Reframing ALESSANDRO ALLORI's Portrait of a Lady, probably Camilla Martelli de’Medici, 1570s, for Saint Louis Art Museum

Posted: 20 Apr 2017 by PML

Judith W. Mann, Curator of European Art at Saint Louis Art Museum, initially approached us in regards to reframing their 'Portrait of a Woman’ by the Florentine Mannerist painter, Allesandro Allori.

The painting was previously housed in a 19th century machine made reproduction ‘cassetta’ frame that was evidently poorly patinated, with its bright parcel gilt ornament and washed out gesso finish not looking period, distracting the viewer from the work (see image below).

On examination of past and present inventory, we were able to offer eleven suitable frames. They illustrate a wide spectrum of ornamentation and finish. Several are exceptionally rare patterns providing unique presentations (see proposals below).

2nd half 16th century Tuscan Renaissance very rare cassetta frame. The frieze gilded with continuous scrolling foliage; parcel water gilt, painted Burnt Siena

Mid 17th century Baroque bolection profile frame with carved centred imbricated laurel leaves at sight, ribbon back, ogee with scrolling foliage in pastiglia on a punched ground; matt and burnished water gilding

Italian 17th century Tuscan Baroque bolection profile cassetta frame with carved astragal-&-triple bead at sight and back; ogee with scrolling foliage on a punched ground; matt and burnished water gilding


 1st half 16th century central Italian Renaissance architectural cassetta frame carved in walnut with lotus leaf sight; astragal-&-double-bead; low-relief knulled-&-dart rail; leaf corners; the frieze decorated with flowers and blossom in gilded pastiglia; parcel gilding

Late 16th-early 17th century rare Mannerist bolection profile frame with carved centred gadrooning; ribbon; cord moulding; matt and burnished water gilding

Early 17th century Tuscan bolection profile architectural cassetta frame; with carved stop-fluted sight; ribbon back; water gilded mouldings; gilt corner-&-centre arabesques on faux-rosewood frieze

Late 16th-eary 17th century Tuscan rare Renaissance entablature profile cassetta frame with gilded corner-&-centre arabesques; parcel water gilt, painted Burnt Siena

17th century Tuscan reverse cassetta bolection architrave profile frame; parcel gilt, painted black with corner-&-centre arabesques and intermediate stars

Piedmontese 1st half 17th century late Baroque ogee profile bolection frame with carved ribbon sight, astragal-&-triple bead back; lacquered silver leaf - ‘Meca'

16th century Tuscan entablature profile cassetta frame with corner and centre foliate scrollwork in pastiglia on a punched ground; original matt and burnished water gilding

Late 15th- early 16th century Tuscan entablature profile cassetta frame; with gilded arabesques in frieze, parcel gilt and painted black

The latter pattern illustrated here was the preferred choice. Apart from being a perfect match for period and region, it’s soft and subtle gilding of the intricate arabesque decoration harmonises with the sitter’s costume. The gilded sight edge and back also aids in dividing up the section width of the frame, helping the frame look suitably refined, complementing the elegant lady.

We produced a high quality handmade replica that, as always, is indistinguishable from it’s period model.

Please click here to view illustrations of the process in making handmade replicas; examples of antique models adjacent to their copies and further case studies.

Please click here to view further examples of distinguished pictures we’ve framed.

Portrait of a Lady, probably Camilla Martelli de’Medici, 1570s
by Alessandro Allori (Italian, 1535-1607)
Oil on panel, 27 x 23 1/4in
Saint Louis Art Museum
Bequest of Mary Plant Faust  9:2017




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