Dog-tooth - Encyclopedia

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DOG-TOOTH (the French dent-de-scie), in architecture, an ornament found in the mouldings of medieval work of the commencement of the 12th century, which is thought to have been introduced by the Crusaders from the East. The earliest example is found in the hall at Rabbath-Ammon in Moab (c. A.D. 614) built by the Sassanians, where it decorates the arch moulding of the blind arcades and the string courses. In the apse of the church at Murano, near Venice, it is similarly employed. In the 12th and 13th centuries it was further elaborated with carving, losing therefore its primitive form, but constituting a 1 Hist. of Dogma; Eng. trans. i. p. 21, footnote.

most beautiful decorative feature. In Elgin cathedral the dogtooth ornament in the archivolt becomes a four-lobed leaf, and in Stone church, Kent, a much more enriched type of flower. The term has been supposed to originate in a resemblance to the dog-tooth violet, but the original idea of a projecting tooth is a sufficient explanation.

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