Images of Fine Antique Frames, Frame Making and Restoration
Atelier Richard Boarth gallery & showroom displaying fine antique frames from the 17- mid 20th century . a wide selection of styles and sizes are available for all types of art and mirror frames. A range of finishes includes gold and silver leaf, painted, ebonized, veneered, and other traditional medium.
Burnishing a carved and water gilded gold leafed frame with an agate tipped burnisher. This technique is possible only with correctly prepared and applied layers of gesso and bole (gilder's clay mixed with rabbet skin glue). The matte gold is polished to a highly reflective luster by the pressure of the tool. Selected areas will be burnished while others are left un-burnished or matte. The resulting contrast will add life and appeal to the appearance of the frame.
Carved gold leaf frames in a wide variety of styles entirely hand made in our studio. From left: a 17th C. Dutch profile, an early 20th C. carved American Arts and Crafts style and an early 19th C. American profile. Many other finishes are available from gold silver, brass and copper leaf to applied wood veneers and painted surfaces. Each is individually toned and with applied patina becomes uniquely created to harmonize with a particular piece of art.
Expert conservation and restoration services are provided for gilded furniture, architectural elements and art objects. Structural repairs, carved replacements for missing or damaged elements, consolidation of flaking gesso and all other needed gold leaf work and finishing are skillfully executed.
Late 19th C. American frame detail made of wood, applied composition ornament and gold leaf. This frame exhibits some fine cracks in the gesso surface and ornament that are characteristic of frames made with these materials as they age. These are considered to be part of the natural character and beauty of an antique surface as is the natural patina that has built up over the years.
Gold leaf being transferred from the books it is packaged in onto the gilder's cushion. It will be cut into smaller pieces with the gilder's knife in the foreground and transferred to the frame with the gilder's tip (broad flat brush) seen under the gilder's right hand.
Late 19th C. American Orientalist frame made of wood, gesso, applied composition ornament and gold leaf. This frame shows the influences of middle eastern design on the period. Frames of this type were popular as many artists traveled to the Near East to paint exotic scenes or interiors often with figures in middle eastern attire.
Carving a Spanish Baroque style frame in basswood. We routinely carve frames in any style many of which will be finished in gold, silver or other types of leaf
Carved and gold leafed frame examples produced in our studio. We build many frames that are entirely unique to our studio but may have been influenced by frames from centuries past. The middle frame with the continuous design in the frieze is a cassetta profile from the Italian Renaissance. The decoration known as pastiglia is produced by using a brush to flow thickened gesso onto the surface to form the design.
A corner sample of a complete replica frame that was built in our studio. The original is a 19th C. frame from our collection which was influenced by Italian Renaissance designs. Following the original construction techniques and using the same materials as on the original, the wood structure was shaped and gessoed. Then the plaster and composition ornament was cast and applied. The finish is 23 karat gold leaf with burnished water gilding and matte oil gilding. It was completed by carefully rubbing the gold to expose the underlying layers and applying various pigments and toning agents to faithfully achieve the the appearance of the original.
A 19th C. American frame in the Louis XV style awaiting restoration. It was made with a carved wood structure, gesso, applied composition ornament and gold leaf. Restoration will require making molds and casting composition replacements for missing ornament. Light cleaning and laying gold leaf in restored and excessively worn areas will follow. Applying patina and toning to match the existing original finish will complete the work.
Pre-Raphaelite style frames built in our studio. Named after the English school of painting in the mid 19th C., the artists were influenced by the construction, materials and appearance of Medieval and Renaissance frames. These are characterized by being hand made without excessive ornament. The frames were often gilded directly on oak which allows the wood grain to show through. These examples are sometimes referred to as "reed and roundel" frames after their predominant features.