American frames were greatly influenced by English and French styles in the 18th and 19th centuries. Although frames were frequently mass produced in the 19th century and gilt ornamentation was usually cast in plaster or ‘compo’ instead of hand-carved, many beautiful designs originated from this time in America. The Hudson River School frames and the frames designed by Stanford White are exquisite examples. In the early 20th century, American frame makers of the Arts and Crafts movement returned to the art and tradition of their craft by hand-carving, gilding, and signing their frames. The firms of Carrig-Rohane and Newcomb-Macklin as well as frame makers in Taos and Bucks County created some of the most beautiful American frame designs of this movement.
Sweep – An extremely ornate Rococo frame style from the mid-18th century in which the top rail is curved or swept (instead of straight) between large ornate corner and center cartouches. These frames are usually referred to as ‘sweep’ frames in the Louis XV style, but there are also English and Venetian ‘sweep’ frames.