Frames

Found throughout the Museum

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Varying in shape, style, size, period and material, our collection of frames is as diverse as the pictures and objects they contain. Most frames have been donated to the Museum along with paintings – but 'empty' frames have also been collected as independent objects, chosen for the fine quality of their carving and decoration.

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One of the most elaborate frames in our collection is an English rococo carved wood frame, probably made by Paul Petit around 1751 for a portrait of George III. You can see such beautiful picture frames on display throughout the Museum, along with examples of fine mirror frames.

Exploring Frames

Photo of Cassetta Frame, tortoiseshell with rippled ebony, 1640 – 1700, Belgium. Museum no. 4837 – 1857.  © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Cassetta Frame, tortoiseshell with rippled ebony, 1640 – 1700, Belgium. Museum no. 4837 – 1857. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Tabernacle frame, carved, painted and gilded, 1475 – 1500, Italy. Museum no. 5893-1859. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Tabernacle frame, carved, painted and gilded, 1475 – 1500, Italy. Museum no. 5893-1859. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Régence frame, carved and gilded with tooled gesso work, about 1720, France. Museum no. 518-1883. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Régence frame, carved and gilded with tooled gesso work, about 1720, France. Museum no. 518-1883. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Mannerist frame, carved oak, originally painted and gilded, about 1550 – 80, Belgium or the Netherlands. Museum no. 1605-1855. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Mannerist frame, carved oak, originally painted and gilded, about 1550 – 80, Belgium or the Netherlands. Museum no. 1605-1855. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Trophy frame, carved and gilded, probably Paul Petit, about 1751, England. Museum no. W.35,2-1972. © Victoria and Albert
Trophy frame, carved and gilded, probably Paul Petit, about 1751, England. Museum no. W.35,2-1972. © Victoria and Albert

Photo of Empty frame (detail), about 1500, Museum no. 926-1900. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Empty frame (detail), about 1500, Museum no. 926-1900. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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