Frame thoughts

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Of framing styles or techniques that rocked your boat, and also of those that didn't
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Bertie
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Frame thoughts

Post by Bertie » Tue 26 Nov, 2019 9:47 pm

So I came into possession of a couple of these frames recently as an auspicious beneficiary to a clear out. They're rather nice and I think they're real gold leaf. Although the black band appears to have been painted over the original gold. Thought I'd share them here.

I got to wondering how one tells the difference between types gold / oil vs water laid etc on a frame like this. Is it a matter of experience or are there tell tale signs? Oil gilding has less lustre for example? No idea how old these are as no label or clues on the rear, but I don't think they can be that old.

Pondering what to do with them. I'm considering using one to frame a contemporary photograph... !


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vintage frames
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Re: Frame thoughts

Post by vintage frames » Wed 27 Nov, 2019 12:53 pm

From what I can see, it does appear to be real gold leaf and waterlaid. I'm guessing at that because of the leaf marks/overlaps along the gilding. From the look of it though it's been coated by a heavy varnish and although the frames don't look very old, time has been quite kind to them.
The main difference between oil and watergilding is the reflection of light off the gilded surface. With watergilding the gold is laid on such a fine surface so as to replicate a mirror. And like a mirror the gilding will absorb a lot of the light and give an impression of great depth and colour. Of course that all depends on how well the leaf is laid and what treatments it receives after.
With oil gilding, the gold is laid on a tacky varnished surface and even with great skill, the surface is always slightly imperfect. Now the reflected light is scattered and the reflection has less depth.
On narrow strings of gilding, water-gilding always looks best but on very wide gilded mouldings, then oil gilding can provide a soft glow to the gild.
When you're next in Tate Britain, you can easily see the difference and effects, especially in the Pre-Raphaelite section.
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Bertie
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Re: Frame thoughts

Post by Bertie » Wed 27 Nov, 2019 9:45 pm

Thanks for the explanation, that helps a lot. I am going to get to Tate Britain before Christmas to have a good gander at the frames and see them in a new light.

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prospero
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Re: Frame thoughts

Post by prospero » Thu 28 Nov, 2019 1:55 am

One way of telling the difference between oil/water gilding is the lap lines. With water gilding the laps are double thickness.
With oil gilding, where two leafs meet there is a butt rather than a lap.
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