Whether you collect Art Deco or just want to add a touch of deco to your home, a picture frame is one way to go. Practical and with a wide variety of materials, designs and sizes, one would fit into almost any decor. The price for vintage deco frames can vary from extremely reasonable to extremely high-end. Just a word of advice before you buy any vintage frame, be sure the support stand on the back is in good to excellent condition.
Fairly easy to find are mirrored glass, partial reverse painted with foiled back accents, complete reverse glass painted, and cardboard. More difficult, and more expensive are carved wood (I’ve never seen one in person), tooled leather, natural stone, Lucite and Bakelite frames. The designs range from traditionally feminine floral patterns in pinks and purples, to traditionally masculine angular designs in browns and hunter greens. A majority of the ones I have seen and purchased fall somewhere in-between in style and price.
My favorite are the complete reverse glass ones and the variety of designs available is endless.
If you find a frame that you love but the picture you want to use is too small, center the photo and let the inside show through around the picture. Another idea would be to add fabric behind the picture to create a frame within the frame. If you decide to use decorative paper as a liner, please be sure it is acid free! And if displaying vintage picture, DON’T cut your photos. Find a proper size frame (or larger) or copy (resize) your vintage photos.
As I mentioned before, frames came in a variety of sizes from compact size, suitable for a lady to easily carry in her hand bag, to oversized, suitable for displaying on your grand piano. (after all, who doesn’t have one of those?)
Need several frames that are identical for a wall grouping? As mentioned in an earlier post (Deco-rating my bedroom), you can color-copy a frame (resizing to your need) to create matting within a larger frame. Or, use this color-copy method to add detail around a picture mounted inside an inexpensive Lucite frame.
Cardboard frames are fairly easy to find and are very often the least expensive. The reason for the low price is that the picture is often glued inside and the frame itself may be sealed, If you are lucky enough to find one where the picture can be easily removed, I recommend that you snap it up. Below is a beautiful example of how exuberant cardboard deco can be. Next to it is another grouping – take note of the leather frame with applied gold accents.
You know you’re going to display pictures in your home so, why not do it in style!
Chris and Anthony.
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