Frame on the Portrait of Henry Clay (1777–1852), about 1850 by
Edward Dalton Marchant (American, 1806–1887)
Wood, gesso, gold leaf
Purchase, Mrs. Eliza J. Bohon Fund and Museum Art Fund 1959.3

How much will it cost? $3,000


This carved wood frame with applied ornamentation was originally gilded. At some point, the gold was overpainted with bronze powder. There are numerous problems plaguing this frame: dust, grime, flaking paint, loss of coating, breaks, cracks, losses, and failing areas of previous repair. The copper/bronze paint has tarnished over the decades, darkening the frame overall.

Once the frame is in the lab, the goal will be to stabilize the actively flaking gesso in order to reduce the risk of further loss. The frame will be significantly improved with surface cleaning and addressing old areas of loss. Treatment will comprise of a full surface clean. The many areas of loss will be filled and masked, using gold leaf and pigment.

The result will be a frame that is worthy of this great portrait.