CARTOUCHE (a French word adapted from the Ital. cartoccio, a roll of paper, Med Lat. carta, for charta, paper), originally a roll of paper, parchment or other material, containing the charge of powder and shot for a firearm, a cartridge (q.v.), which itself is a corruption of cartouche. The term was applied in architecture to various forms of ornamentation taking the shape of a scroll, such as the volute of an Ionian capital. It was particularly used of a sculptured tablet in the shape of a partly unrolled scroll on which could be placed an inscription or device. Such "cartouches" are used for titles, etc., on engravings of maps, plans, and the like. The arms of the popes and ecclesiastics of high birth were borne on an oval cartouche; and it is thus particularly applied, in Egyptian archaeology, for the oblong device with oval ends, enclosing the names of royal personages on the monuments. It is properly an oval formed by a rope knotted at one end. An amulet of similar shape, as the symbol of the "name," was worn by men and women as a protection against the blotting out of the name after death.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)