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Glossary

AbrasionDamage resulting in a loss to the surface caused by friction such as rubbing or scraping.
Acid BurnThis 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 MigrationThe 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.
AcidicA 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.
AcrylicOften 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 FacemountThe 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 GessoA 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.
AcryliteA trademark name for clear acrylic glazing.
AdhesiveA synthetic, or organic agent used to join two materials.
AgateA tool used burnish gold leaf in the final stage of water gilding to create a bright reflective finish.
Aged MirrorThe 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 PrintA 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.
AlkalineHaving a pH greater than 7.
AllowanceTypically 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 FramePreferred 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.
AmbrotypeDeveloped 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 BoulleA 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.
AnoxicComplete depletion of oxygen.
AnthemionPopular motif used in the last 18th and early 19th century, it has the stylized appearance of a palm frond. Also referred as a palmette.
AntiqueAn item that is over 100 years old.
AntiquingThe 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.
AqueousWater based
ArabesqueAn ornamental design composed of intertwined scrolling foliage.
ArchivalA 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 LeeA 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.
ArrisThe high point between two grooves in a fluted design.
Artisanal MirrorThe 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 CraftsA 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.
AstragalSmall moulding used on glass or between glass panels on furniture.
Back CoverThe board that covers and protects the back of the text block.
BackboardA 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.
BackingA final cover on the back of a frame, which is most often a paper dustcover.
Bainbridge Alphamat Artcare BoardComposed 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 BoardComposed 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.
BandingA decorative inlaid veneer boarder or edge on a piece of furniture.
BarbizonLate 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.
BasketweaveA design popular in Dutch frames and cabinetwork that has an appearance of stylized woven reeds.
Bas-reliefFrench for “low relief”, it is a type of carving where the rendered design or elements stand out from a flat surface.
BatikA wax resist dying technique used to create patterns and imagery in textiles.
Bead And ReelTraditional ornamental design that is a combination of round beads, with a disk shaped flanking and elongated bead.
BeadingTraditional ornamental design of repeating round spheres. Also called pearls.
Beva 371A reversible thermoplastic adhesive that is widely usded in a variety of conservation treatments.
BevelAn edge that has been cut at a slant to create more visual interest, often seen on mirrors, openings in mats, and frames.
Bfk Rives Paper100% 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.
BlanchingAn 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.
BlisteringA 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.
BloomAn 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.
BoleColored 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 HingeThe fold or joint in the endpaper between the pastedown and the fly leaf
Book MatA mat where the window mat is hinged along the longest side to the ragboard mount, thus resembling a book.
BrittleOften observed in works on paper with acid burn or high levels of acidity, which are weak, inflexible and easily broken.
Bubble GlassConvex 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.
BumperA 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.
BurnishA polished, area of increased sheen resulting from intentional or accidental exposure to contact and/or friction.
Cabinet CardPopular 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 CarbonateUsed as a filler in alkaline paper-making, as coating pigment and as a buffering agent. Often an ingredient in gesso.
Carlo MarattaPopular in the late 17th to mid 18th century this profile had an acanthus leaf at the site edge of the frame.
Carte De VisitePopular in the 1860s and the same size as a calling card, it is a small albumen print that was mounted to cardstock.
CartoucheOrnamental scrollwork that appears at corners and centers of ornate frames
CaseinA traditional aqueous, milk based paint.
CassettaItalian for “small frame”, characterized by a central flat panel or frieze with a raised moulding adorning the outer edge and sight edge.
Cast PaperAn 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 LinesThick 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.
CibachromeA photographic process that reproduces film images on photographic paper using multiple layers of dyes in a polyester base.
Clamshell BoxAn 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 MirrorGlass that is treated with a metal amalgam that results a clear image.
CleatA 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 FrameGenerally 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 CornerA 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 WireA 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.
CoatingA substance such as wax or varnish that is applied to the surface to change or protect it.
Cock BeadingSmall moulding that is often used as a design element along the edges of drawers.
CoiA certificate of insurance is a document that is used to provide information on specific insurance coverage.
Cold Press PaperA textured with a heavy tooth used a support for watercolor and archival printing.
CompoAn 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.
ConservationThe treatment or action to prolong the existence of an object with the least possible intervention
Conservation Clear AcrylicAcrylic, a clear shatter resistant glazing that blocks up to 99% UV rays.
Conservation Clear GlassClear glass that blocks up 99% UV rays.
ConsolidateStabilization of a surface through application of reversible adhesives.
Convex GlassGlass 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 LeafLeaf that is 99.9% copper. It can be sealed to avoid tarnishing, or intentionally patinated to create the desired effect.
Corner StrapA decorative element applied on the corner of a frame. Often used on gilded, reeded profiles.
CoroplastA 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.
CoveA concave scoop present on a profile.
CoverHeavier paper or board that attaches to the text block.
CraquelureA 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.
CreaseA fold or an interruption in the planar surface that does not break through the support.
Crescent Conservation MatboardComposed 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 BoardComposed 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 HatchingSeries of interesting lines used as a design element which are typically incised in gesso and then finished.
DaguerreotypeDeveloped 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.
DeckleThe rough, unfinished edge of a sheet of a sheet of paper. Often watercolor and printmaking papers have deckled-edges.
Diaper PatternAn overall repetitious pattern or design composed of clearly defined geometrical elements.
DibondThe 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 PlanA document created by collectors, collection managers and museums to identify risk exposures and strategize on recovery efforts, to prevent damage to collections and artifacts.
DiscolorationA change in the original color or tonality of a piece.
Donald P. HerbertDesigner of the original metal sectional frame in 1968.
D-ringHanging 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 FrameTraditionally made of dark wood, ebonized materials with ripple or basketweave moulding. Dutch frames are prized for their craftsmanship, elaborate yet understated beauty.
Dutch LeafImitation gold leaf, composed of varying concentrations of copper and zinc.
Eased Face StemA stem profile that has a slightly rounded face.
Eastlake StyleDerived from Charles Eastlake designs, floral and linear designs that are incised in lacquered surfaces.
EbonizedA surface that has been darkened or stained black to emulate ebony.
EfflorescenceDissolution, 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 DartA 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.
EncapsulationA transparent enclosure of polyester film that is sealed along the edges via ultrasonic weld, heat or adhesive.
EndpaperLeaves 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 HolesPerfectly 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.
FacemountThe 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.
FadingLocalized or overall shifts in a pigmented surface that has occurred as a result of exposure to UV light.
Faux BoisFrench for “false wood”. It is the trompe-l’œil practice of a painted surface to imitate wood grain, or varying species of wood.
Faux FinishA painting technique that emulates another surface or material.
FederalTime period in American design usually classified between 1790-1830.
FerruleThe metal or plastic cover that aligns and secures the adhered hairs together on the handle of a paintbrush.
FestoonAn ornamental garland of fruit, foliage and flowers.
FilletA 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.
FinishThe color, leaf or coating that is applied to a frame.
Finished Corner FrameA 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 StemA slender unadorned frame profile that has a flat narrow face. Also often referred to as a gallery frame or profile.
Flight HolePerfectly 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 FrameA 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 MountA 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.
FlutedA 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 LeafThe turning page of the end paper.
FlyspecksA painted finish application of small specks of dark paint applied to imitate fly excretions on a surface to emulate an aged surface.
FoamboardA light weight polystyrene board clad with clayloaded paper, or acid-free paper often used for backing boards in frames.
FoliateA series of leaves or leaf like ornamentation
FootThe bottom of the page.
Fore EdgeThe front edge of the text block.
FoxingReddish 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 StudiosFrame shop in Chicago that served the artist industry from 1984 to 2009.
FrassA fine dust or support material left behind from a feeding insect. Often is referred to having the appearance of sawdust.
Frederic’s Frame StudioFounded 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.
FretworkOften incised in gesso, a continuous pattern of bands along a flat panel.
Front CoverThe board that covers and protects the front of the text block.
Gallery FrameA slender unadorned frame profile that has a flat narrow face. Also often referred to as a flat stem frame or profile.
Gallery WrapA 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.
GatorboardA moisture resistant laminated board with a dense foam core.
GessoA 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.
GildingThe process of applying gold leaf to a surface.
GiltCovered by gold or a gold finish.
GlazingA protective transparent material used in framing, such as glass, polycarbonate and acrylic sheeting.
Gold LeafAvailable 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 LeafGold 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 LeafGold 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 LeafGold 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 LeafGold leaf that is composed of 92% Gold, 3.5% Silver and 4.5% Palladium.
23k Gold LeafGold leaf that is composed of 95.8% Gold, 3.5% Silver, 0.7% Copper.
24k Gold LeafGold leaf that is 99.9% gold.
GougePhysical 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.
GuillocheAn architectural and frame design that involves a repetitive pattern of interlaced circular bands.
Handling DentsSmall creases that appear in paper supports that are often crescent shaped that have usually resulted from improper handling.
HeadThe top of the book.
HeadcapThe top edge of the spine.
Hicks StyleAmerican frame design, popular in the 2nd quarter of the 19th century, commonly characterized with the presence of a flat profile and corner blocks.
HingeA 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 PaperA paper that is extremely smooth with very little surface texture. Often used as a support for watercolor paintings, as well as archival digital printing.
HumidificationControlled application of moisture to relax distortion within works on paper.
HygroscopicThe state of a material to absorb and retain moisture, generally in relation to humidity.
InclusionA foreign material included within a paper support or other support layer, generally added inadvertently during the time of manufacture or original preparation.
InherentA condition existing in something as a permanent or characteristic attribute.
Inherent ViceThe tendency in an object to deteriorate because of the fundamental instability of the components of which it is made of.
InlayPieces 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.
InpaintingA 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.
InterpretationThe stylized rendition or an influence of a classic element into a new concept or design.
Kabuki FrameA rounded corner lacquer frame with a sculptural, contrasting gilded ornament at each corner.
Kobe CornerAn Asian inspired frame design featuring rounded, “m” shaped corners. Uniquely peaking in the middle of the apex at the joint.
Kozo PaperLong fibered Asian paper that is strong and durable, used for archival hinging and conservation treatments.
Laid LinesThin lines present in laid paper created by the thin wires present in the paper mould/screen.
Laid PaperCharacterized 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 PaperA 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 TongueA decorative pattern often adorning the sight edge or exterior edge of a profile that involves a tapered tongue shaped design.
Lap LinesLines created with the overlap of sheets of gold leaf on a surface. Often used as a design element.
Leaf And BerryOrnamental relief design depicting laurel leaves and berries, sometimes accompanied with decorative straps.
Leaf And DartTwo design elements that create an alternating pattern that commonly adorn the site edge, or outer edge of a profile.
LeavesThe individual bound sheets or pages within a textblock.
Lemon Gold Leaf18k 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 MouldingFrame 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-fastFade-resistant to UV rays present in sunlight. Refers to the pigments and dyes present in artist’s materials, paper, matboards and fabric.
LigninAn 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.
LinerA 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.
LipThe 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 EdgeThe natural edge of the wood that is incorporated in the furniture design.
Low-iron GlassA glass that has a lower iron content than standard glass, resulting in a glass with greater clarity without a greenish tint.
LuciteA trademark name for clear acrylic glazing.
MarquetryThe addition of shaped pieces of veneer to create a decorative image, pattern or design.
Mat BurnA localized stain and degradation of the support, usually on paper, caused by contact with an acidic mat board.
Mecca GildingPopular 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.
MelinexA 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 LeafImitation gold leaf, composed of varying concentrations of copper and zinc.
Metal Sectional FrameOriginally 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 CelluloseA clear, water-soluble emulsion produced from modified cellulose and used as an adhesive for its stability and reversibility.
Microcrystalline WaxA chemically inert petroleum based wax that is frequently used in conservation treatments.
Mid-century ModernStyle descriptor for items created between 1933-1965.
MoldA 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.
MoldingThe material the frame profile is composed of, such as, wood, aluminum, acrylic, steel, etc.
Moon GoldA 22k gold leaf with palladium and silver alloys (91% gold, 4.5% silver and 4.5% palladium).
MountA support or background for a work of art that serves both aesthetic and structural purposes.
Mueller Brothers IncA 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 GlassAnti-reflective glass that blocks up to 99% UV rays
MylarA 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.
NameplateA 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 CompanyA 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.
NewsprintA 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 GlassGlass with an etched surface designed to soften reflected light.
NorpicoFirm that fabricated reproduction mirrors in Chicago in the 20th century.
Off-gassingMay 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.
OffsetA 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 GildingThe 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.
Op3Acrylic glazing that provides 98% UV protection.
Optium Museum AcrylicAcrylic, shatter resistant glazing that is anti-reflective, blocks up to 99% of UV rays, is abrasion resistant and anti-static.
OverpaintPaint that has been applied over the original surface to conceal the damage or loss.
OvoloA rounded convex profile.
Palladium LeafPalladium leaf offers a cool metallic tone comparable to silver, but does not tarnish.
Palladium LeafA bright silver colored metal leaf that is resistant to tarnshing.
PalmettePopular motif used in the last 18th and early 19th century, it has the stylized appearance of a palm frond. Also referred as an anthemion.
PapyrusA support made from overlapped parallel strips of reed plant stalks.
Parcel GiltAn item that has areas of gold leaf present on the surface.
ParchmentA 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.
ParquetryA geometric design or pattern made of pieces of wood for a decorative effect.
PastedownThe endpaper that is pasted to the inside of each cover.
PastigliaA low relief design that is built up and modeled in gesso.
Patent LeafAlso 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).
PatinateTo coat a surface to change its appearance or to give the appearance of age.
Patinated MirrorThe 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.
PentimentoThe reappearance of an underlayer of paint, or under drying created as a result of the fading/increased translucency of the overpainting as it ages.
PerspexA trademark name for clear acrylic glazing.
Photo CornersUsed to secure a photograph or work on paper to a mount to avoid contact with adhesive.
PiercedThe negative space between frame ornamentation where the background or wall support is revealed.
Pietra DuraItalian for hard stone, it is a technique that involves using cut and highly polished stones to create decorative inlaid patterns.
PigmentA 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.
PilasterA rectangular column that projects from a two-dimension surface used for decoration rather than structural support.
Plaster OrnamentationOriginating around 1870, plaster ornamentation was often applied at the same time as the gesso support.
PlatemarkThe concave impression made in a paper support by a printing plate as it was run through a printing press.
PlexiglasA 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.
PlexiglasA trademark name for clear acrylic glazing.
PlexiglassA general term for clear acrylic glazing.
PlinthA block that is placed between the sculpture and the top of a pedestal.
PolychromeAn architectural or decorative item that is painted in several colors.
PolypropyleneAn inert, clear plastic used for wrapping/protecting items for archival storage.
Powder CoatA 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 BeetleA 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.
PreservationAction 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 TapeAdhesive 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.
ProfileThe shape of a frame moulding
ProvenanceA record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to verify it’s history, authenticity or quality.
PunchworkDesign characterized by a series of indents within the gesso prior to application of polychrome or gilding.
Radiator PaintComposed 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 BandsThe dimensionsal bands on a leather spine.
Raking LightLight source positioned on only one side of the support to create strong shadows that accentuate textures and deformations of a surface.
ReedingPopular 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 HumidityThe 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-silveringMirrors 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.
RestorationAction 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 GlassApplication 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.
RevivalThe reintroduction of a classic style or incorporation of an antique element into a new concept or design.
Ribbon And StaveOrnamental relief of a ribbon twirling around a narrow stick
RippleA design popular in Dutch frames and cabinetwork, characterize with a repeating perpendicular ridge along the length of the rail.
RiserThe 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 BoardComposed 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 KulickeInventor of the original welded aluminum frame.
RosetteA round, stylized rose or floral shaped design, often adorning corners of federal or Neoclassical period frames.
Salvator RosaPopular in the late 17th to mid 18th century this profile had an acanthus leaf at the hollow of the frame.
Sand PanelType of 19th century finish that is comprised of a gilded coating of sand.
Sansovino FrameHeavily 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 FramingA Chicago firm that was founded in 1976 that specializes in archival, custom framing services for artists, galleries, museums and clients.
Seamed OptiumTwo 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 FramePatented in 1970 as an affordable and easily assemble frame. Variations of the design are still in use today.
Security HardwareTamper resistant hardware affixed to the wall and back of a frame that allows for removal with a key.
SgraffitoA 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 BoxA frame with increased depth to accommodate artwork or artifacts that have dimensional elements.
ShagreenShark or stingray skin that is used a decorative element to adorn a surface.
Silver Gelatin PrintDeveloped 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 LeafLeaf made of silver. It is often sealed to maintain it’s natural appearance and luster, and to avoid tarnishing.
SilveringThe chemical process of coating glass with a reflective substance. Oftentimes to create a mirror.
SintraA durable PVC board that is lightweight and is often used as a substrate for mounting prints and photos to.
Solander BoxAn archival presentation case that is stored horizontally that opens flat used for storing documents, artwork, maps, etc. Used in private collections, museums and libraries.
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