Oh my, this original late Victorian item is just the sort of frame that you would see displayed as a grouping on a Lord or Lady's writing desk at a Grand English Country House. If you are a fan of visiting such English country houses or have avidly watched the Downton Abbey TV series, you will know the look. This is a quality item, which was retailed by a top quality maker/ retailer. the frame comes complete with its most likely original framed photograph (the reason for purchasing the frame back in the 1890s). The frame's silk exterior is showing some signs of faded grandeur but comes to you untouched and original, just how we like our antiques.
Being a tall and slender photograph frame with a most gorgeous pink brocaded silk covering. It retains its original old bubbled glass and within one finds its original black and white military photograph of a young British Army officer. The Walter Jones retailer's gold printed name can be seen to the base of the easel stand at the reverse of the frame. Walter Jones 195 - 196 Sloane Street, London SW was a retailer of clocks, photograph frames and luxury leather goods at his very salubrious Sloane Street address in Chelsea, London.
The photographic image is we believe a photogravure. A photogravure is an intaglio print making process. This would suggest that the proud family of the young Officer had copies taken from their original photograph in 1900 to distribute among other family members - remember that photography was expensive at this period, as this was just before the appearance of mass market cameras and copies could not run off easily or cheaply from a negative. The image is executed upon thin woven paper and has a very mat appearance with the remains of a vertical plate mark to the top left. Having retailed antique engravings for many years, this image has many similarities. The card mount has the embossed Royal Arms, stating that the photographer J Thomson of Grosvenor Street, London was By Royal Warrant Photographer to Her Majesty The Queen. See a Photogravure of Princess Louise as princess held by The Royal Collection that was published by the same photographer. The young sitter in our photograph was an officer in The Royal Artillery regiment of the British Army. We can clearly identify this from his full dress uniform. He wears the flaming grenade badge on his collar. His helmet has the Royal Artillery badge to the front with the Royal Arms with scroll beneath inscribed Ubique over a gun, with mounted wheel, resting on a scroll inscribed Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt. This particular helmet badge was in use between the years 1878-1901. He is a young and very proud officer who was a serving member of the British Army during the rule of the British Empire.
Size: Frame 12.75" by 8 1/8". Frames inner rectangular sight 8.25" by 5". Photograph mount 9.75" by 8". Actual image size 5.75" (147 mm) by 3 7/8" (100 mm)
Condition. Frame - the pink jacquard/ embossed silk is faded to the front (compare it to the original color seen when the photograph is removed). The gilt edged silk edge braiding has dulling to the gilt metal thread and wear to the bottom right corner. This same bottom right corner has an old soil mark. Traces of an old faded soil mark to the top of the frame -12 o'clock. The back folding easel stand works perfectly and the original two brass securing slides are still intact. One small brass securing screw is missing from the back of the frame at the half way point. The photogravure/ card mount - The original card mount has age darkening around the edge and two holes half way up from the frames two securing screws. We are not photography experts but to our eyes the photogravure is in excellent condition with just a tiny, pin head size nick to its side edge by the Officer's knee.
This is a wonderfully genuine item that conjures images of brave heroes, stiff upper lips and the halcyon days of the aristocracy before the after effects of World War One. Please see our other antique photograph frames......
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