John Thallon 109 & 111 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
The frame uses composition ornaments on a wooden chassis. The outer border is laurel with acanthus on the inner scotia. The torus is banded at the centres and corners. There is patinated matte gilding on most surfaces.
The frame is very dark in tone with an oily quality to the surface. Small repairs have been made to the composition elements. The slip has been re-gilded.
146.5 x 93.0 x 12.0 cm; sight 112.5 x 59.0 cm
Entries in the Thallon ledger make reference to the tonality of the surfaces, annotating small profile drawings with ‘dark’ or ‘light’. Connecting these annotations to the appearance of frames is not straightforward. Few frames can confidently be read as having intact original surfaces, and the changes in colour and tonality that are an inevitable consequence of the ageing of surface finishes serve only to add complexity. The tonality of this frame reflects a taste for sombre finishes seen in other frames around this date. Frames with patination as dark as this are not common. The basic form of the frame is similar to Thallon’s ‘Rolando’ frame, which is in itself an elaboration of a classical revival form.
1 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.