This style of old French Empire frame is my personal favorite, and I have a cluster of them on display with my own family's photos within. The one you see here will be among them soon, and until it is sold. It is a rare and fine form we have not seen before. Made in the era of the carte de visite photo, which was c. 1850-70, the frame fits squarely into the Second Empire, when Napoleon & Josephine's "Empire" style was revived under the influence of his nephew, Emperor Napoleon III (last Emperor of France and last to live in the Louvre Palace, by the way), and his wife, Empress Eugenie. This 'Second Empire' period brought us a renewal and replenishing of items done in the grand style and can often be confused for the earlier pieces. The frame is quite large at 11.5" at widest and 10.25" tall, and can display either slightly folded in the center to stand upright, or with the backings tilted, it can display as a flat frame. You may also, of course, hand it on the wall if you should desire to. A magnificent and unusual frame, perhaps a special commissioned one for a family with 4 children. Adds interest to your own display of frames and family (or mine).
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The old wooden mat is there, shows some age and is slightly less than perfect in that there is a little shrinkage to be seen bottom of center right. There are three small age/drying cracks in the wood mat on the lower left side and a small portion of the brass/bronze ribbon is missing there. There is also a small end piece of the floral/foliate swag missing from the lower left corner of the right folding side. Very little, bears mention but won't hurt your enjoyment nor the value of the frame going forward. The dore bronze is fabulous, entirely complete on this one, and that's the all-important part. Backing even remains in very good condition as you can see.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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