known for its characteristic striped pattern. Very popular in Colonial America for its beauty in furniture, wooden objects and frames. Also known as fiddle maple for its prevalent use in the fabrication of musical instruments through today.
Tin Type Developed in the 1850s and popular into the 1890s, an early form of photography where an image is produced on a thin piece of iron that is treated with a silver halide emulsion. Tin types provided an affordable option for photography and portaiture in its time.
Tondo Frame A round frame designed to house a round painting or mirror.
Tooth A characteristic of the texture in the surface of paper. A patterned roughness in the form of minute depressions between fibers on the surface.
Tortoise Shell A traditional organic material used for veneer and inlay on frames, decorative objects and fine furniture. Modern synthetic materials are often used in its place to recreate the aesthetic.
Trulife Acrylic A single sided, anti-reflective, abrasion resistant acrylic that provides up to 99% UV protection made by Tru Vue. The acrylic was deveoped specifically for facemounting.
Trumeau Mirror A large, narrow mirror that is traditionally installed between two windows. The mirror is usually installed within a narrow frame with a ornamental, or painted section at the top.
Tulle Net Used in the mid 19th century for textural decoration on to gessoed frame rails prior to addition of ornamental compo.
Turn-in The cloth or paper edge that is folded from the outside to the inside covers.
Varnishing Day Original translation for vernissage, it was a designated time for artists to apply their final touches and varnish to their paintings while they were installed for exhibition. Critics were invited to view the pieces at this time prior to the public opening.
Vellum A support made from one of a variety of treated animal skins. Known for its smooth, and slightly translucent surface, was often used in formal documents.
Vernissage The private preview of an exhibition prior to the public opening.
Verre Eglomise French for the process of decorating and gilding the reverse side of glass.
Verso The back or reverse of a piece
Vitrine A clear acrylic case, either wall mounted, or displayed on a table fabricated to often display dimensional artifacts without the presence of a frame.
Water Gilding The process of applying a thin layer of gold on the surface of a solid base. The gilt surface can be polished to achieve a high reflective sheen or can be given a matte finish.
Weighted Bottom The bottom border of the mat board is wider than the top and side borders.
Welded Steel Frames Closed corner float or traditional engaged frames. finishes include polished, brushed, and raw. Beaded weld can be left or ground.
White Gold Leaf made with the addition of silver and palladium alloys, which ranges from 6k-13.25k. The addition of silver and palladium influences the tonality of the leaf, creating a warm silver appearance of the gold. Due to the silver content, white gold should be sealed to avoid tarnishing.
Wood Engraving A relief printing technique where the printing surface is carved from a block of wood. The block of wood is cut so that the wood grain runs perpendicular (cross grain) within the block.
Woodcut A relief printing technique where the printing surface is carved from a block of wood. The block of wood is cut so that the wood grain runs parallel within the block.
Wove Paper Introduced in the mid-18th century, paper which is manufactured (either by hand or by machine) on a screen or with an even fine mesh. The paper is very smooth and consistent.
Zeolites An additive in Artcare boards that absorbs pollutants in the microclimate contained within a framing package.
Zerlon Wire Plastic coated picture framing wire.