Victorian Frame Still Life

Antiques on the Farmington, located in Collinsville, Connecticut was home to this beautiful Victorian frame still life. Looking for good quality antique frames is always a highlight for me when I go antiquing with my wife, Jennifer. Finding old carved frames is rare to find in a typical shop, but there are usually many 19th and 20th century frames to be seen. Loss of compo ornamentation is a typical problem in frames from this period.

Victorian Frame Still Life

Victorian Frame Still Life.

I believe the finish is original; however, it needs a serious cleaning. Notice the closed corners – the compo ornamentation lines up nicely, with intent and symmetry. Also, the compo is in relatively good condition, with only a few losses here and there. (…look for the white spots where the compo has flaked off.)

Victorian Frame Still Life - corner close-up.

A notable design feature is the beaded sight edge. I am not sure what design is on the top edge, and I have found no reference to it in my many frame books.

In conclusion, this is a unique old frame. During my many years of frame hunting throughout Connecticut’s many antique shops, I have never come across a frame designed like this one.

You can see another frame that we found in the same shop here.

Victorian Frame Portrait

We stopped at one of our favorite antique shop collectives, Antiques on the Farmington, located in Collinsville, Connecticut. We found this wonderful 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.

Victorian frame portrait.

Victorian frame portrait.

Some of the notable Victorian features are the oval sight and center frieze with leopard pattern.

Victorian frame portrait - showing original finish luster and reflections.

Victorian frame portrait – showing original finish luster and reflections.

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.)

Victorian frame portrait - corner close-up showing minor repair work.

Victorian frame portrait – corner close-up showing minor repair work.

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.

Neoclassical Frame

Jennifer and I went antiquing today at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Haven and Antiques on the Farmington which are both located in Collinsville, Connecticut. First of all, I’m always on the lookout for good quality antique frames whenever we go antiquing. On this day we came across two most noteworthy frames. One of the frames was a nice Neoclassical frame, maybe in the style of Louis XVI or Empire. The frame was mounted to an oil painting of a waterfall scene. The second frame was a Rococo reproduction frame. In this post, I will discuss the Neoclassical frame.

Neoclassical Frame

Neoclassical frame. Waterfall scene by unknown artist.

Waterfall scene by an unknown artist.

Some of the notable Neoclassical design elements of this frame include the bead pattern, double-bead and reel pattern, plain cove and the most important egg and dart pattern at the top edge. Also, the outer edge has a rais-de-Coeur pattern all around. (As seen in the last image at the bottom.)

Neoclassical frame - corner close-up

Corner close-up

This frame is open cornered, e.g., cut and joined from pre-fabricated molding. (notice the mismatched pattern alignment in the corners.)

Neoclassical style frame - corner close-up showing rais-de-coeur.

Corner close-up showing rais-de-Coeur.

Also, be sure to check out the Rococo frame from the same outing.

Rococo Frame

This Rococo frame, probably a transitional Louis XV – Louis XVI reproduction, was found at Antiques on the Farmington in Collinsville, Connecticut. First of all this frame does not appear to be old. Also, it definitely seems like it was designed to capture the look and feel of the Rococo period.

Rococo Frame Reproduction

Rococo frame


The most noteworthy Rococo style features are the oval sight, elaborate corner foliate cartouches and swept sides and back. There is also a nice contrast between the antiqued gold ornamentation and the faux wood finish on the inner portions of the frame. Yet, in my experience, I have not come across an authentic frame like this with different gold and wood areas.

Rococo frame - corner close-up showing faux wood finish.

Corner close-up showing faux wood finish.

In conclusion, I like this frame despite it being newer. The mirror could be removed, and a formal oil portrait would go nicely with this style of frame. (There was another frame in the Neoclassical style that we found, check it out here.)