This week’s featured frame is a dark, 17th-century Dutch veneer frame of reverse profile. Costly woods, often from the Dutch colonies, were used to make frames such as these, which provided a rich and dramatic contrast to the light walls used to brighten narrow homes.
A frame such as this may have appeared surrounding a Flemish portrait or allegorical painting from the 16th or 17th century, such as Caspar Netscher’s The Card Party.
Fanciful and bright gilt frames were also made during this time, but the sober dark woods were popular for two reasons. First, the new Protestant styles were more subdued than the showy tendencies of Catholic churches. Second, houses in the Netherlands were taxed according to their frontage, which encouraged narrower homes with pale walls that maximized natural light. Darkly luminous frames in deep browns and reds would have vividly highlighted a work of art against such an alabaster backdrop.
To inquire about purchasing this frame or any of the 5,000 other antique frames Lowy has available, please call 212-861-8585 or visit http://www.lowyonline.com.