Aitken Dott & Son
26 So. Castle St.,
The frame uses a profile shaped from a single piece of timber with a run of leaves entwined around a continuous ball and stick motif for the leading edge torus. The decorative work of the torus is made from composition. The timber profile is mitred at the corners and nailed. The frame does not use a slip. The working edge is painted with yellow ochre; the rest of the frame is gilded. The composition work is oil gilded, the remaining surface is water gilded with the sections either side of the torus burnished. The burnished sections are on a black bole. The entwined leaves of the torus spiral upward on the two long sides. Across the top and bottom the leaves are centred, moving out to the corners. The corners have been carefully integrated to allow the leaf motif to flow around the join.
The surfaces appear to be original throughout. The mitres have opened at the corners.
- 182.5 x 111.5 x 7.5 cm; sight 166.0 x 95.0 cm
- More information
- National Portrait Gallery
The label appears on the reverse of the stretcher and may relate to the lining of the painting as much as the framing of the work. As with many frame making companies, Aitken Dott list their activities in the restoration of paintings. The frame is small in scale for the dimensions of the painting making use of a prominent leading edge with a bold ornamental torus to give weight to the presentation. The reverse profile of the frame sits the painting forward. The painting retains six small cardboard washers, pinned to the centres of the long sides and each corner, to buffer the paint layer from abrasion by the rebate of the frame.
1 I am grateful to Sophie Matthiesson, for bringing this painting and the frame to my attention.