The Frames and Gilding Department specializes in the conservation of gilded works which require structural repair, stabilization, casting, carving, gilding, toning, and in-painting. The unique beauty of the gilded surface is conserved by this department’s talented staff to museum standards.
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George I Period Gilt Gesso Table with Marble Top, Mirror Missing. English, 17th – 18 c. 30 x 37 x 20 in.
During Hurricane Katrina, this centuries-old antique was substantially water damaged, especially on its legs, despite the conservator conserving as much of the original as possible (#1). A new gesso layer was then applied to the bottom half of the legs and the loss areas on the upper portion, which was then water-gilt and the punchwork replicated. Finally, the patina was adjusted to match the unaffected areas. The final result is museum-quality again (#2).
Wood Carved and Gilt Frame with Painted Porcelain Madonna & Child. 20th c. 14.5 x 12 x 4.5 in.
The frame arrived in several pieces; the missing leaf (#1) would require a restoration to become symmetrical again (#2). After the frame was reconstructed, a new leaf carved from bass wood (#3) to replace the loss (#4). For more information about this treatment, read our article.
Gilded Oval Portrait Frame with Compo Decoration and Incised Gesso Work. 19th c. 35.5 x 29.5 in.
An old repair of the decorative crown on this frame needed replacing (#1). A piece was carved out of epoxy to replace the old restoration (#2), and then the bole (an underpainting & glue layer) color was matched (#3). It was then water-gilt with 23.5 kt gold and toned with shellac and pigments to seamlessly blend in (#4).
Detail, Early 19th c., William S. Conely. 36.5 x 41.5 x 5 in.
The frame as it arrived, with missing elements and overpaint (#1). With the overpaint removed, the recast elements were attached, gessoed, and the bole layer started (#2). The replacement, ingilt and toned to match (#3).