Thallon’s ledger is an historic leather-bound book containing thousands of client orders for John Thallon’s picture framing business, which operated in Melbourne from the late 19th century. Thallon was the framer of choice for Melbourne’s leading artists. Other clients included a wide range of businesses and individuals, from art dealers to publicans, one of Melbourne’s first female physicians, a sea captain, and an opera singer.

The digitization and transcription of this significant primary source document provides a unique opportunity to delve into the world of picture framing, art, and society during this fascinating period in Melbourne’s history. Browse through the ledger or use the search function to find out about specific artists or frame types. Research undertaken on each of the 285 clients is accessed by clicking on the client’s name in the transcription. The ledger comprises sketches and descriptions of frames and Thallon’s other services such as art packing and transport, production of interior decoration, frame and painting restoration, and the supply of artists’ materials.

This project by the NGV Centre for Frame Research was made possible with the kind permission of Jarman Framing, owner of Thallon’s ledger, and the generous support of the Professor AGL Shaw (AO) Bequest. For further information about the ledger and its transcription see the essay below.