The frame for the portrait of Governor Caleb Strong at Boston’s Faneuil Hall, is certainly one of the most elaborate examples of the frame maker’s craft from the 19th century. Regretfully no maker’s mark was found on the reverse side of the frame during restoration to identify who made it and what city it was made in. Most of the elements are cast plaster except for the carved wooden banner with the Latin inscription bearing the motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, ENSE PETIT PLACIDAM SUB LIBERTATE QUIETEM (by the sword we seek peace, but only under liberty).
After cleaning and conserving the portrait, we cleaned the gold leaf on the frame, cast and replaced several missing sections of ornament and consolidated the flaking gesso of the banner. The several broken pieces of the banner were rejoined, missing gold and letters replaced, after which the banner was re-fitted under the state seal.
About one third of the portraits and frames in Faneuil Hall were cleaned and conserved by our firm, including the 10' portrait of Peter Faneuil whose 18th century bequest paid for the site and construction of the building, which remains to this day a vibrant forum for city and national issues.