A scroll-shaped ornamentation, usually oval or lozenge-shaped, it is used for holding or framing an inscription such as in a plate attached to a painting that has the title and artist. The Egyptians used Cartouches for featuring the title and name of a king. They were used frequently in the 16th and 17th centuries on the covers of books to showcase the titles. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms"; Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon, "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms" <br><br>An ornamental figure which serves as a frame for an inscription or a decoration within a space which usually has a scroll-like, or an oval or lozenge shape, this figure having a form which is irregular or fantastic. A cartouche may be painted, sculpted, engraved, etc. Often specifies oblong figures enclosing Egyptian hieroglyphic names of gods and royalty. Also much used in the sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe to decorate walls and the title pages of books. Another sort of cartouche, a plaque attached to a work of art, its frame or base, and inscribed with the title, artist's name, etc., is often referred to by its Italian name, cartoccio.(pr. kar-TOOSH)Examples: Perhaps the most famous monogram of any artist is that of Albrecht D?rer (German, 1471-1528). He used it frequently as his signature on his works. The detail on the left is from the lower-left corner of the engraving Knight, Death, and the Devil, D?rer placed his monogram and the date within a cartouche. See Northern Renaissance.Also see niche.