Robb Design Portfolio: The Finest Frames

Connoisseurs know that selecting a frame from the place and period of an artwork’s origin is rather like pairing the right wine with your favorite species of meat. it will either embellish or detract from the overall experience.

Imagine the painful embarrassment of matching an early 17th-century Dutch frame with an 18th-century English portrait. Or confusing French Baroque with its German counterpart. And even when the right frame is envisioned, where does one acquire it? Indeed, dealers in original antique frames are as few in number as the frames themselves. Then there is the matter of dimension; no collector of sound mind would ever cut down an antique frame.

Fortunately, there exist master framers who produce contemporary replicas of period frames. The best among them are the “silent partners” of museums, collectors, conservators, and dealers who seek superior frames to showcase their collections.

French frames are known for their opulence. A classic Louis XIV frame with low relief and brocade-like patterns is contrasted with an English interpretation of a Louis XV–period oak frame. The austere Dutch Slant was popular in 17th-century northern Europe. Spain, distant from the classical antiquity of Italy, developed unique frames under the influence of Moorish and Middle Eastern cultures. For a twist, imagine this 18th-century example framing a Picasso from the 1930s.

Photo by Bob Tursack
Maya Angelou’s art collection focused on works by African-American masters...
When the air had cleared after the frenzy of New York’s spring art auctions, players and spectators...
This circa-1900 pink-swirl marble is in what Dan Morphy calls “wet mint condition,” or as pristine...
The display is part of a hotel-wide renovation that will be completed by the end of the year...
Heritage Auctions will also offer Mickey Mantle’s rookie card and Mike Ditka’s Super Bowl playbook…
Photo by Cordero Studios⁄corderostudios.com
Charles and Judy Tate assembled a world-class collection of Latin American art—and then gave it all...
Photo by The Strong, Rochester, N.Y.
The American game culture is almost as old as the country itself...
Photograph by Ron Pierson, courtesy of Guernsey's
The bounty from the sunken ship includes 40 tons of silver and gold valued at $450 million…
Photo by Michael Richter
Visitors trekked to Maastricht, the Netherlands, for the March opening day of the European Fine Art...
The 13 new portraits include images of Douglas Cramer, Judy Garland, and Ernesto Esposito…