We are pleased to announce that we have entered into an exclusive NSW distribution agreement with Melbourne-based Rich & Davis, artisan frame makers. This significant collaboration gives our clients privileged access to the superb range of Rich & Davis hand-made and finished frames, many of which are now on display in our Stanmore studio. History-informed and sensitively designed to house the contemporary as well as the more traditional, these frames are true artisan creations that marry treasured European technique with local materials and inspiration. The results are unique and distinctive; they bear witness to a deep and sympathetic craftsmanship that complements and enhances the works they embrace.
In addition, our association with Rich & Davis opens the door onto frame restoration skills of the highest standard.
Picture frame restoration involves the repair, refurbishment, reconditioning and consolidation of the frame. It entails the examination of the frame as a whole, and requires identifying what elements or finishes are original to the frame. Restoration involves looking at the history of the frame, examining its condition, understanding its relationship to an artwork, print or photograph, and approaching any repair or preservation process with care and consideration.
Rich & Davis utilises years of experience alongside traditional techniques and recipes to restore frames to their original former condition. Be the frame an heirloom, a historical frame or a frame of significance, equal pride is taken in its care.
Original finishes are preserved wherever possible.
- Carved timber and composition repairs
- Mould making and ornament replacement,
repair and consolidation
- Corner consolidation and timber fracture repairs
- Oil and water gilding repairs
- Bronze powder and burnished bronze finishes.
- Toning, ageing and paint finishes
- General consolidation, stabilisation and preservation.
Nineteenth Century English Empire Frame Restoration
This frame presented with substantial damage to the top ribbon ornament and a corner ornament was missing, along with over half a dozen small damaged areas across the frame. As the top ornament was asymmetrical, a new replacement area had to be carved by hand and fitted to match the existing structure before a mould could be cast in composition. Wire and pins were used within the composition to provide extra strength to the new ornament to prevent future damage. The corner ornament was repaired using a timber block and a cast composition replica of the original ornament.
After the top and corner ornaments were repaired, traditional clay bole was applied, polished and prepared for water-gilding. Antique gold-leaf was applied using water gilding techniques to the damaged areas. The water gilding was burnished, sealed and toned to match the original finish.
Frame Restoration Examples
This medium sized frame required general consolidation, two dozen new composition ornaments made from custom moulds, water gilding repairs, toning and finishing to restore it to it’s former condition.
This large ornamental frame required significant work. Custom moulds were taken and over five dozen new composition ornaments were made across the face of the frame alone. The original finish was salvaged, and oil gilding repairs were performed. Toning and blending methods were employed to marry in any repairs with the existing finish for a clean overall appearance true to the authentic style of the frame.
Restoration Process Examples
Detail of one of the numerous small timber hand-carved ornament repairs made on a nineteenth century Spanish frame. This frame was heavily damaged by borer insects and received extensive treatment to stabilise, reinforce and restore to a sound condition.
A large 1.6m x 1.6m 1850’s Australian ornamental frame with freshly placed traditional composition ornaments and repairs, laid onto a new layer of netting and gesso. The next step for this frame restoration was the application of traditional clay bole, followed by extensive water and oil gilding, toning and finishing. In total, over one thousand repairs were made to the ornamentation on this frame, and the total restoration took four weeks to complete.