this frame came into the shop covered with a nice thick layer of bronze pigment suspended in a waxy varnish. We often refer to this varnish as radiator paint. A hundred years ago, when they put the varnish on it was nice and shiny, and one hundred years later it has turned dark green and makes anything around it look dull and flat. Originally the frame was silver gilt with an ormolu glaze which made it look like real gold leaf. This frame style was popular in the mid 1800s, and was often imported to America in length form then cut down and joined by emerging picture framing or cabinet maker shops.
We stripped the radiator paint off, re-gilded all the losses to the silver leaf then, with thin layers of shellac glaze, returned the frame to its Lemon Gold glory. This frame is in the Castine Historical Society in Maine