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Not currently on display at the V&A

Frame

1850-1890 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This frame is one of two that were sold to the Museum by Giosué Lumaconi of Perugia as copies of frames of about 1480 from the Library of the Ducal Palace in Urbino. In letters to the Museum, Lumaconi tells how he commissioned Signor Gualdesi, Professor in the Accademia delle belle Arte in Urbino, to make the frames (and presumably carve them, while Lumaconi's task was to gild and paint them. He found the task onerous, especially 'beating the gold especially to imitate the antique' and asked for extra payment over the 1200 lire that he was originally paid. In the late 19th century, the Museum frequently bought plaster casts or other reproductions of items that it had no chance of acquiring. Curators saw the reproductions as vital teaching tools for craftsmen at a time when teaching such artisans was seen as a major part of the Museum's mission.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Carved wood and plaster, gilded and painted
Brief description
Rectangular frame of gilded wood, with carved elements highlighted in black, a copy of a 15th-century Italian frame. Perugia, 1850-1890, supplied by Giosué Lumaconi.
Physical description
Aedicule (or tabernacle) frame of wood and plaster, gilded. The freize is decorated with festoons and eagles with displayed wings, and is surmounted by a cornice with leaf, egg and tongue, and dentil mouldings. The sides are composed of pilasters with capitals and long panels having symmetrical floral decoration springing out on either side of a long straight stem, which issues from a vase. The panel along the bottom is enriched with four repeating devices, each consisting of a vase balanced on either side by scrolls and cornucopiae. The principal ornament is painted black. A reproduction by Signor Giosué Lumaconi of an Italian frame of about 1480 in the library of the Ducal Palace at Urbino.
Dimensions
  • Height: 138.2cm
  • Width: 117.2cm
  • Depth: 9.3cm
Style
Object history
Bought for £38. 4 0. from Signor Giosué Lumaconi, Piazza del Municipio, Perugia
Authority for purchase - the Rt Hon A.H.D.Aeland's on RP 30925/1893

Letter from Lumacomi to Armstrong 21/1/1893, explaining how Lumaconi went to Urbino, and got Signor Gualdesi, professor in the Accademia delle belle arti to copy the two frames (ie construct them). It seems clear that Lumaconi then gessoed, gilded, burnished and painted them in his Perugia workshop. They were seen and admired by Lemo, Rossi, Scotti and Signor Prof Costa. Lumaconi claims that his price quoted (1200 lire) allows him, after the costs of bringing the frames to Perugia, only 1.5 or 2 lire per day for his work of gessoing, 'beating the gold especially to imitate the antique finish', gilding and burnishing, and requests additional payment.
Summary
This frame is one of two that were sold to the Museum by Giosué Lumaconi of Perugia as copies of frames of about 1480 from the Library of the Ducal Palace in Urbino. In letters to the Museum, Lumaconi tells how he commissioned Signor Gualdesi, Professor in the Accademia delle belle Arte in Urbino, to make the frames (and presumably carve them, while Lumaconi's task was to gild and paint them. He found the task onerous, especially 'beating the gold especially to imitate the antique' and asked for extra payment over the 1200 lire that he was originally paid. In the late 19th century, the Museum frequently bought plaster casts or other reproductions of items that it had no chance of acquiring. Curators saw the reproductions as vital teaching tools for craftsmen at a time when teaching such artisans was seen as a major part of the Museum's mission.
Collection
Accession number
419-1893

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Record createdSeptember 29, 2008
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