On this page, we display our collection of Empire frames for sale. We mostly collected models from France, which has been undoubtedly the main character of the Empire style. In fact, the movement appeared in France in the early 19th century under the government of Napoleon.
The Empire style consists in the evolution of the previous style: Neoclassicism. Despite the two styles share the same kind of decorations, the main intention of each one is quite different. The Empire movement is an idealization of the power of France and its Emperor Napoleon.
During the Empire style, craftsmen made abundant use of precious Eastern woods. They treated the wood mostly with shellac. Indeed, it is quite easy to find among Empire furniture the typical reddish surfaces of the bright woods with on top gilt carved ornates.
Frames are an exception. In fact, a complete gilded surface is the primary characteristic of the Empire frames. There has been a massive production of gilded Empire frames, as in the early 1800s the nascent bourgeois social class needed to emphasize its power through art. The flourishing social class also forced itself to strange deprivations in order to possess quality paintings. For this reason, our generation of collectors inherited a lot of Empire frames.
Due to their profile, Empire style picture frames are easy to recognize. The profile consists of a high external edge which descends by a wide curve until the inner sight. Usually, gilders decorated them with four ornates on the corners and a little decoration on the inner side of the frame.
What one sees, while observing an Empire frame, is a curved gilded profile with just a few ornates on top. Gilders, of course, did not use always the same decorations, which in fact change accordingly to the country where they come from.
Apart from the majority of gilded Empire picture frames, it exists a few models made by the use of shellac on wood. Our model cod.133 fully reflects that kind of trend so much applied in furniture. Even though that kind of finishing is not common in frames for paintings, it is common for mirror frames.
In the global market are available a lot of Empire style picture frames. As they are quite recent and because craftsmen realized a lot of them, they’re easy to be found.
When the market is plenty of products, the price of those products goes down. Therefore the cost of the Empire frames is relatively low, especially if compared to other stylistic models. But even if the price is low, to find the perfect one for your painting remains difficult.
We recommend our customer to avoid the cutting of authentic frames to fit old paintings. As Empire frames have just few decorations it could seem easy to do a good job. Nothing is so far from the truth! Indeed, just for that reason, it is even harder to hide the cut. We rather give to collectors the advice to buy a top-quality reproduction made with care and passion.