1765 paintings on board and paper

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HoneyFraming
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Interests: I have always been interested and worked in art. I studied Fine Art and after graduating I worked in a picture framers in London for several years. I have also worked in galleries, artist studios and exhibited my own artwork. After moving to Bristol I decided to start my own Picture Framers in my home studio but I am hoping to open a gallery framers soon.

1765 paintings on board and paper

Post by HoneyFraming » Thu 26 May, 2022 8:35 am

Hi there,

I have a customer with 3 very delicate and precious paintings from 1765 that have been preserved. I am trying to figure out how to go about framing them in the safest way. They are all oil but vary slightly, one of them is oil on paper, another is paper on card and the heaviest is paper on panel. They are the following in size:

282 x 254mm - paper
383 x 300mm - paper on card
383 x 300mm - paper on panel

They have all been preserved and spray varnished with Laropal K80 Resin/ Stoddard solvent, which has made them quite reflective already due to the dark backgrounds but I think they would be safer behind UV glass rather than framed in tray frames. Would that be the right thing to do?

The customer would like a very simple frame, I was thinking a box frame with a lay on museum board mount, fillets and high quality UV glass to protect the artwork but I am not sure how to safely attach them to the mount? (especially the heaviest paper on panel piece) Or would a tray frame be ok?

Thanks in advance!
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Not your average framer
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Re: 1765 paintings on board and paper

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 26 May, 2022 9:56 am

Being quite old artworks, they would look quite appropriate to frame in old fashioned style hand frinish aged looking frames with some nice old looking slips beteen the glass and the artworks. It was not uncommon to produce frames, which would flatter the artworks in those days. If you had the money to have artworks framed back in 1765, I think that the frames would look quite nice. Your personal preference may not necessarily be the same as mine, but I would probably be looking for some fairly plain older style Oak frames stained to look a bit older, with an antique grubbly looking wash of the top of the stain.

The slip would need to look a bit old and a bit grubby too! Try to seal the backs with proper brown gummed paper tape and grubby in up a bit afterwards so that it does not look to new. It need to look in keeping with the age of the artworks. Any thing which looks too modern will look out of place. Dead matt finishes over the Oak frame can look great. Paste wax mixed with a grubby wash, but not buffed up can look appropriate for the age. You need to discuss this with your customer and have a few frame and slip samples ready so them can see what would work.
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

HoneyFraming
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon 23 May, 2022 1:20 pm
Location: Bristol
Organisation: Honey Picture Framing
Interests: I have always been interested and worked in art. I studied Fine Art and after graduating I worked in a picture framers in London for several years. I have also worked in galleries, artist studios and exhibited my own artwork. After moving to Bristol I decided to start my own Picture Framers in my home studio but I am hoping to open a gallery framers soon.

Re: 1765 paintings on board and paper

Post by HoneyFraming » Thu 26 May, 2022 10:28 am

Thank you! Yes looking at the artworks I thought the customer would like to go in a more traditional direction but they want to have a contemporary style with a very slim face box frame.

My main concern is what material to use to attach the paintings to the museum mount board behind the artworks as there is history on the back of the paintings and 2 of them are also quite heavy on card and panel. I don't think that the acid free tape will be strong enough to attach the heavier pieces but I want to use the most reversible/ kind materials possible that are also strong enough to keep them in place on a mount board. Is there anything that you would recommend to attach them to the mount as a lay on so the delicate edges are visible?

Not your average framer
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Re: 1765 paintings on board and paper

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 26 May, 2022 11:00 am

A large part of the secret is to slightly underdo the effect. It is very easy make things look contrived instead of completely natural. I get some customers just by having a name for making things look old. I even have a variety of diffent backing boards which inclides a solid craft one with is brown both sides and I very gently and lightly sponge one side of this with very weak, but separate apllications of off white, weak warm buff, and a very weak brown grey water colour effect. Being only a light watercolour effect, The gummed brown paper tape will still stick to the board as normal. I like to stipple neutral Black Bison wax onto the gummeded paper tape and stipple a weak wash made from Crain and Rose 1829 chalky emulsion into the wax of the tape and rub most of it away with a paper kitchen towel a leave the wax to dry matt. I try not to use the same technique on both the tape and the backing board because uniformity can be a bit of a give away.

Try to make things look old, using a thin layer of wax without any wash on the backing boards afterwards and left to dry matt will complete to effect. Don't do too much of the washed effects, or the sponged effect, or the result will look muddy. I find it a lot easier to start with a larger backing board than I need, that way I am less likely to overdo a smaller piece, but also when I am cutting the piece of board to size I can select the most authentic looking part of the backing board. I used to order clip and bar MDF strut backs when you could still get them. Well, I don't have many of the left any more, but I refinished my left over one's with a wax and wash antique style finish and I can still sell them with up market ready made frames. Many of them are pretty unless sizes, but they still sell. I buy a job lot of various odds and ends, which also included lots of 3.5 inch by 5 inch clip and bar MDF strut backs. How useless is that! When I have been selling them. It just goes to show that you never know what you can sell until you try,
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

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Gesso&Bole
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Re: 1765 paintings on board and paper

Post by Gesso&Bole » Thu 26 May, 2022 12:27 pm

I obviously missed the bit where the OP asked about a hand finished frame, and how to distress the back . . . .

As for how to mount them, how about a platform mount?

If that's unfamiliar terminology, I'm sure you'll find previous threads on this through the search function.
Jeremy (Jim) Anderson
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Not your average framer
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Re: 1765 paintings on board and paper

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 26 May, 2022 12:48 pm

Well, they are really old artworks. Just sugested it and it when from there!
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

Not your average framer
Posts: 11940
Joined: Sat 25 Mar, 2006 8:40 pm
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Re: 1765 paintings on board and paper

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 26 May, 2022 1:01 pm

I you went for a box frame and spacers that's often a more modern look, but parhaps it need not be a really modern look, depending upon what you've got planned. I wonder if you are going to persue the box frame look, whether you are wanting a more conventional modern looking box frame, or thinking about something a bit older looking. Within reason you could consider creating something to have moree of a period look about it and still be something a bit like a box frame as well. Has the customer given you any particular brief in this regard, as this might help you to more easily choose?
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

JFeig
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Re: 1765 paintings on board and paper

Post by JFeig » Thu 26 May, 2022 1:07 pm

My simple answer is that it is not appropriate to frame a historical painting circa 1750 in a tray frame.

I have been in many "mid century modern" homes over the years with art collections. My father was an architect of that era. The owners of these homes used age appropriate frames for their "high end" antique art.

I think your client needs to be educated in what is appropriate for the art.
Jerome Feig CPF®
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Re: 1765 paintings on board and paper

Post by vintage frames » Thu 26 May, 2022 1:16 pm

Hello and welcome to this forum.
I'm a bit suspicious of the provenance of these art works. Two things would worry me.
I'm judging from the photos that the backing board appears to be a cheap pre-war cardboard, and -
Items that have a genuine provenance and value rarely declare the date in such an ostentatious fashion.
But I might be totally wrong and so what. They don't belong to you and all you need to do is frame them to your customer's satisfaction.
Putting them behind valuable glass is fine if your customer wants to pay you for it, otherwise they would look better as is.

If you're the one going to frame them then I'd be thinking of a simple thin tray frame with the top edge gilded and rubbed back a bit.
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HoneyFraming
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon 23 May, 2022 1:20 pm
Location: Bristol
Organisation: Honey Picture Framing
Interests: I have always been interested and worked in art. I studied Fine Art and after graduating I worked in a picture framers in London for several years. I have also worked in galleries, artist studios and exhibited my own artwork. After moving to Bristol I decided to start my own Picture Framers in my home studio but I am hoping to open a gallery framers soon.

Re: 1765 paintings on board and paper

Post by HoneyFraming » Thu 26 May, 2022 1:29 pm

Thank you so much for the advice, especially the platform mounting. I have looked it up and that will definitely be useful. Is there a way the edges of the paintings could be visible in platform mounting? It looks like the outer mount would sit on top of the paintings. Would the delicate uneven edges of the paintings in platform framing be ok? The largest difference in size on one side is 8mm, would that create room for movement behind the mount if they're quite uneven?

Sorry for all the questions! I'm a little stuck and just want to do the artworks justice and keep them well looked after after all these years whilst working with with the customers modern look brief.

Thanks again!

I have also attached an image of some of the corners from behind to show the condition, would those corners work in platform mounting?
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Not your average framer
Posts: 11940
Joined: Sat 25 Mar, 2006 8:40 pm
Location: Devon, U.K.
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Location: Glorious Devon

Re: 1765 paintings on board and paper

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 26 May, 2022 2:11 pm

Looking at the new photos, that looks like MDF, hardboard, or cardboard to me, so I don't think it looks a lot like it is genuinely from 1765 at all.
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

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