Moulding Glossary: Cavetto

cavetto: \kə-ˈve-(ˌ)tō, kä-\
A hollowed moulding, whose profile is one-quarter of a circle. It is principally used in cornices. A cavetto that flows from and terminates a straight line is called a conge, or sometimes an apophyge.

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6 Responses to Moulding Glossary: Cavetto

  1. BruceL says:

    With the drawings, makes perfect sense. My only nit is that it is not 1/4 of a circle – but 1/4 of an oval or an ellipse (of which a circle is a special case). I understood once I looked at the pictures but by the words alone I expected it to be truly circular. Perhaps state “1/4 of a circle or ellipse”? Keep in mind I am an engineer…

  2. Dean says:

    Cavetto — cavare: “to hollow”, concave. A concave moulding, sometimes employed in the place of the cymatium of a cornice. Other concave moldings are the scotia and congé. Cavetto (s), cavetti (pl). Italian, diminutive of cavo, hollow; from Latin cavus. From (Italian) cavare: “to hollow.” The opposite of Ovolo (convex).

    Other words used

    Conge (noun) – A concave molding.

    Apophyge – In architecture an apophyge, escape or scape is a small hollow curvature given to the top or bottom of the shaft of a column where it expands to meet the edge of the fillet.

    Scotia – Concave molding with a lower edge projecting beyond the top and so used at the base of columns as a transition between two torus moldings with different diameters.

    Cymatium – Cy•ma’ti•um (sĭ*mā’shĭ*ŭm) noun [ Latin , from Greek kyma`tion , diminutive of ky^ma a wave.] (Architecture) A capping or crowning molding in classic architecture.

  3. ‘CAVETTO, n. [from It. cavo.] In architecture, a hollow member, or round concave molding, containing the quadrant of a circle; used as an ornament on cornices.’ 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language.


  4. Dan says:

    Is this what the call “cove” mouldings at Starbucks?

  5. Rick Yochim says:

    And its what we call a “cove” over at Mary’s Kountry Kitchen too. And an ovolo is a round over. And so on…

    At some point – and I wouldn’t hazard a guess at where that point is – acknowlegement of analagous (and sometimes incorrect) nomenclature of these forms has to be given so that a frame of reference can be established that we may then be “elevated”.

    Am I wrong in thinking this horse isn’t too dead to beat?

  6. Pingback: Moulding Glossary: Scotia | Lost Art Press

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