inscribed in brown paint l.r.: F A Fuller inscribed in pencil on reverse: French Peasant inscribed in ink on paper label on reverse: A French peasant / by Florence A Fuller / 22 Great Davies St / South Yarra / Melb. / £ 8.8 / £ 6.6
Callan may have been the Sydney counterpart to Thallon in Melbourne. Numerous entries in the Thallon ledger of 1888–1903 make reference to Callan handling pictures on Thallon’s behalf in Sydney. This frame is typical of the fluted, classical revival style frames of the 1880s but, unlike Thallon’s frames, which were most often made up as individual works, this frame appears to have been produced by cutting each member from pre-formed lengths.
1 Callan first appears in the Sydney business registers in 1873. The company is listed at the 318 George St. address from 1886 and does not appear after 1905. See Paula Dredge, ‘Sydney Trade Directories 1843–1932: Carvers, Gilders and Picture Framemakers’, vol. 1, Melbourne Journal of Technical Studies in Art, 1999, p. 56.
Henry W. Callan 318 George Street, Sydney
The fluting of the inner scotia is very regular and has developed small cracks, which suggests it is cast or moulded, rather than carved in the timber. The moulded torus of imbricated laurel leaves is not centred, the leaves all point the one way, suggesting the frame is made from pre-formed sections cut to length. Bands and acanthus leaves cover the mitred corners. The slip is water gilded, the taenia is burnished. The solid wooden section, which forms the profile, is unusual. It is more commonly made up from a number of pieces of wood, joined to build the bulk from which the frame section is shaped.
The frame appears to be over-painted with bronze paint from the inner scotia through to the working edge, and sections of the decoration have been repaired.