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9th January 2020

Look Inside: Brunswick House Framing Workshop

It’s a lesser known fact that the great majority of our prints, pictures and paintings are framed in-house on the top floor Brunswick House by our art department run by Graham Hilleard. Below is a glimpse inside the workshop and a brief introduction to the finer details of antique picture framing.



The length of time required to frame any of our prints varies by the age, quality and material of the print in question. The frame style and decorative details should correspond with the age of the print displayed. Minimal contemporary mounting and framing techniques would not suit early Victorian prints and imagery, or vice versa, though maps can be framed in any style as they are taken out of context from their original usage.



Practically speaking there many stages in the framing process; First the frame is chosen, the print is then mounted and then sandwiched between the glass and the backing board. Next is ‘Fitting up’ when everything in put together, the back board pinned and taped up. Finally, a fixing for wall hanging is put onto the back.


An early c20th watercolour of Vauxhall bridge with mount, or mat, £600


More contemporary prints often do away with mounts entirely. The print is ‘floated’ which emphasises the entire print and the paper used, allowing the viewer to appreciate the deckle edge.


A Picasso lithograph with floating mount, £95


This incorporation of mounts or ‘mats’, was first introduced by the British Museum’s Prints and Drawings department which brought in the idea in the early 20th century. Prior to that pictures went straight to the edge of the frame which was separated from the image by a gilt ‘slip’



The subject matter for the stock has been honed down over the years with wildlife, botanicals, flora and fauna, the top sellers. The frames that work best for these are natural, unfinished pines or beech. For topographical ‘London’ prints and oil paintings we opt for the antique frames.


c19th botanicals in hand waxed frames, £55 each


There is a great trove of over 4,000 unframed prints on the top floor of Brunswick House so check the latest stock page or the prints category to stay up to date with our latest creations.




For our entire collection of framed prints, please look here.

Or if there is a specific print that you are on the hunt for; get in contact with our print expert Graham Hilleard.