Framing old sepia photographs

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Framing old sepia photographs

Postby Rainbow » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:27 am

Old sepia photographs - do you generally recommend that they’re scanned, retouched to get rid of staining and then frame a print?

If the customer wanted to frame the original and didn’t mind a little staining for the sake of authenticity, what sort of mount would you recommend? New mounts with a white core seem very harsh and out of place, and a black core wouldn’t work. It’s crossed my mind to go for a cream core and let it go brown which would at least look authentic!
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Re: Framing old sepia photographs

Postby featurepiece » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:37 am

We've found that the Simon's key range Sepia & Osprey seem to work quite well.

Scanning & retouching is something we don't get involved in
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Re: Framing old sepia photographs

Postby YPF » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:39 am

If you don't want to see a bright white bevel you could cut a reverse bevel. Alternatively, use a solid colour board - Nielsen Bainbridge solid range - M8743 for example.
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Re: Framing old sepia photographs

Postby prospero » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:48 am

Std core board is not nearly as nasty as that of yesteryear. You can isolate the raw bevel by applying
some aluminium tape around the window (underside :P ) which will lift the board away a tad and provide
a barrier. The bevel will discolor, but not 'burn' the photo.

Daler 'Sand' Ingres std core is nice. Sort of aged Ivory.

I'm of the same opinion. White bevels look bad on antiquarian stuff.

Another way is to use a gold fillet, which looks classy but also should be isolated.
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Re: Framing old sepia photographs

Postby Jamesnkr » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:44 pm

Use Crescent. Non-white core and archival so will never brown. What's not to like?

https://www.wessexpictures.com/Crescent ... chase.html

Or you *could* do something like this which appeared on Zinc White's blog this week:

http://zinc-white.co.uk/linen-wrapped-mount/

It's a c. 1700 engraving that's about 6" x 4" so not a big thing. I'm not sure I'm convinced by the overall frame, what do others think?
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Re: Framing old sepia photographs

Postby Steve N » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:26 pm

Use a double mount, with a thick under mount, showing more than normal, paint the face & bevel gold, and tone down the top mount bevel by painting it, either the same or similar colour as the face paper of the top mount, or if using a nice dark frame, paint the bevel to match the frame .
IMG_20170421_161252.jpg
IMG_20170421_161252.jpg (178.9 KiB) Viewed 783 times


This one is due for a re-mount, as I don't like the bright mounts, will replace with darker ones, plus some embossed lines on the mount, might get round to doing one day :oops: :oops:
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Re: Framing old sepia photographs

Postby Rainbow » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:30 pm

These are really good suggestions, so I can give my customer some options. Thank you all :)
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Re: Framing old sepia photographs

Postby Not your average framer » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:09 pm

If these are really early photographic prints, there is every possibility that these have been printed onto silver nitrate printing papers. If this is the case, then the chemistry of these prints is such that alkaline buffered mountboard could cause problems which may cause damage to, or even total loss to the images on these prints. Silver nitrate papers were toned with either sepia, or a blue substance to make the image more permanent.

Another issue with this type of print is an effect called silvering, where unfixed silver nitrate starts to obscure the image with a silvery reflective effect. There are experts who know how to reverse this effect, but over the years there are less and less photo processing organisations willing to offer this sort of service. It is therefore a very smart move to get the prints copied while the prints are still in such a condition to make copying worthwhile.

It is therefore my recommendation that these photographic prints should be professional copied and then the original prints should be mounted using non-buffered cotton museum mountboard and personally because I don't know whether zeolites will have any effect on these prints, if I was doing this job, then I would not use any mountboard employing zeolite technology.

These sort of prints are not really suited to being hung in direct sunlight, or high levels of lighting as this is thought to be increasing the risk of fading, or silvering.
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Re: Framing old sepia photographs

Postby Rainbow » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:37 am

I don't think this customer's photograph is quite as old as that (and unfortunately it's been stuck down on to grey card which I won't be able to remove), but what you've said about silver nitrate is very useful to know, thanks Mark. It's also a very good point to make a copy of it now whilst it's still in reasonable condition, even if it's the original that is framed.
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Re: Framing old sepia photographs

Postby Steve N » Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:16 pm

Not your average framer wrote
"It is therefore my recommendation that these photographic prints should be professional copied "


Now you'll get Jamesnkr started about framing copies :giggle: :giggle:
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Re: Framing old sepia photographs

Postby Not your average framer » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:55 pm

Considering the likely age of these prints, there is a very good probability that they are old enough to be well old of copyright. Not only that, but if the original photographer's details are not available, then tracing any current copyright holder is likely to be impossible.

I use a photo-lab about 15 miles from me and they digitally restore damaged images and blow up smaller images into large ones. I know that this company is very particular about obeying the law and will contact any known copyright holder if they can trace one.
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Re: Framing old sepia photographs

Postby Steve N » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:54 am

As I said in one of my post on this, I might get around to re-framing my example one day, well that day has arrived
OldPhoto1.jpg
OldPhoto1.jpg (2.55 MiB) Viewed 127 times
OldPhoto2.jpg
OldPhoto2.jpg (1.65 MiB) Viewed 127 times


It's now on our sample wall, will put a price ticket on it later
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