I often get asked by customers for frame recommendations with a vintage look to coordinate with the art prints they’ve purchased. I decided I’d round up some frame resources here on the shop blog that I can continually update as I discover new options. I’m breaking my recommendations up into different categories. In this post, I’m tackling brass and metal frames. I also plan to cover natural wood frames, painted wood frames, and metallic wood frames. There’s so much online that it can be difficult to find diamonds in the rough; if you have a go-to frame resource, please share!
Vintage Metal Frames
I don’t know why it is, but metal seems to have been a more common framing material in years past than it is today. There are lots of vintage options on Etsy and eBay. The challenge, as always when looking for vintage items, is sifting through the enormous volume to find truly good pieces. Also, the frames are usually one-offs, so you’re limited to the size on offer.
I have the best success searching for “large brass vintage art frame,” which I find yields metal frames in a variety of finishes. I add “large” to avoid getting the teeny frames that are meant for photos. You can also add a specific size such as “8×10” to your search, although that could cause you to miss a beautiful frame in a different size that you could make work.
The nature of vintage means the specific listings will change, but here are some options from these shops to give you a sense of what you might find:
Metal Frames from Home Decor Stores
Home decor stores also offer a limited selection of metal frames. I’ve found that the more antique looking brass frames are generally offered in photo sizes (max 8×10), while art frame sizes are available in modern styles. When buying new you’re limited to what’s on trend at the moment, and frames are no exception.
I’ve found the best source for affordability is Wayfair. You can find a basic gold tone 8×10 frame for about $22 at the time I’m writing this, and it’s a solid dupe for this brass tone 8×10 frame at Williams Sonoma listed for $110.
Metal Frames from Custom Framing Shops
Going the custom framing route can open up more options, but prices can quickly climb. I also had a hard time finding true metal frames in traditional styles. The metal frame options I found are very modern and not to my personal taste. The option below from Framebridge is gorgeous, and with the thin width it could be metal. But it’s not – it’s a wood frame with a glossy metallic finish.
I’ll continue to update this post as I find more sources for brass and metal frames for vintage art prints. And if you have a favorite source or know of a good metal frame option, please share in the comments!