antique oil painting frame restorer case study

The Art of Painting & Frame Restoration – A Case Study

It’s a fact of life that both paintings and frames with a history will inevitably bear the scars of the years that have gone by, whether as a result of time itself or climatic conditions, for example. Many paintings date back centuries, therefore the need for fine art restoration in order to preserve the integrity (and thus, value) of an original piece of artwork, is common.

When you purchase fine art, finding a painting restorer with plenty of experience is key to maintaining the historical integrity of the piece. It’s imperative that even small blemishes and cracks are attended to with speed and sensitivity, as leaving such marks of time alone will only cause them to worsen until the damaged layers are more difficult to reverse.

Victoria Fine Art are proud to offer a comprehensive fine art restoration service, including oil painting restoration and picture frame restoration. Over the years we have naturally had the privilege of restoring an impressive number of exquisite pieces of fine art.

Restoration Case Study

I’d like to share the details of a recent picture frame restoration project that Victoria Fine Art carried out, of which I am especially proud. A collector came to me with a frame that was bought in an auction, but which was heavily damaged. It was a truly beautiful and ornate frame but as you’ll see from the pictures, the section at the top which should represent a flag was missing, as well as other features such as letters and ornaments that were integral to the design of the title cross. In addition, one complete shield was missing at the bottom of the frame, with only a section of the other remaining.

During the restoration process of the top half of the frame, a dentist’s purple stent was used to take a mould of the left-hand flag in order to replace the missing part of the flag on the right-hand side. The cross, letters, and shot were also fixed at this point. To move forward with the next stage of the picture frame restoration, it was necessary to carry out research into the 22nd Massachusetts monument in the Gettysburg National Military Park Historic District, which carries a similar military motif to the remains of the plaque at the very bottom of the frame. Fortunately, here at Victoria Fine Art, we own hundreds of antique moulds that we able to use on occasions where they are suitable. In this case we were able to select one whose design was very similar to the leaves we discovered during the research on the monument, and using these, we were able to recreate the whole shield sympathetically and accurately.

The next stage of the picture frame restoration process involved a clever inversion of the design for the shield on the left-hand side, therefore maintaining symmetry and consistency in the design on both sides of the frame. Once all of the top ornaments and missing leaves had been recreated, the whole frame was prepared for gilding. After gilding, the transformation was truly complete, and the difference astounding. The piece now hangs proudly in the Union League of Philadelphia, America, and our collector is extremely happy with the final result.

Click below for the full restoration process in images…

Finally, I would like to share the full testimonial from my client regarding the completed picture frame restoration. As you’ll see, he was very pleased with what we were able to achieve with a trained eye, expert restoration techniques, and substantial amount of research.

A Word From The Restoration Customer


Being a collector for over 35 years of buying quality 19th Century European and British Victorian paintings, I have come to realize that a proper period or high-quality replica frame can enhance or detract from one’s coveted work of art. Without the proper frame, a quality painting will just not show as well.

Whether I buy my paintings in Europe, Britain, or America, I always ship them to Victoria Fine Art to restore the original frame; or find and restore a proper period frame. I leave this decision to Jonathan Roberts of Victoria Fine Art as he knows what is best. If the right period frame cannot be found, then Jonathan selects one of their excellent quality reproduction frames to enhance the painting.

Jonathan Roberts and his trained staff have always given me the most outstanding quality possible. They go “the extra mile” to provide the best; they are true craftsmen. My friends ask me why I ship my paintings from America overseas to Victoria Fine Art. The answer is always the same, they are the best!

Jonathan has the ability to think “outside the box”. A good example of his skills is to review the images on his website showing the restored period portrait frame of an American Civil soldier. He did extensive research to find the correct missing parts of the unusually designed frame.

Pease consider using their restoration services as well as buying their quality paintings; you will not be disappointed.

Dr John Faust Scottsdale, Arizona

 Fine Art Restorer

If you have any further questions regarding the fine art restoration and picture frame restoration services that we offer at Victoria Fine Art, or wish to set up an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Feel free to complete this form, telephone +44 (0)1727 861669 or email for more information.

fine art dealer role buy art online

The Role of a Fine Art Dealer

As a fine art dealer, Victoria Fine Art has an exceptionally privileged job. It’s an absolute joy to spend my days immersed in the word of art, whether it’s meeting clients and designers, buying art, or learning more about the scholarly background to each painting I come across.  So, here are a few insights into my life as a fine art dealer.

Representing Artists

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is being able to represent current artists. We love nothing more than discovering and representing British artists of international standing, as well as being involved in the promotion of contemporary art from emerging artists. Many people assume that fine art dealers are solely concerned with traditional art and conclude that they spend their days trying to buy European art, or buy Victorian fine art, for example. But in reality, that’s only part of the job. While we are absolutely passionate about our traditional art, a big part of what I do as a fine art dealer is engaging with today’s artists. Many artists have difficulty finding a market for their work during their lifetime, so it’s extremely satisfying to be able to use my skills as an art dealer to market their talent.

Building Collections for our Clients

Of course, a large part of my job as an art dealer is the great privilege of being able to buy original art in order to build collections for clients and designers. This skill requires an element of discretion and balance, fully respecting our clients’ choices while offering a straight-forward approach to buying fine art and building a collection. The relationships I am able to forge along the way are a great part of my job, and one that I enjoy very much. By taking the time to get to know my clients, I am far better equipped to make an informed decision on what old or new artists I feel that they will take an interest in, and subsequently introduce them to.

Offering Advice as a Fine Art Dealer

After more than 50 years working as a fine art dealer, I particularly enjoy being able to advise my clients not only on the choice of what paintings to buy, but also how to display the beautiful pieces that they decide to purchase and display in their homes. Acquiring a stunning piece of fine art is only part of the process, and my years in the industry have taught me that the framing of a painting, as well at its hanging, are very important to the overall enjoyment of the piece. In addition, insurance advice is something I am always happy to give as a vital part of the process.

If you have any further questions regarding the wide selection of fine art to buy online at Victoria Fine Art or wish to set up an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Feel free to complete this form (, telephone +44 (0)1727 861669 or email for more information.