|The Completed Frame|
Another recent piece to come through the shop was a Gilt Louis XVI frame. While the frame is in the French style and has several decorative motifs that would put it solidly in the Louis XVI period, It framed a portrait of a young German woman dressed in the Biedermeier fashion. The portrait had a label on the back side from the 20th century saying that the portrait was ca.1830 and the frame was Louis XVI. I am in complete agreement with this statement. Whether the frame was made in Germany or was imported from France is anyone's guess, and either case is plausible.
The frame was cracked in many places and the decorative bow that sat on the top of the frame was extremely damaged, with lots of loose and missing portions. While I neglected to get any good photos of the restoration process, I did get a couple of nice before and after shots as well as a few photos of the portrait and the restored frame hanging above a Biedermeier desk we restored earlier this year. All of these can be seen below.
This first photo shows the frame as it looked when it arrived in the shop. The frame was built of several curved sections joined together. The glue holding these pieces had failed causing cracks in the frame. There were also many chipped sections where the gilding had fallen off.
This close up of the decorative bow shows missing portion and breaks. All of these were patched and carved to match the original. The entire bow was also cracked and the wire that it was built around was loose in many places. This was all secured and patched as necessary.
Below is the portrait of the young German woman in Biedermeier dress.