Frame for Portrait of Ralph Howard, later 1st Viscount Wicklow (1726-1786), 1752 by Pompeo Batoni (Italian, 1708-1787)
Wood, gesso, yellow bole, gilding
Purchase, Museum Art Fund 1960.8

How much will it cost? $6,000


This gilded, carved wood period frame is suffering quite badly. Flaking, loss of coating, wear and tear, and failing areas of previous repair have become rather obvious upon close inspection. Major treatment is required to prevent further damage.

The frame is extremely fragile, with an actively flaking surface. The numerous campaigns of previous restoration are not aging well. The goal of this treatment is to stabilize this fragile surface by consolidating—in effect, saving—the existing original gilding, and the removal of the extensive discolored overpaint. The frame will undergo a thorough surface cleaning, and losses will be treated, filled, and toned to minimize further damage and ensure that the frame is stable, secure and strong for another fifty years.

The results of this treatment will be dramatic.