Frames deteriorate over decades and become brittle and fragile. They are sensitive to changes in atmospheric conditions; deterioration accelerates if changes are abrupt.
The surface ground needs to be stabilised first, to prevent further deterioration, then delicate cleaning takes place to remove any ingrained dirt. Often the detailed shapes and motifs need replacing. Re-gilding is then undertaken in these areas and then the whole is waxed and distressed back to its former glory.
Finally, the painting is then spring loaded back in place with corks.
In order to view the extensive selection of hand made frames please go to Oil paintings, Watercolour and Drawings and then select Frames from Categories.
Restoration of a Regency pier glass
The coronet was severely broken when the glass fell forwards. It needed stabilising, re-pinning, filling with composition and re- gilding. This is a classic example of the kind of conservation work carried out
18th Century Portrait by Nathaniel Hone (1718-1784)
The painting was bought by a client of Julia Korner’s, on her recommendation, at auction. It was an ‘honest’ work that had survived in its impressive period frame, intact.
18th Century Frame before
The frame had suffered a great deal over the years. Almost all of the original gilding had gone, as had much of the detailing, and the slip had buckled in all four spandrels, causing the oval slip to penetrate the painting behind and thus disturb the surface of the painting. Only one corner survived intact. This image shows the flower detailing left in one corner of the slip and the other original mouldings in this area of the frame were good enough for copies to be made, carved in wood.
18th Century Frame during
Meanwhile, the frame was stripped bare of all its beautiful mouldings, in order that they might be lovingly cleaned. A new back was put on the frame where a whole section was missing, and the whole structure of the frame was made solid once more, re-pinning and glueing the corners and stabilising the plain surfaces left so as not to loose any more of the original composition.
With this done, it was possible to start reconstructing the frame once more. A fresh slip was made with appropriate detailing, as already discussed. Then the hand carved beading was glued and pinned in place. Composition was used to fill all the areas of loss and gradually the frame began to spring to life. The next stage was to cover the frame with several coats of gesso. It was then sanded down to a fine sheen. Three coats of yellow bole and one delicate layer of red bole on the highlights of the mouldings were then added and wire woolled, again to a silky finish. Then the frame was oil gilded, distressed and lacquered. An Antique Pine wax was used to give it a finishing touch.