National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1924
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
The base of the frame is a wooden chassis with another wide, shaped profile forming the inner section. The mitred corners are braced on the reverse. The decorative work on the bevel is a pronounced composition section with undercut leaves along the leading edge. The surface is a mixture of burnished water gilding and matte oil gilding on the composition sections and outer section.
The frame, which is essentially derived from the Louis XIV style, is deceptively wide. The impression of width is reduced by the use of burnished gilding on the hollow of the inner section of the frame. The frame demonstrates a high level of craftsmanship both in the gilding and in the undercut composition work. May worked extensively for Sargent, producing frames that were noted for the quality of their gilding.1
1 The company came into existence towards the end of the nineteenth century and traded until 1922. May advertised the use of both English and French craftsmen. See Jacob Simon, The Art of the Picture Frame, National Portrait Gallery, 1996, p. 135.