As most buyers and investors are aware about good quality framing and the importance of taking care of an artwork, there is another aspect which one needs to look at when buying art, especially framed works from any source. In any case most people take a lot of care when framing the paintings in their collection, so that is an issue well taken care of.
But, very often galleries sell works that are already framed, but this frame is usually of a very basic quality and in fact may not meet quality standards at all. The framer is generally the local carpenter and not an expert framer. However, one hopes that with repeated framing and with the gallery’s expert input he does a fairly decent job. After all, inexpensive wood, cheap backing and mat can ruin the painting, especially if is a paper work. One important factor to consider when buying art should be the condition of the artwork. Most people are able to spot scratches or small tears, but when it comes to frames, one should carefully look at how well it is done.
Recently, one came across works on paper by a very senior artist, but the paper had been glued to the backing and was also in contact with the glass front. In addition, there were creases on the paper in some of the paintings. All this can damage the painting irrevocably. When you are spending in lakhs of Rupees, it makes sense to spend a decent amount on the framing as well. If you notice particularly substandard framing, you can request that the gallery reframe it before handing it over to you. Most galleries who are of repute will be happy to oblige.
Many buyers prefer to reframe the paintings through their own trusted contacts. In fact, many of them have the gallery frames removed and opt for ornate and more expensive frames. Which makes sense because it is natural that one would want to safeguard the investment potential of the painting and ensure that it remains in mint condition for years to come.