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One of three Thallon frames on watercolours by Mather in the collection, all of which use frames more commonly associated with oil paintings, framed to the edge of the support, without using a matt. The watercolour itself has been adhered to a canvas and carries an additional paper border, glued around the edges and showing two dark pencil lines. Here the frame takes a more severe Classical form with a sloping bevel running down to a broad, sanded flat. The frame adds considerable weight to the painting. The breadth of the flat in part takes the place of the wide matt that might otherwise have been used in the framing of a watercolour. Only a remnant of the paper label identifying the framer remains on the reverse of the frame. See also entries for Lake Omeo (p.431.2-1) and Wintry Weather, Yarra Glen (15-2).
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.
The frame uses a composition leading edge of bay leaf and berries, banded at the centres and corners, with a working edge ornament of ribbon and stick. A smaller ribbon and stick runs along the base of the inner bevel. The mitred corners are disguised by shallow acanthus leaves rendered in a darker tone. The frame is built on a wooden chassis and uses a two-part slip assembled from a wide, sanded flat and a small bevelled sight edge. The surface has been oil gilded with false gold; the leaves are characteristically large and carry a discoloured surface coating, possibly a shellac size. There are no passages of burnishing. The working edge is painted. The work remains glazed and uses a thin, toned silver leaf spacer.
Though the frame appears to be in good condition, it is difficult to know if the surface is original. There are passages of repair. The provenance of the picture suggests it is unlikely that the frame has been re-surfaced.