——-> SOLD, Bonnet, Louis Marin

 L’amant ecoute, stipple engraving, 1785

L' amant ecoute 1785, after Jean-Frédéric Schall.This is one of a set of two courtship engravings by Louis Marin Bonnet, (1748-1793), after a painting of Jean-Frédéric Schall.  This engraving is called “L’Amant Ecoute” the other engraving in this series is called: “L’ eventail Casse”. This seems to be a print of the second state of the engraving.  The frame was scratched and has been retouched and repaired at the bottom. (Click here for a blog-report on this work).

The beautifully detailed  rococo engraving has some minor foxing and light soiling but seems overall in very good condition. At some point in time, someone added a matte to prevent damage, the matte also has some foxing. Please see the framing and close-up for more information about this plates authenticity.  The measurements of the engraving are ca. 32 x 24 cm, (the visible part of the plate) and the measurements of the frame are: 42,5 x 35 cm.

About Louis Bonnet, (Paris, 1736 or 1743 – Saint-Mande , 12 October 1793

Louis-Marin Bonnet is a draftsman and engraver to wash and crayon manner , he improved the technique. He excels in the art of pastel , even producing a small treatise entitled The Pastel engraving, invented and executed by Louis Bonnet in 1769. He was a pupil of Jean-Charles François and composed hundreds of drawings and prints, today listed and present in public collections. His studio-shop (selling drawings and prints ) amounted to 1772 in Paris at the corner of rue Saint-Jacques and Rue de la Parcheminerie , second floor. He also had an address rue Galande (1767-1772).

He signed either Bonnet or sometimes Marin or Tennob.  (Source, Wikipedia) (translated)

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Retouching old frames

Frames are the finishing touch of an art piece but can devalue it too.

Sometimes you come across a wonderful artwork with a damaged frame. Old prints and plates usually suffer from effects that are caused by time: foxing  yellowing, browning or tearing.

Fixing upper antique frame
Here you can see an artwork with a damaged frame. At the bottom the whole top layer was scraped of. Aside from this the frame also has a few other spots where the gold paint is missing.

To me, these marks of aging are perfectly fine and acceptable, in some degree that is. I even think that nothing is more hideous than a “whiter than snow” antique print that is obviously bleached with aggressive bleaching agents. The print will look like it was printed yesterday and in some severe cases probably even looks whiter than it ever has! Some art dealers, trying to make a quick buck, might resolve to these harsh methods, but the prints suffer severely and the chlorides and other chemicals will damage the fibers of the old paper. I just stick to the motto; ” if its to white to be true, it probably is”. Same goes for teeth by the way. Most antique lovers would agree with me that some wear and tear actually adds to the charm and beauty of an antique item. After some time in the antique prints business, I have noticed that damaged frames dramatically devalue a piece of art. Frames are intended to serve as a window that you look through, they separate the artwork from the rest of the environment, so your eyes can focus on the work of art. Next to that, they also offer protection to the art piece, especially when glass is used. So when the frame is damaged, sharp visual lines are broken, and all these complimenting effects mentioned above, are compromised.

Not suitable for your wall
Fixer up damaged frame 2
A close-up of the damage done.

People tend to put these artworks away, since they find that these artworks are no longer suitable to put up on the wall. Maybe they will place them somewhere in the attic or cellar, and next you know, the glass gets broken and atmospheric effects have their way with the paper, leaving the artwork aged beyond its time.

A shame, and moreover a reason to keep original frames in tact. Here is how I do minor, (cosmetic) touch-ups on a damaged, antique frame. You can find a summary of the materials I used at the bottom of this page.

fix upper: retouching frames 3
Preparing the putty in a glass container and applying it with a dull bladed knife.
fix upper: antique frame 5
Before letting the putty completely dry out, when it is still mold able, I will smooth the putty out with my fingers as much as possible. After this it can harden for a few hours.

 

Fix up: antique frame 6
After drying I will sand the layer of putty and wipe it again with ammonia. After this the first layer of gold paint is applied. First light golden paint and after this a dark layer is applied. Letting the layers dry in between and making sure the layers are thinly applied.

 

Fix up: antique frames 6
After the two layers of gold paint, I will use a film of black oil paint, thinned with turpentine. I rub it in with my fingers to create the patina effect.
Fixing up antique frames, 7
Applying black oil paint with a brush and rubbing it in, gently tapping it in with a cloth also works. Letting a thin layer dry, and then applying yet another layer until it looks good, matching the old patina.
frameaf
The end product. After this stage a thin layer of lacquer can be applied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tools
What I used for this: Fast drying wood plaster, (putty), Amsterdam acrylic gold paint, deep gold , nr. 803 and Amsterdam acrylic paint light gold, nr. 802. Brand-less black oil paint, turpentine, brushes, knife,cloth and sanding paper, (finely gritted)

A pig and a poem by R. Dahl

The Pig , by Roald Dahl.

Etching by C Dake. “After the meal”, 1886.

 

Poem by Roald Dahl

In England once there lived a big
And wonderfully clever pig.
To everybody it was plain
That Piggy had a massive brain.
He worked out sums inside his head,
There was no book he hadn’t read.
He knew what made an airplane fly,
He knew how engines worked and why.
He knew all this, but in the end
One question drove him round the bend:
He simply couldn’t puzzle out
What LIFE was really all about.
What was the reason for his birth?
Why was he placed upon this earth?
His giant brain went round and round.
Alas, no answer could be found.
Till suddenly one wondrous night.
All in a flash he saw the light.
He jumped up like a ballet dancer
And yelled, ‘By gum, I’ve got the answer! ‘
‘They want my bacon slice by slice
‘To sell at a tremendous price!
‘They want my tender juicy chops
‘To put in all the butcher’s shops!
‘They want my pork to make a roast
‘And that’s the part’ll cost the most!
‘They want my sausages in strings!
‘They even want my chitterlings!
‘The butcher’s shop! The carving knife!
‘That is the reason for my life! ‘
Such thoughts as these are not designed
To give a pig great piece of mind.
Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland,
A pail of pigswill in his hand,
And piggy with a mighty roar,
Bashes the farmer to the floor…
Now comes the rather grisly bit
So let’s not make too much of it,
Except that you must understand
That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland,
He ate him up from head to toe,
Chewing the pieces nice and slow.
It took an hour to reach the feet,
Because there was so much to eat,
And when he finished, Pig, of course,
Felt absolutely no remorse.
Slowly he scratched his brainy head
And with a little smile he said,
‘I had a fairly powerful hunch
‘That he might have me for his lunch.
‘And so, because I feared the worst,
‘I thought I’d better eat him first.’