Friday, April 26, 2013

Ebonized Beauties

I have a thing for picture frames, I know, I have a "thing" for a lot of things! Something about these ebonized beauties caught my eye and I couldn't stop with just one.
These frames are from the 1880's, the Aesthetic Movement period. They are wood frames with an ebonized layer on them with white incised lines, flowers and other designs in them. They are very similar to the Eastlake design. These are table top frames, they have a wire stand attached to the backs to stand them up with. None of these had their original stands when I bought them, I made my own by copying from a small antique velvet frame that I have. They always had some sort of a matting, usually very fancy with handpainted designs and the usage of silk or velvet material.

Pictured below is the first one that I bought at an auction back in the 90's. It was in a box with some other antique frames that I got for a little bit of nothing. It did not have a matting with it and would you believe after a year of so I found one at an antique mall, it was $35 and I took the chance of it fitting the frame and it did!!
The photo I put in it is of my great Grandma. Her name was Zelma Lorene, born in 1901. Just look at that wicker seat!

This is a close up of the top with handpainted berries and flowers, and blue velvet and silk material.
The long section of silk was missing so I replaced it with some ribbon.

And here is a close up of the bottom.

I was so excited to find a matching pair at an antique show that I just had to buy them! And again, no matting. I got the pair for $35, same price as the above matting itself. So I thought that was a great deal.
I cut out and painted the matting myself, copying off of the above matting. Photos are of my kids. The frame on the left I hang on the wall instead of standing on a table like the others. I added a velvet matting to it and the old time photo in it is of my niece and nephew. And the little bitty frame in the front is one of my recent flea market finds that I saved for this post. Is it cute or what?! I had never seen one that small so of course, for $2, I had to buy it! I just left the photo that I bought it with in it.

A closer look at that cute little frame. Just look at the detail on those frames, I just think they're so neat.

I also have several wall hanging ebonized frames. Below are 3 of them. The one on the left has a marble looking veneer on it and I bought it with its original matting. The frame on the right has the original matting too, just not as fancy. And the smaller 5x7 size frame in front with the crocheted B once had an ebonized easel to go with it. I bought the frame thinking someday I would get an easel on Ebay but I could never afford one so I gave up. I guess everyone else wanted one too!

A closer look at the designs...

and a closer look at the cute little girl in this frame with the faux marble veneer. It too, is of my great grandma Zelma Lorene.

And below is a corner of a shadow box frame with a Victorian wedding veil/head piece with wax orange blossoms in it. Only the outer edge is of this frame is ebonized, it has been restored to some degree.

And there's still more! Pictured below are 4 walnut and faux grained ebonized frames. The frame with the rose colored scalloped matting did not come with that frame, I bought it on Ebay. The little one (5x7 size) is really a cute one, I had not seen one that size before. So guess what? I had to buy it too! The men in it are my ancestors and it is through them that I am distantly related to Harry S. Truman. Cool, huh?

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you who the family of 4 is! Can you guess? Yep, it's me and my family and I'm looking a little stern there with no smile!

Another close up of the detail work...

So now that you know how much I like ebonized frames let me show you what else I have that is ebonized.
I have a pair of Renaissance Revival, Egyptian substyle chairs (circa 1875 or so). If you want to read more about  these chairs and see the before and after upholstery photos please click here.

Look at the thingy blowing on the ebonized horn. Isn't that neat?

I also have ebonized mantle clocks! These clocks once belonged to my great uncle, he was a collector and had hundreds of them.

Well, after all of that, it is TIME for me to go! Thanks for hanging in there with me and have a great week!

I want to thank Sandi for featuring my Titanic post on her HOME blog. I hope you will take a minute and visit her, you'll be glad you did. She lives on Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables country!

I am joining the following parties this week, please won't you join us?
TREASURE HUNT THURSDAY with Pamela at From My Front Porch to Yours
 SHOW AND TELL FRIDAY with Cindy at My Romantic Home
AMAZE ME MONDAY with Cindy at Dwellings-The Heart of the Home
WHAT'S IT WEDNESDAY with Patti at Ivy and Elephants
HOME with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage


  1. Gina,

    OMG!!!!! Stunning!! Love the photos of you and your family!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by to take "A Stroll in the Park" with me!!


  2. I have not seen frames like this before. Beautiful photos of your family! The egyptian chairs - Love them! An interesting post and I will look out now for frames like the ones you have. I love blogging as I am always learining about new things and meeting such wonderful people.
    Happy Sunday

  3. Those are really pretty, Gina. The chairs are too. You have a lovely family!..Christine

  4. They are beautiful! I don't believe I've ever seen any of these, and you have the beautiful chair and clock too! I'll have to keep my eye open... Thanks so much for sharing at Amaze Me Monday!

  5. Beautiful frames. I got on a frame kick a few years ago and ended up with around a half dozen from the 1860's through 1880's period.
    Every-so-often I'll find one that really looks nice but the prices are heading upwards now.
    Who would've thought?
    Thanks for posting.

  6. I have a few if them too Gina, though not nearly as pretty as yours *winks*......Gorgeous!

  7. Gina, again you and your collections are amazing. I can honestly say that I have one piece of ebonized treasure. I have a clock also, although it is in a box in the garage and I haven't seen it for about 20 years so can't remember exactly what it looks like.!! How dumb, right? Your frames are just beautiful and the picture of your great-grandmother is truly precious. I don't have any young pictures of my relatives, but have picked up frames with kids pics in them and they are always so sad and grouchy looking. Your GG is smiling and darling..Happy Monday..Judy

  8. Gina,

    Your great Grandma certainly is a sweetie -- she could have been a model for some of the charming children pictured on postcards of the era. Lovely collection of frames. And you are such a talented artist to hand paint those mats.

    You are right, I don't have any May Day postcards! But I have seen some with months printed on the front in bold letters. Maybe I can remedy that for next year :)


  9. What a pretty collection. I've never seen picture frames that like. And what beautiful photos of your family GIna. Thanks for visiting me. Your kind words are always appreciated.

    Have a great week,


  10. I don't think I've ever seen frames like these. They are quite something and you have quite a collection. Love the pictures of your family, including your G-Grandmother. Thanks for sharing with us at my HOME and have a wonderful weekend, Gina.


  11. Gorgeous post!
    Love the colours.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  12. Hello Gina,thank you for visiting me and for your sweet comment. I am following you too, Your picture frames are so unusual, I have never seen any like them before. They are certainly Victorian. I'm looking forward to visiting you often to see your other interesting Victoriana. xx

  13. Love your frames, all the details are stunning!! Your family pic is wonderful, I like the stern look very authentic:-) and your Grandma what a cutie:-)

  14. What an amazing collection! These are so beautiful. I especially love the blue ribbon on that matting. Gorgeous! Visiting you from Sandi's HOME party. Hope you're having a nice week. I've posted the new Homemaking Party for the week and would love to have you link up, if you'd like!

    Mrs. Sarah Coller

  15. Oh, Gina, now I see that I need to be looking for ebonized pieces!
    LOL The frames are amazing, such a gorgeous way to display your beautiful family. Love the one with the blue ribbons. You find the best pieces!