We stopped at one of our favorite antique shop collectives, Antiques on the Farmington, located in Collinsville, Connecticut. We found this very beautiful Victorian frame portrait that has many nice features and an interesting photographic portrait that is probably original to the frame. (I often wonder about the people depicted in these types of finds. Who were they and what were they like? What did they do for a living and what was their family like?)
Victorian Frame Portrait.
Some of the notable Victorian features are the oval sight and center frieze with leopard pattern.
Something that you often see today in antique frames is that they have been over-painted with bronze or copper paint, or even worse… Shabby Chic. (gag!) Using bronze or copper paint was a common practice to cover up damaged areas of the finish rather than have the frames professionally repaired. One positive indicator that the original finish has been over-painted is the lack of luster and reflection that metallic-leaf (or true gold-leaf) often gives off, resulting in an overall flat appearance across the frame. Depending on how thick the paint was applied you will also notice a loss of detail in some of the design elements and compo ornamentation. (I’m personally not a fan of over-painted antique frames or Shabby Chic… but each to his own.)
In conclusion, this is a nice looking Victorian frame despite some of the visible signs of touch-up and repair work. The frame seems to be in good condition and still retains much of its original finish. I also like that it has a nice patina.
You can see a second frame that we found in the same shop here.