This handsome antique picture frame is one of the best Eastlake examples we've ever offered for sale. In the style named after Charles Eastlake (1836-1906) the British architect and furniture designer, it is constructed entirely of wood, Four layers of molding create a deep well that has a photo of a Victorian couple in the center of the white mat.
The innermost molding is 1/2 inch wide, covered with genuine gold leaf and burnished. Following that is an ebonized molding, hand-incised with geometric designs in classic Eastlake style to reveal the pale gesso layer beneath. Another gilded layer is followed by the outermost molding, 2 inch wide walnut with a warm brown finish. The corners are secured by hand cut nails that have oxidized in place.
The "instant ancestors" photo is original and has not been colorized. The photo measures 3 1/2 inches by 7 1/2 inches and is encircled by a narrow brass fillet. Picturing a presumably married couple wearing the serious expressions common to photography of the era, the photograph is in excellent, unfaded condition.
The framed measurements are 13 inches by 15 inches. The frame is 3 3/4 inches deep, with the back covered with corrugated cardboard and tape, which probably conceal the original wooden back. There is an old, twisted hanging wire installed halfway down the back which seems sturdy enough. Weighing 3 pounds, 9 ounces, the piece is in very good condition, with minor age-related wear but no damage to report, other than a small chip, less than 1/2 inch long, on the lower right side corner, very unobtrusive. The glass and mat are also in very good condition. Created just a decade after the end of the Civil War, it's a very beautiful frame that works with many different interiors.