Vintage oval frames are often as beautiful as the artwork or photographs in which they display. The designs on these frames were usually meant to draw attention, or signify status or class. They were often intended to work with a particular piece for which they were designed and became integral parts of the art itself.
If you have ever wondered where some of the most beautiful antique oval frames came from, see below for a little history on vintage frames from different periods.
Portable frames started in 12th Century Europe. Before craftsman discovered that it was much easier to build a frame separately, they were carved from the same wood that backed the art that they were framing. Soon, furniture makers were using mitered wood strips to frame artworks once they were finished instead of being part of the art itself. This was the beginning of separate portable frames for different works of art.
More ornate styles started with the Renaissance. The Renaissance period was all about elaborate designs and decadence in every feature, and antique oval picture frames were no exception. They were often carved with gorgeous scrollwork and then covered in gold or silver foil to make the designs stand out. These pieces were often made custom for the people who would own them and made with particular motifs or important figures.
Gold leafs were all the rage in the Baroque period. Some of the most popular ornate frames of today were designed during the Baroque or Rococo period long ago. These gold leaf frames were so intricate that some were designed to be too thick to see the ball behind them, with things such as tiny scrollwork or leaves. Reproductions of these frames can be made today using the same techniques to where they are almost indistinguishable from the originals because of their fine craftsmanship. Antique frames do not have to be for the vintage hunters or the wealthy anymore, as they can be obtained from a fine framing company with ease.
Some designs were made for specific families. Often, wealthy customers would have family crests, shields or scrolls carved into their frame as a sign of status. They would also choose expensive materials such as pricey woods or tortoiseshell to display their wealth. You can also link certain frames from royalty back to their owners by their specific designs. For example. Louis the XIII preferred three bands of molding with laurel leaves, whereas Louis the XIV chose a single band of c-scroll designs.
Whether you choose something more simple or something more ornate, an antique frame or a high-end production of one can be displayed beautifully in a formal area of your home to add a touch of elegance and class.