You’ve Been Framed!

Charleston’s Master Auctioneer Adam Kant takes a minute to discuss the finer points of perfect framing.


Q: Why should you frame your art?

A: It adds value to the piece, it protects it, and a frame is how you present that art to the world. You wouldn’t put Datsun seats in a Mercedes… At Charleston’s many of our works are sold in frames –  we take framing very seriously.


Q: Do you ever get any requests to change the frames on these artworks?

A: Sometimes. We sold a Zhong Chen last week that was a little bit too big for the space the buyers wanted to put it. We listened to their concerns and organised a new frame that was equally as enhancing but 20% smaller overall. It’s not an official service we offer, but we’re more than happy to advise and refer our customers to a reputable framer for a refit.


Q: How do you tell a good framer from a bad one?

A: Look at their mouldings. A good operator should have choice, variety and quality. You can always see quality. You should also ask to look at some examples of their finished work. Check the joints are flush, notice the quality of the matt board – it should be acid free, there shouldn’t be any cut marks and the double mounts should be completely even and square. Do your research, or come and speak with us.


Q: How many types of frames are there?

A: Dozens… and dozens more types of materials. Shadow mounts, single or double matt, floated, slip & frame, metals, woods, plastics, textiles… the list goes on. Artists sometimes make their own frames to custom fit their works. In the 70s and 80s Pro Hart was very well known for making his own frames – these have become as collectable as his art! We carry a few Bromleys and Gillets where they have made their own frames too.


Q: Have you noticed any trends or styles in framing over time?

A: Absolutely. We see a lot less ornate silver and gold, decorative frames with contemporary pieces. Those ornate frames look fine on Boyds and Blackmans, but not on contemporary pieces from the likes of Jasper Knight. We have been seeing a lot of white frames lately;  two years ago you’d never see a white frame.


Q: What are realistic expectations on prices for frames?

A: That’s a broad question! There are so many variables it’s impossible to answer simply. You can get something simple and small for under $100 whereas something like a large double linen slip could run you into the thousands.


Q: Do you have any framers you could recommend?

A: Of course! Talk to us, we’ll assess your situation and steer you in the right direction.


Catch the ever-energetic Adam Kant this Sunday in Lane Cove for some great deals on Australian contemporary and modern art. They’re great deals because it’s an auction, and even better because most works come beautifully framed and ready for you to showcase in your home.