17th Century Map of the Americas

15″ x 18-1/2″. Framed close in 3″ custom carved frame in quartersawn white oak (Weathered Oak stain) with pale gold slip.

The frame in the works. Click image to see more process photos on the blog post.

This wonderful antique map, which was printed in Frankfurt in 1631, offered several cues for the frame design. It was especially rewarding to have the opportunity to develop a simple baroque pattern, in part because we don’t often get to do that, but also because it’s a vernacular any framer becomes attuned to without even thinking about it. In the instance here, where we’re framing an important but nonetheless essentially utilitarian type of work, it’s also a case of simplifying a style given to being overwrought. Even though the print is finally detailed, the image has enough boldness, density and contrast to hold up to a heavy frame.

It’s easy to imagine that this is a well-traveled piece. Perhaps now it will settle down for a while in a comfortable, suitable home!

The owner had these appreciative words for us:

Do you ever wonder which of your works might last hundreds of years? If we assume that people continue to preserve this map—already 387 years old—I cannot imagine anyone wanting to take it out of this frame. Surely whoever has this map in future ages will have your hand-carved oak along with it. Likewise, it is hard to imagine tastes changing so much that people will ever want to take all those landscape paintings [framed for the gallery] out of their frames. I think your pieces will be floating around for centuries.

Blog post on this one here, including process photos.