They have a relatively new line that is somewhat transitional from chops to closed corner. It's a chop and join with a corner ornament applied. Not seamless, and the verdict is still out as to whether they will fly, but a fairly quick and more affordable closed corner look.
AMCI has a line similar to this...
North American hardwoods and traditional gilded
frames will look better in the future than they
do today. This makes them heirloom quality and
worth the price. If they get chipped, the losses
can be colored in with gouache and they will look
as good as old, again.
Munn's L161p 1000m (antique metal) and 1500m (antique silver metal) chopped by Munn Frameworks are my best selling mouldings. At $28.80 a foot retail they contribute nicely to my bottom line. They really do appeal to my antique shopping customers. In addition to custom gold Abe Munn offers this frame in their closed corner Value Line in light or dark antique 22k gold at $48 retail. Their Value Line of 8 best selling profiles, each in light and dark gold, is an inexpensive way to test the closed corner market. The next step up is their A Line, another line of non-customizable but beautifully done 22K gold frames also at a reasonable price.
Grumblers, if you're interested, you should get a rep to call on you. The A line frames were my start in closed corner frames. They also allowed me to test the market for styles that sell before venturing into higher priced products.
While I love the closed corner frames, the antique metal chops from Munn Frameworks with their exquisite antique patina have become my best profit center. The skill of the Munn craftsmen brings something special to the chop market.
I am glad to admit that things have changed dramatically over the last six years with respect to grumblers' ever larger appreciation of CC, handcrafted, hand finished frames and even of antique picture frames reproductions. Many more grumblers seem to be now interested in or squarely using high/er end frames than before. Their becoming increasingly more confident and comfortable with those products is evident to me through the shear number of threads lately dealing with such frames, not to mention that paying for high end corner samples idea does no longer stir a collective and volcanic rejection (so much expected/feared from them just a few years ago).
Don't get us wrong Cornel. We still want those free samples. If we grumble long enough we will get em. If LJ offered their line of CC frame samples for free they would be in every frame shop in the world...SHHHHH
Don't these things sell on their own? Doesn't every shop with out them just stand to lose. Doesn't the shear beauty of these just demand a purchase? If that were the case you only stand to win, win, win by having them in as many shops as possible. Its just simple math.
Caustic satire asside Jay, if that were true, Michael's would have had them on their walls years ago.
But if you look at the up-scale side of photo frames such as Burns of Boston, you will find the same "look" that Hugh suggests.. why, because it sells.
Few can appreciate the beauty of investing in a fine frame. Same with cars.
The most beautiful modern car ever made was the Lamborgini Mira.... over 7 years, they only made 1,000 total. . .
Even during Lou the 16th life time there weren't that many frames made. But since the 1830s, it has become the somewhat "standard" for portrait frame.
"Caustic" is a pretty strong word. I was hoping it was just a friendly "jab".
I hope it didn't disrupt the thread.
To be honest I really wish I had confidence in them. Many of them I can appreciate. Many I don't. I'm scared off though when shops much nicer than mine spend thousands on these things and hardly, if ever, sell one.
I can tell you that without a doubt I would not start out by buying from the manufacturer. I would find a framer. I'll bet you could send out an offer right here on the G and you will find many a framer that would love to have even part of that "investment" back! They might even be on Ebay right now?
I know of a "full" set of Sterling Frame corner samples.
They were first purchased in the mid 1960s when John Woods was making the frames. When John died Wayne took on the line and has been growing it these last 14 years. (when I beat him hard enough).
The original owner of the "full" set died. His frameshop closed and the wife and daughter began sorting out his estate. There was another framer (not in Monterey) but in near by (50 miles) Salinas, CA. They knew that he had developed a friendship in the last years of the original owner, and had always lusted after the set....
That set now is in Portland, OR. Imagine my surprise when I walked into this frameshop and there were three samples that only Don had. I about had a fit. [or something].
Just remember these now 40 year old corner samples that are still working day in and day out... as you pitch those shop worn cheap import corners that you "never paid for".
Personally, I would love to have that set.... I'd show them all day long explaining their history and how a fine frame is supposed to look long after the furniture has been changed; as well as the carpet, house, car, appliaces...
And I know of another set that is still on the same wall they were sold to.