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Eli Wilner & Company recently completed the restoration of an important period frame for the Cleveland Museum of Art. Curator Mark Cole approached Wilner with images of the period frame on Gilbert Stuart’s Portrait of Elizabeth Beltzhoover Mason, circa 1803-1805. The Wilner team identified the frame as an English or early American “Carlo Maratta” style frame, with an acanthus leaf-and-shield ornament applied in a simple cove. This frame style was popular in America in the 18th and early 19th centuries. It was determined that the frame was both appropriate to the painting and likely to be the original, as the museum’s records indicated that the frame had been with the painting for at least a century. Having established the quality and importance of the frame, it was decided that extensive restoration would be appropriate.

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The master framers of Eli Wilner & Company recently completed two hand-carved and gilded, openwork Rococo-style frames for a pair of portraits by John Singleton Copley at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

The existing frames on the portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hooper were in presentable condition, but were not historically appropriate, leading the museum’s curators to seek a solution from Eli Wilner & Company. Copley was known to have selected a specific style of frame for paintings done at the time these portraits were painted.

Though finding antique frames for the paintings would have been the optimal choice, the chances of locating a pair of frames in the appropriate sizes and within budget was a near impossibility.

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