Frame on the Portrait of Louis Léon de Bouthillier-Chavigny, Count of Beaujeu, 1745 by
Jean-Marc Nattier (French, 1685-1766)
Wood, gesso, gold leaf
Museum purchase, Mrs. Blakemore Wheeler Fund 1966.14

How much will it cost? $6,000


This will be a spectacular and major treatment. This gilded period frame is made entirely of carved wood, making it truly special.

However, it is suffering a litany of complaints: abrasion, scratches, active corrosion, dust, grime, flaking and coating loss, wear, brittleness and stiffening, breaks and cracks, dents and gouges, losses, failing areas of previous repair. There are numerous area of scratches and abrasion. Small losses are present throughout the gilded gold surface. In select areas, it’s actually brittle and crumbling. A thick layer of dirt and grime is present overall (see picture)—it’s most likely a layer of Kentucky coal dust.

The goal of treatment is to prevent further loss by consolidating and stabilizing areas of flaking. The frame would be significantly improved with overall cleaning and filling areas of loss.

Surface cleaning, stabilize brittle and flaking gesso, fill areas of loss, cast missing elements and tone and gild fills.