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Denotation vs. Connotation

niello

[nee-el-oh] /niˈɛl oʊ/
noun, plural nielli
[nee-el-ee] /niˈɛl i/ (Show IPA)
1.
a black metallic substance, consisting of silver, copper, lead, and sulfur, with which an incised design or ground is filled to produce an ornamental effect on metal.
2.
ornamental work so produced.
3.
a specimen of such work.
4.
a print on paper made from an incised metal plate before the application of niello and associated especially with 15th-century Italy.
verb (used with object), nielloed, nielloing.
5.
to decorate by means of niello; treat with niello or by the niello process.
Origin of niello
1810-1820
1810-20; < Italian < Latin nigellus blackish, diminutive of niger black
Related forms
niellist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for niello
Historical Examples
  • Most of the ornaments are richly gilt, interspersed with others of silver and niello, and bosses of coloured enamels.

  • It was of silver, but very beautifully engraved and adorned in Russian niello.

    Paul Patoff F. Marion Crawford
  • For niello, and printing, a transverse cut was substituted for the blow.

    Ariadne Florentina John Ruskin
  • A design thus filled with enamel was called a niello, a derivative of the word nigellum (the most black).

    What Philately Teaches John N. Luff
  • The ground between the ornaments has been cut down, probably for the insertion of niello or enamel colour.

    Finger-Ring Lore William Jones
  • While making a niello, the artist naturally wished to see how the work was progressing and if any alterations were required.

    What Philately Teaches John N. Luff
  • Around this are inscribed two names—Catarina, Nicola—the interstices being filled up with niello.

    Finger-Ring Lore William Jones
  • Both sides of the hoop and each bezel are engraved with interlaced designs inlaid with niello.

    Jewellery H. Clifford Smith,
  • The interior of the ears and the lip of the cup have been gilt, and in the nostrils is niello.

    The Shores of the Adriatic F. Hamilton Jackson
  • Francia, originally a goldsmith, is well known to have been peculiarly skilled in executing larger compositions in niello.

British Dictionary definitions for niello

niello

/nɪˈɛləʊ/
noun (pl) -li (-lɪ), -los
1.
a black compound of sulphur and silver, lead, or copper used to incise a design on a metal surface
2.
the process of decorating surfaces with niello
3.
a surface or object decorated with niello
verb -los, -loing, -loed
4.
(transitive) to decorate or treat with niello
Derived Forms
niellist, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Italian from Latin nigellus blackish, from niger black
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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