A light stick with a padded leather ball at one end, held against work by a painter or signwriter to support and steady the brush hand.
- Many artists also used a mahlstick, a long cane with a ball of leather at one end, on which to rest the hand while painting, avoiding the danger of marking slow-drying oil paint.
- But the mahlstick is also evidence of the production of the painting as a physical object.
- Dutch was widely known in Europe in the 17c, when the first English - Dutch dictionaries appeared and such Dutch-derived artistic terms as easel, etch, landscape, maulstick, sketch were adopted into English.
Mid 17th century: from Dutch maalstok, from malen 'to paint' + stok 'stick'.
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