A frame more exciting than the painting

We are often asked whether a painting of small value is not worth something because of the beautiful frame surrounding it. Actually, the answer is always: no. Fortunately, however, there is always an exception to prove the rule.

A frame more exciting than the painting

In addition to a beautiful display cabinet and some mantel clocks, we picked up a large still life by the painter Jurriaan Marinus Beek from a couple who wanted to clean up. A “little master” so to speak. Actually much too big and not that exciting in presentation. We decided to offer the frame with beautiful feather molding from around 1900 separately, because maybe someone wanted to use it to make a mirror with it, for example, we thought.

Until we took a closer look at the labels on the back.

As is often the case in this business, the back actually said a lot more about this object. In addition to a label from the framer, we found two labels from exhibitions: the “Esposizione d'Arte Internazionale di Citta di Venezia,” in 1920 and one from the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1923. But the annotations on the list in pencil said most of all; the name “Bauer” and the title “Benares.” This used to contain a completely different painting, by the orientalist painter Marius Bauer. We immediately found the painting in a digital database; incl. indications of residence on the labels' exhibitions. And most importantly: the sizes corresponded exactly to the inside size of our frame! This beautiful painting ended up in the collection of the Rijksmuseum; but without its original frame!

We tipped the museum off and they were immediately interested. They bid and purchased the frame at our auction of June 2023. For them, this was also a special reunion and that is why they also devoted an article to the frame in their bulletin.

Why this work ever lost its frame, and whether Jurriaan Marinus Beek made the work especially for the frame - questions that we can unfortunately no longer answer. The large still life sold for 65 euros. But reuniting the Bauer with its original frame: priceless.

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