National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Bequest of Miss Leslie Henderson, 1982
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of the Joe White Bequest
The Carton Pierre Company Waltham Place, Richmond, Victoria1
This small-scale frame is made from a single timber section, mitred and nailed at the corners. The surface appears to be high-quality gold coloured paint, sprayed onto a pale base. The watercolour is housed in a window mount consisting of three layers of board with a 45° bevel, painted white at the sight edge, with ink and wash delineation of the border.
The whole system is original and in good condition, including the glass, mount and backing board.
47.5 x 52.4 x 1.3 cm
This simple framing is completely intact, including the window matt, which is offset from the bottom, giving a broader margin than the top. The two sides are slightly smaller again. It represents an early twentieth-century approach to the framing of watercolours, however the origins of the pale window mount and the thin frame go back to the nineteenth century.2 The label has the character of a hand-printed wood or lino cut.3
1 Discussion of ornamented mounts can be found in Judith Raynor, Loanna M. Kosek and Birthe Christensen (eds), Art on Paper: Mounting and Housing, Archetype Publications in association with the British Museum (Louise Bradley, Reproducing Decorative Mounts, Archetype Publications, London, 2005, pp. 144–8.)
2 The reader is referred to an interesting discussion by Cobus van Breda, ‘J. M. W. Turner: At the Watercolour’s Edge’, in vol. 1 Frames, Melbourne Journal of Technical Studies in Art, 1999.
3 References to the Carton Pierre Company are to a decorating company at 110 Franklin Street in 1904 and 235 Lonsdale Street in 1906–1909, though they appear under the heading of Picture Framemakers and Dealers. These are addresses for the city of Melbourne, unlike the one on this label. It is not unusual for framing businesses to have a city address and a suburban workshop premises. The date of the frame remains ambiguous. The company does not appear to be listed after 1909, but this date is earlier than the proposed dating of the watercolour. Hilary Maddocks, ‘Picture Framemakers in Melbourne c 1860–1930’ in vol 1. Frames, Melbourne Journal of Technical Studies in Art, University of Melbourne Conservation Service, 1999.