Collection Online

Hilaire Syme
(c. 1910)

Artist/s name
Medium
gelatin silver photograph, watercolour
Measurements
(185.5 x 74.4 cm) (image)
Place/s of Execution
Melbourne, Victoria
Accession Number
2004.639
Department
Australian Photography
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Dr Veronica Condon, Geoffrey Haggard and Jennifer Smyth, descendants of Sir Geoffrey Syme K.B.E., Managing Editor of the Age newspaper (1908–42), 2004
Gallery location
Not on display

Frame

Alice MILLS; BROOTHORN STUDIOS, Melbourne
Hilaire Syme (c. 1910)
Framemaker
D. Bernard & Co
323-5 Bourke Street,
Melbourne 1
Date
c.1901–10
Materials

The frame is assembled from a single moulding of oak timber, mitred and nailed at the corners. The surface appears to have been given a dark stain.

Condition

Good original condition throughout. The work is glazed.

Dimensions
203.5 x 93.0 x 3.8 cm; sight 185.5 x 74.4 cm
Alice MILLS; BROOTHORN STUDIOS, Melbourne
Hilaire Syme (c. 1910) Alice MILLS; BROOTHORN STUDIOS, Melbourne
Hilaire Syme (c. 1910) (colourman)
About

This simple wooden frame is representative of frames used to present photographs in the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century.2 Variations on this simple profile can be found, while the timber of choice was oak and the surface treatment minimal. Frames like this are also to be found on watercolours and prints. In this example the frame is elongated vertically to accommodate a disarmingly large, life-size photograph of a young girl, a gelatin silver print, hand-coloured with watercolour. The photograph is mounted on a stretcher, sitting the frame from the wall. The frame is not sufficiently robust to carry the glass and the rigidity of the system is provided by the stretcher of the photograph, rather than the frame.

Notes

1 D. Bernard and Co began business at 343 Bourke Street in 1895, moving to 323–5 in 1901. They were at 323 Bourke Street through to 1920 (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, pp. 13–24).

2 An identical frame is to be found on another photograph attributed to Mills: Hilaire Syme dressed for the Kismit Ball (2005.56).