Frame of the Week

This week’s featured frame is a 17th century Italian ebonized cassetta frame with gilded front.

The cassetta frame was developed in Italy during the late 15th century, and its classic design has been used consistently since the 17th century throughout Europe and later in America.  The construction is usually comprised of a flat panel or frieze with applied raised inner and outer moldings.

Shaped like a box (in fact, cassetta means “little box”), the cassetta, or plate frame could incorporate many different kinds of decoration, including gilding, faux-marble, pastiglia, punchwork and sgrafitto – the process of scratching a design onto a surface.

Recently, Lowy made four replicas of this frame for Sotheby’s to be paired with the four panels of Sebastiaen Vrancx’ Allegories of the Seasons, all oil on panel.  The paintings are estimated to be sold for between $300,000 and $500,000 at the upcoming Old Masters sale on June 6.


Sebastiaen Vrancx, (1573-1647), Allegories of the Seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, 10 5/8 x 14 3/4 “, oil on panel, courtesy of Sotheby’s





Sebastiaen Vrancx, (1573 – 1647), was a Flemish Baroque painter and etcher of the Antwerp school whose paintings hang in the Louvre, Hermitage and fine art museums throughout the world.

For more information on our Italian cassetta frames and any of the 5000 frames in Lowy’s collection, please visit or call 212-861-8585.


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