This grand and decoratively ornate Italian High Front is a very impressive frame, but unfortunately the years had taken a toll on it. A large degree of coal soot had gathered on the frame, actually merging with the shellac finish. This, in addition to the size of the frame: roughly 57.5″ x 88.25″ with a height of 4.25″ and a width of 8,” made cleaning the frame a more involved and lengthy process. Many, many cotton tips were used.
Over time, the glue that was used to adhere the ornate elements, the leafs, vines, and grape leaves, had turned brittle. This lead to cracking. With a restorer’s adhesive and clamps, we were able to salvage these original elements. Another area that was susceptible to cracking, was the gesso. Once it cracked the problem continued up the layers and ultimately effected the gilding. An extensive amount of re-gilding had to be done, starting with laying the foundation of gesso and then adding clay. We captured some videos of the final steps of this process.