A177 20th C. Charles Prendergast, signed on verso 1903 19 1/2 x 25 1/4 x 6 1/2″
Charles Prendergast (1863-1948) artist and frame maker, was the brother of noted American Modernist Maurice Prendergast. Charles’ work as a frame maker and frame designer began as early as 1897 when he and his brother Maurice lived and worked in Winchester, just outside Boston, Massachusetts. It is noteworthy that this frame is signed and dated on verso by Prendergast as many of his frames were not - the date of 1903 signals this as one of his early works, likely shortly before his entering into partnership with artist/frame maker Hermann Dudley Murphy that same year. The frame profile draws on variants of the Cassetta profile that originated in 15th century Venice and employs simple carved accents for decorative effect: the elongated ‘bead and reel’ ornament at both the sight and back edges, rosettes at the corners and simple square shapes that punctuate the center of each side. Prendergast’s skill as a gilder is in evidence in the original, lustrous, gilded surface that completes the frame.