• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Niello A metallic alloy of a deep black color.
    • Niello A piece of metal, or any other object, so decorated.
    • Niello An impression on paper taken from an ancient incised decoration or metal plate.
    • Niello An impression on paper taken from the engraved or incised surface before the niello alloy has been inlaid.
    • Niello The art, process, or method of decorating metal with incised designs filled with the black alloy.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n niello A design in black on a surface of silver, as that of a plaque, chalice, or any ornamental or useful object, formed by engraving the design and then filling up the incised furrows with an alloy composed of silver, copper, lead, crude sulphur, and borax, thus producing the effect of a black drawing on the bright surface. The process is of Italian origin, and is still extensively practised in Russia, where the finest niello is now produced. In many examples, conversely, the ground is cut out and inlaid with the black alloy, on which the design appears white or bright, as in the cut.
    • n niello An impression taken from the engraved surface before the incised lines have been filled up. It is from such impressions, accidental or intentional, that the modern art of incised engraving on metal is held to have originated in the fifteenth century, in the shop of the Florentine goldsmith Finiguerra.
    • n niello The dark compound used for such inlays in silver, made up of different alloys of sulphur, silver, copper, etc.
    • n niello Inlaid work of the kind defined above.
    • niello To decorate by means of niello-work; treat with niello or by the niello process.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Niello ni-el′lo a method of ornamenting silver or gold plates by engraving the surface, and filling up the lines with a black composition, to give clearness and effect to the incised design: a work produced by this method: an impression taken from the engraved surface before the incised lines have been filled up: the compound used in niello-work
    • v.t Niello to decorate with niello
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
It. niello, LL. nigellum, a black of blackish enamel, fr. L. nigellus, dim. of niger, black. See Negro, and cf. Anneal


In literature:

Knee breeches, sun flowers, niello, cretonne, Nanking bowls, lily dados?
"At the Mercy of Tiberius" by August Evans Wilson
Pollajuolo, like so many Florentine artists, was a goldsmith, a painter, and a worker in niello, before he took to sculpture.
"Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3" by John Addington Symonds
Francia was a very skilful workman in niello, and in enamels.
"Arts and Crafts in the Middle Ages" by Julia De Wolf Addison
Niello, Works in, i, 286.
"Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects and Curiosities of Art (Vol. 3 of 3)" by S. Spooner
Sometimes the engraving is filled with lac, after the manner of niello-work.
"Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878." by Various
They are besides set with enamelled, nielloed, or jewelled plaques of gold or silver.
"Russia" by Various
For niello, and printing, a transverse cut was substituted for the blow.
"Ariadne Florentina" by John Ruskin
The knop has eight roundels with niello crosses crossleted; on the stem are saints in niello in vesicas.
"The Shores of the Adriatic" by F. Hamilton Jackson
Some of the plates are on India paper, and Niello No.
"A Catalogue of Books in English Later than 1700 (Vol 2 of 3)" by Various
He was brought up to the hereditary profession of goldsmith and was early distinguished for his work in niello.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 10, Slice 3" by Various
The date of the earliest known niello proof upon paper is 1452.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia" by Various
Niello-work is a form of enrichment applied to metal, but is not in general use; it is a difficult process.
"Principles of Decorative Design" by Christopher Dresser
Most of the ornaments are richly gilt, interspersed with others of silver and niello, and bosses of coloured enamels.
"Insula Sanctorum et Doctorum" by John Healy
Caradosso, a Milanese, worker in niello.
"The History of Painting in Italy, Volume VI (of 6)" by Luigi Antonio Lanzi

In news:

Derek Gilchrist, 73, and wife Phyllis, 64, of Lincoln drive their 1956 Jaguar 140 MC SE to the winners circle at Sunday's Niello Concours at Serrano .
Niello Concours at Serrano raises money for local charities.