Custom Framing: Antique Watercolor Painting

This beautiful watercolor was painted in the early 1900s. It depicts the Sicilian coastline at Taormina. The piece was brought in for framing by one of our long time customers whose family origin of Sicily makes it not only special to them but also to our framer Louis Aliotta who shares the Sicilian heritage. They agreed that this one would truly need a showcase of distinction.

Based on the age, softness and simplicity of the work, it was necessary to keep it simple but elegant. A 1 1/4-inch wide silver scoop molding with distress marks to bring out the antiquity of the painting clearly became the best choice. Matting was discussed, but when a silver fillet* was introduced it was clear that this would be a very classy way to enhance this wonderful heirloom. No fillet is complete however without a fabric mat to accent the importance of the piece, it was decided that a 1-inch mat would be just enough to compliment and accent the color of the ancient ruins without overwhelming the piece. Museum glass was chosen to control both reflection and harmful ultraviolet rays so this heirloom will appear as if there were no glass yet be contained in a safe environment for future generations. The close-up view of the frame and mat breaks down the important visual elements used to create this simple but elegant framing technique.

Our customer was very pleased with the results and handling of this special heirloom. We thank them for choosing our gallery for their framing needs and for allowing us to share this.

*In picture framing, a fillet is a small piece of moulding that fits inside the frame or in between matting in order to give more definition to the artwork being framed.

  • Judy Wilson

    I have a few antique watercolor paintings of my own, so I’ve been trying to find the perfect frames for hanging them on my wall. Buying a frame that’s simple but elegant seems like a good rule to follow for paintings that are rather soft and simple. I liked your statement about how the frame in this picture uses a silver scoop molding with distress marks to bring out the antiquity of the painting. Maybe a similar frame would be best for the paintings that I have at home. Thanks for posting this!