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Fretwork   Listen
noun
Fretwork  n.  Work adorned with frets; ornamental openwork or work in relief, esp. when elaborate and minute in its parts. Hence, any minute play of light and shade, dark and light, or the like. "Banqueting on the turf in the fretwork of shade and sunshine."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Fretwork" Quotes from Famous Books



... servants' rooms, which could only be reached by a sort of open staircase from the hall floor. But the great wardrobes and the carved chest that used to stand here were gone ... The son of the house set foot upon the mighty staircase and rested his hand upon the white enameled, fretwork banister, lifting it, however, at each step and then gently dropping it again at the next one, as if he were timidly trying to see whether his former familiarity with this respectable old banister could be restored ... On the first landing, before the entrance to the so-called ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... great bend and breakfast made from choice bits of two ducks, shot just before. About noon they entered a great curving stretch of river, completely walled in on one side with hills, which resembled a vast causeway or an arched cathedral. The rain had worn a wondrous fretwork upon their sides and ribs of blue clay lent ...
— The Story of Paul Boyton - Voyages on All the Great Rivers of the World • Paul Boyton

... iron dear-wrought: and the drake died the murder. There had the warrior so won by wightness, That he of the ring-hoard the use might be having All at his own will. The sea-boat he loaded, And into the ship's barm bore the bright fretwork Waels' son. In the hotness the Worm was to-molten. Now he of all wanderers was widely the greatest Through the peoples of man-kind, the warder of warriors, By mighty deeds; erst then and early he throve. 900 Now sithence ...
— The Tale of Beowulf - Sometime King of the Folk of the Weder Geats • Anonymous

... Fretwork, spandrels, and steeples. It was—it was the very design that had haunted the poor architect, that flitted across his mind in dreams ...
— ZigZag Journeys in Northern Lands; - The Rhine to the Arctic • Hezekiah Butterworth

... behind the fences; the labourer carving the haystack; the woodman going to work, followed by his half-bred cur, and cheered by the fragrance of his short pipe. He watches the marauding sparrows, and thinks with tenderness of the fate of less audacious birds; and then pauses to examine the strange fretwork erected at the mill-dam by the capricious freaks of the frost. Art, it suggests to him, is often beaten by Nature; and his fancy goes off to the winter palace of ice erected by the Russian empress. His friend Newton makes ...
— Hours in a Library - New Edition, with Additions. Vol. II (of 3) • Leslie Stephen

... road, and the pines upon the horizon. The heavens were high and cold, and the night wind had a message from the north. But it was warm beneath the gum tree where the fire leaped and roared. In the light the nearer leaves of the surrounding trees showed in strong relief; beyond that copper fretwork all was blackness. Out of the dark came the breathing of the horses, fastened near the tobacco-cask, the croaking of frogs in a marshy place, and all the stealthy, indefinable stir of the forest at night. At ...
— Lewis Rand • Mary Johnston

... old, worm-eaten chair, in which John of Gaunt had sat; and I remember that while Lady de Brantefield expressed her just indignation against the worms, for having dared to attack this precious relique, I, kneeling to the chair, admired the curious fretwork, the dusty honeycombs, which these invisible little workmen had excavated. But John of Gaunt's chair was nothing to King John's table. There was a little black oak table, too, with broken legs, which was invaluable—for, as Lady ...
— Tales & Novels, Vol. IX - [Contents: Harrington; Thoughts on Bores; Ormond] • Maria Edgeworth

... is gained of the broad plains of the Champagne, dotted with white villages and scattered homesteads among the poplars and the limes, the winding Vesle glittering in the sunlight, and the dark towers of Notre Dame de Reims, with all their rich Gothic fretwork, rising majestically above ...
— Facts About Champagne and Other Sparkling Wines • Henry Vizetelly

... clearly in the dark halls, by choosing strong and varied effects of light for the most shadowed spaces, and we can picture what the halls must have been like when they first glowed from his hand, adorned with gilded fretwork and moulding, and hung with opulent draperies, with the rose-red and purple of bishops' and cardinals' robes ...
— The Venetian School of Painting • Evelyn March Phillipps

... 26. No passion of fretwork, or pinnacle whatever, I said, is in this Pisan pulpit. The trefoiled arch itself, pleasant as it is, seems forced a little; out of perfect harmony with the rest (see Plate II.). Unnatural, ...
— Val d'Arno • John Ruskin

... we reached was a beautiful example of the art of this Northern country. There were splendid pillars of teak, marble tigers and marble fretwork beneath, with much glittering colouring around. A strong post of Russian infantry was on guard here, and sitting inside the enclosure with the men off duty were a number of Palace eunuchs. They all seemed quite intimate together ...
— Indiscreet Letters From Peking • B. L. Putman Weale

... brown and gray, and dressed itself in silvery white. No stone nor brick was seen except in this silvern frosty color. All the spires were glittering in silver, and all the columns bore traceries as though the hands of spirits had labored long and delicately and had seen their tender fretwork frozen softly but for ever into silver. The gross city had put aside corporeal things, and for once its spirit shone fair and radiant; so that men said no such thing had ...
— The Singing Mouse Stories • Emerson Hough

... Doge's Palace was full of the deepest interest. Mounting the beautiful fretwork marble staircase, just at the rear of St. Mark's, we entered the great colonnade, and ascended to the rooms above, which are all heavily decorated and adorned on wall and ceiling with paintings by the great masters. ...
— Fair Italy, the Riviera and Monte Carlo • W. Cope Devereux

... the conditions seems to assist the supreme artist. One day is wonderful because of its unsullied purity; not a cloud visible, and the pines clothed in velvet of rich green beneath a faultless canopy of light. The next presents a fretwork of fine film, wrought by the south wind over the whole sky, iridescent with delicate rainbow tints within the influences of the sun, and ever-changing shape. On another, when the turbulent Foehn is blowing, streamers of snow may be seen flying from ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... was the Hotel de Villa, which, many years ago, pleased me exceedingly; and I think all our party have been delighted with it. This is the noblest civil building in Belgium; it stands in a fine square, and is a glorious specimen of the Lombardy Gothic school. The spire is of open fretwork, and the sun shines through it. It has long been esteemed as one of the most precious works of architecture in Europe. The extreme height is three hundred and sixty-four feet, and it was erected in 1444. On the spire is a gilt statue of ...
— Young Americans Abroad - Vacation in Europe: Travels in England, France, Holland, - Belgium, Prussia and Switzerland • Various

... Sunday evening they strolled down to the glacier to look once again, for the last time, into its crevices, and wonder at its fairy caverns, fringed with icicles, like rows of silver daggers, and ceiled with translucent sapphire, beneath whose blue fretwork the stray sunbeams lost their way amid ice-blocks of luminous green, and pillars of lapis-lazuli and crystal. They sat on a huge boulder of granite, which some avalanche had torn down, and tumbled ...
— Julian Home • Dean Frederic W. Farrar

... in a murmur. I craned my neck aloft. It was so dark, I could see nothing save the fretwork of branches against the night sky. I whispered to Francis, who was just ...
— The Man with the Clubfoot • Valentine Williams

... to prefer the open, one taking to dry and two to moist ground, are the hay-scented fern (Dicksonia punctilobula), the New York fern (Dryopteris Noveboracencis), and the Marsh Shield-fern. Dicksonia has a pretty leaf of fretwork, and will grow three feet in length, though it is usually much shorter. It is the fern universal here with us, it makes great swales running out from wood edges to pastures, and it rivals the bayberry ...
— The Garden, You, and I • Mabel Osgood Wright

... town was on a different scale, beginning with "frame," rising through the semidetached, culminating expensively in Mansard roofs, cupolas and modern conveniences, and blossoming, in extreme instances, into Moorish fretwork and silk portieres for interior decoration. The Murchison house gained by force of contrast: one felt, stepping into it, under influences of less expediency and more dignity, wider scope and more leisured intention; its shabby spaces had a redundancy the pleasanter and ...
— The Imperialist • (a.k.a. Mrs. Everard Cotes) Sara Jeannette Duncan

... built us huts from the wreck, collecting stateroom doors for the sides, and hatches for the roofs, huge and solid, with iron rings in them. The bronze and iron ventilation gratings to the doors gave us glimpses of the coast through fretwork; the rich inlaying of woods surrounded us. We set up on a solid rock the galley stove—with its rails to hold the cooking pots from upsetting, in a sea way. In it we burned the debris of the wreck, all sorts of wood, some sweet and aromatic and spicy as an incensed cathedral. I have seen the ...
— The Mystery • Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams

... trousers, and a broad grey felt hat with a jackal's tail stuck in it for ornament. His short woolly hair was white, and his chocolate-coloured skin, hard and tough like that of a rhinoceros, was covered with a fretwork of tiny wrinkles, such as one seldom sees on a European face. He was proud of his great age (eighty-five), and recalled the names of several British governors and generals during the last seventy years. But his chief interest was in inquiries (through his interpreter) regarding the ...
— Impressions of South Africa • James Bryce

... THOMAS GIDLING, is something indefinite and authoritative in the Post Office. He is a practical man. He can do fretwork, cook a steak, clean boots, find out what's wrong with the gas, and understand Waterloo Station; in an emergency he is invaluable. This is just as well, because destiny has decided that the life of THOMAS GIDLING shall be a series of emergencies. He has comfortable bachelor quarters at the very ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101. October 10, 1891 • Various

... Gothic architecture. On the pinnacles of the stalls are affixed the helmets and crests of the knights, with their scarfs and swords, and above them are suspended their banners, emblazoned with armorial bearings, and contrasting the splendor of gold and purple and crimson with the cold gray fretwork of the roof. In the midst of this grand mausoleum stands the sepulchre of its founder—his effigy, with that of his queen, extended on a sumptuous tomb—and the whole surrounded ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... results, it is true, are by no means confused or disorderly—neither were those of the forges that worked under Lipari—but there certainly went much more to them than the dainty fingering of a literary fretwork-maker or the dull rummagings of a realist a ...
— The Human Comedy - Introductions and Appendix • Honore de Balzac

... Now they lingered in the trellised walks closely covered over with vines and creepers; then they stopped to gather the golden bloom weighing down the mango boughs, and to smell the highly-scented flowers that hung from the green fretwork of the chambela. ...
— Vikram and the Vampire • Sir Richard F. Burton

... saint, lighted thousands of candles in his honor inside the vast church, and these scintillating lights gave a magical aspect to the edifice. The black arcades, the columns with their capitals, the recessed chapels glittering with gold and silver, the galleries, the Moorish fretwork, the most delicate features of this delicate carving, were all revealed in the dazzling brightness like the fantastic figures which are formed in a glowing fire. It was a sea of light, surmounted at the end of the church ...
— International Short Stories: French • Various

... of fallen soil and vegetation, like wooded islets in a sea of milk.—Up, between steep ridges of tuft crested with black fir-woods and silver beech, and here and there a huge yew standing out alone, the advanced sentry of the forest, with its luscious fretwork of green velvet, like a mountain of Gothic spires and pinnacles, all glittering and steaming as the sun drank up the dew-drops. The lark sprang upward into song, and called merrily to the new-opened ...
— Yeast: A Problem • Charles Kingsley

... of the palace, is characterized by elegance rather than grandeur; bespeaking a delicate and graceful taste, and a disposition to indolent enjoyment. When one looks upon the fairy tracery of the peristyles, and the apparently fragile fretwork of the walls, it is difficult to believe that so much has survived the wear and tear of centuries, the shocks of earthquakes, the violence of war, and the quiet, though no less baneful, pilferrings of the tasteful traveller: it is almost sufficient to excuse the popular ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 19, - Issue 549 (Supplementary issue) • Various

... cloth, cumbrous with pearls and precious stones, attested the rank, the magnificence, and devotion of the occupants. The ceilings of these closets were gilded and painted; the hangings were of tapestry embroidered with fretwork of pearls and gems. The chapel was served by thirty-five priests and ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 9 • Various

... though it does not reproduce, the Parthenon of the Athenian Acropolis. (p. 191.) Doric marble is replaced by the natural columns of the great trees of Oregon, and the frieze of Phidias, by the fretwork of the bark of pine and fir. There are forty-eight of the great columns, the same number as in the outer colonnade of the Parthenon, and, coincidentally, one for each State of the Union. They were cut from among the largest ...
— The Jewel City • Ben Macomber

... was neither more nor less than a couple of garrets, high in the air, in an old Moorish house, in an old Moorish court, decayed, silent, poverty-struck; with the wild pumpkin thrusting its leaves through the broken fretwork, and the green lizard shooting over the broad pavements, once brilliant in mosaic, that the robe of the princes of Islam had swept; now carpeted deep with the dry, white, drifted dust, and only crossed by the tottering feet of aged Jews or the ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... of a hall, where advice is given to the poor gratis; a committee-room, a library, another great hall, where the doctors meet once a quarter, which is beautifully wainscoted, carved, and adorned with fretwork. Here are the pictures of Dr. Harvey, who first discovered the circulation of the blood, and other benefactors, and northward from this, over the library, ...
— London in 1731 • Don Manoel Gonzales

... must be polite and recognize its existence by composing her features, wearing a hat, saying "pardon me" when she trod on anyone's feet or bumped an elbow into a stomach. A stranger's world—gentlemen in straw hats; gentlemen in proud uniforms marching off to war; a fretwork of gentlemen, signs, windows, hats, and automobiles and a lot of other things, all continually tangling themselves up in front of her nose. A city pouring itself out of the morning sky and landing with ...
— Erik Dorn • Ben Hecht

... long shadows from behind the gorgeous-colored heat clouds. Its dying lustre shone like a fire of molten matter through the tree-tops, and lit the forest-crowned hills, until the densest foliage appeared like the most delicate fretwork of Nature's own cutting. And in the shadow cast by the hilly background there nestled the ranch, overlooking its vast, wide-spreading pastures ...
— The Night Riders - A Romance of Early Montana • Ridgwell Cullum

... army passed before me, the glorious sunlight touching sword and lance and bayonet tip until they formed a shimmering fretwork of steel. Then came the City Fathers in democratic dress—and following them, the dignitaries of the Church, in purple and crimson and old lace, and a host of choir boys singing Glory to God in the Highest, and finally in his splendid scarlet robe, a cardinal ...
— Defenders of Democracy • Militia of Mercy

... beautiful marble baths of this palace to send home to George IV of England, then Prince Regent, and the rest of the marble of the suite of apartments from which it had been taken, with all its exquisite fretwork and mosaic, was afterwards sold by auction, on account of our Government, by order of the then Governor-General, Lord W. Bentinck. Had these things fetched the price expected, it is probable that the whole of the ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... They told the tale of the family tree by the coats of arms and the shields emblazoned by the cutter of wood, sometimes being enriched with colour; at others the picture forms were created by inlaying and superadding fretwork. There were intricate carvings of the Sheraton and Chippendale periods, and there were the wonderful floral sprays, cherubs, and other ornaments so cunningly wrought by Grinling Gibbons and his followers. Wooden ornament in those ...
— Chats on Household Curios • Fred W. Burgess

... surmounted by a dome 180 feet high, and constructed after the designs of Diotisalvi. It was commenced in 1153 and finished towards the end of the 14th cent. Above the third storey rises the dome, intersected by long lines of very prominent fretwork, meeting in a cornice near the top, and terminating in a small dome crowned with a statue of St. John the Baptist, the titular saint of all such edifices. In the interior eight large Sardinian granite columns and four marble ...
— The South of France—East Half • Charles Bertram Black

... desire in every man of genius is to be thought one; and no fear or apprehension lessens it. Alighieri, who had certainly studied the gospel, must have been conscious that he not only was inhumane, but that he betrayed a more vindictive spirit than any pope or prelate who is enshrined within the fretwork of his ...
— Imaginary Conversations and Poems - A Selection • Walter Savage Landor

... a high-heaped assemblage of red-tiled roofs, and above them rose the fretwork of a soaring Gothic spire. A narrow river half encircled the town, and a battered old bridge, guarded by a round-towered gateway, led out into the open country towards a horizon bounded by a low range of blue hills. Trumpet-calls rang out from distant barrack-yards, and troops of ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... cruiser with attendant destroyers, some with great bright steel splinters of shell still sticking tight in the gouged armour-plate; others with holes plugged with wood and broadsides stained with the bright yellow of high explosives. Gun shields caught by the gusts of shell were cut out like fretwork; funnels were blotched with blackened holes; but of them all not one was out of action. Few, if any, of the heavy guns and armoured barbettes were damaged, and all except one—the Warspite—came in proudly under their own steam. This was the return ...
— Submarine Warfare of To-day • Charles W. Domville-Fife

... feet; the meadow-sweet wreathed amongst it made clear the sweetness of her legs, and the mouse- ear studded her raiment as with gems. There she stood amidst of the blossoms, like a great orient pearl against the fretwork of the goldsmiths, and the breeze that came up the valley from behind bore the sweetness of her fragrance all over ...
— The Wood Beyond the World • William Morris

... of sight; Sometimes his tinkling waters slipt Down through a frost-leaved forest-crypt.[19] 190 Long, sparkling aisles of steel-stemmed trees Bending to counterfeit a breeze; Sometimes the roof no fretwork knew But silvery mosses that downward grew; Sometimes it was carved in sharp relief[20] 195 With quaint arabesques[21] of ice-fern leaf; Sometimes it was simply smooth and clear For the gladness of heaven to shine through, and here He had caught the ...
— Narrative and Lyric Poems (first series) for use in the Lower School • O. J. Stevenson

... of men six hundred miles through a tangled forest had been a handsome exploit, quickening British pride with the spectacle of an Englishman at the head of it. Civilian blood tingled in office and shop, claiming affinity with Drake's. It needed an Englishman to bill-hook a path through that fretwork of branches, and fall upon his enemy six weeks before he was expected—the true combination of daring and endurance that stamps the race current coin across the world! Economy also pleaded for Drake. ...
— The Philanderers • A.E.W. Mason

... and while passing this remark, he conducted the party into the house, where they noticed that the internal arrangements effected differed from those in other places, as no partitions could, in fact, be discerned. Indeed, the four sides were all alike covered with boards carved hollow with fretwork, (in designs consisting) either of rolling clouds and hundreds of bats; or of the three friends of the cold season of the year, (fir, bamboo and almond); of scenery and human beings, or of birds or ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... Chapel, and a very pretty view it is. In front of us are pillars supporting the chancel arch, and on either side a smaller arch, one enclosing the vestry, the other the organ-chamber; the space between the top of these arches and the roof being filled with fretwork. The windows are stained glass. The pulpit and prayer-desk and all the seats are of oak, and nicely carved. Under the chancel window is an oak reredos, on which are inscribed the Creed, the Lord's ...
— Missionary Work Among The Ojebway Indians • Edward Francis Wilson

... eminence the town of San Francisco was plainly visible; tall, thin shafts of smoke rising straight and black from many chimneys; the blue bay shimmering in the morning sunshine; the curious fretwork shadows of that great flotilla of deserted ships. But there was something more; something startlingly unnatural; a great pillar of black vapor—beneath it a livid red thing that ...
— Port O' Gold • Louis John Stellman

... and Hardwick added to it the strong feeling for proportion which he had imbibed with his classical training. This gable is exceedingly satisfactory, the architect having given it a dignity wanting in most modern Gothic. It is of brick, with diagonal fretwork in darker bricks, as in the gate tower. The library had been removed to the Stone Buildings in 1787 from a small room south of the old hall, and, more accommodation being required, Hardwick designed a library to adjoin the ...
— Holborn and Bloomsbury - The Fascination of London • Sir Walter Besant

... schemes more admirably managed than the transformation scene at the theatre. Under my window a colony of cleome made a soft web of bloom that drew me every morning for a long still time; and one day I discovered that I was looking into a rare fretwork of fawn and straw colored twigs from which both bloom and leaf had gone, and I could not say if it had been for a matter of weeks or days. The time to plant cucumbers and set out cabbages may be set down in the almanac, but never seed-time ...
— The Land of Little Rain • Mary Austin

... comport himself with dignity, submissively, accepting, at least with a show of ease, each new development of the affair along its prearranged lines. And so he held on in pursuit of the black shadow, passing forsaken temples and lordly pleasure-houses, all marble tracery and fretwork, standing apart in what had once been noble gardens, sunken tanks all weed-grown and rank with slime, humbler dooryards and cots on whose hearthstones the fires for centuries had been cold—his destination evidently the temple of the ...
— The Bronze Bell • Louis Joseph Vance

... asleep, the two sights that upon earth are fittest for the closing eyes of a nun, whether destined to open again, or to close for ever. She saw the interlacing of boughs overhead forming a dome, that seemed like the dome of a cathedral. She saw through the fretwork of the foliage, another dome, far beyond, the dome of an evening sky, the dome of some heavenly cathedral, not built with hands. She saw upon this upper dome the vesper lights, all alive with pathetic grandeur of coloring from a sunset that had just been rolling ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... Valentine, and, judging from the comparatively few times that his name was down for punishment, this change of associates seemed to be decidedly to his advantage. As the autumn advanced, and wet days became more frequent, the two boys took to doing fretwork in their spare time; and having purchased a rather large and complicated design for a kind of bracket bookcase, they conceived the happy notion of making it as a Christmas present for Queen Mab, and so worked away ...
— Soldiers of the Queen • Harold Avery

... broke in the east and a new day brightened. 'Twas all white, snow-white, as if the blue mist had bleached, melted and stuck fast on the black fields, on the half-withered autumn fruits and on the dark fretwork of the trees. Great drops dripped ...
— The Path of Life • Stijn Streuvels

... had been taken home before the singing began, was there. She had been sleeping for the last two hours in her bunk, the flaps of which were shut. They drew near with respect and peeped through the fretwork of her press, to bid her good-night, if by chance she were not asleep. But they only perceived her still venerable face and closed eyes; she slept, or she feigned to do so, not to ...
— An Iceland Fisherman • Pierre Loti



Words linked to "Fretwork" :   framework, trellis, treillage, latticework, lattice



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