Making a Frame
An 18th Century Mezzotint
For a private collection, we designed matting and framing for a group of mezzotint portraits by the 18th century Anglo-English artist, Thomas Frye. Though we specialize in framing works from the late 19th c. to the present, our client brought these much earlier prints to us because she was most concerned with preserving them in their excellent condition. In fact, we were familiar with eighteenth century decorative mats (often called French mats or mounts, they date to the early 17th century). We adapted a mat design favored by Frye’s contemporary, the painter and connoisseur Sir Joshua Reynolds, who was himself an ardent collector of prints. The frame though, is not a copy of a period frame. It bears some resemblance to 18th century frames for prints and drawings, but it was designed by us, combining a modified 17th century Dutch profile and ribbon and stave composition ornament. The mat is 8 ply 100% ragboard. The glazing is Optium Museum Acrylic—anti-reflective, UV blocking, and anti-static.