Dating old picture frames

Kashey recalled, Shepherd continued to show and sell works in frames of carved wood, molded plaster and composition materials.By 1977 the demand for 19th- and early 20th-century frames had escalated so dramatically at the gallery, that the dealers decided to set up a separate division to supply frames to collectors, museums and other clients for art works acquired both at the gallery and elsewhere.

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We know which are from 1830, 1845, 1860 - styles change about every 15 years.'' This knowledge has come more through experience than scholarship, Mr.

The current approach is for greater harmony in framing -the borders should be of the same period and style as the art works.

''One covets these Napoleonic frames and now we want to put Napoleonic pictures in them,'' Mr. ''We also know so much more and can pretty well date frames of the 19th century.

Now, elaborately carved or molded frames that were banished as too decorative in the 1950's by modernist architects and Abstract-Expressionists are making a comeback. Reymert founded the gallery in 1966, they have used antique frames in exhibiting English and Continental paintings and drawings, dating from 1780 to 1920.

The new popularity of period frames is rooted in the larger interest in 19th- and early 20th-century figurative art, and has been spurred by the efforts of Shepherd Gallery, 21 East 84th Street. Throughout the late 1960's and 70's while many collectors and dealers were stripping ornamental period frames from their art acquisitions, Mr.