Art Collection Framing – Style Statements by Jamie Allpress

Botanical Print by Basil Besler 1613 above a rare 18th century English yew-wood Windsor armchair on cabriole leg with in the background a superb array of framed 18th century Johann Weinmann botanical mezzotings, printed in 1736 - all courtesy Allpress Antiques

Jamie Allpress of Allpress Antiques at Malvern in Melbourne is an antiques and art dealer of note, the Victorian delegate to the Australian Antiques & Art Dealers Association (AA&ADA) of which he is a member, says Muse~News editor and Writer in Residence of ‘the Circle’ Carolyn McDowall.

Just recently we were discussing a shared enthusiasm for original prints and engravings and botanical art by the likes of seventeenth century apothecary and botany artist Basilius Besler (1561-1629). So Jamie told about a photograph shoot he completed last year”

Here’s his account.

“Some years ago, a customer, and very valued client, purchased my first collection of framed eighteenth century Johann Weinmann botanical mezzotints, printed in 1736.

She purchased every one to place into her home and then a few years later when she moved again she asked would I supply another ten.

This was quite a task – first I had to ask my international art buyer find another publication with its original prints still inside, which isn’t easily located, even in Europe.

Eventually he sourced one for me and a week later they arrived.

The customer visited the showroom, where each mezzotint was laid out on the tables. She selected all of her favourites to suit the previous group and we completed the sale.

I was happy she chose the same frame I had used in the past.

Superb print by Basil Besler

Sometimes however good frames are like a good paint or wood stain. You can find an exceptional one that stands out from the rest and suddenly they stop manufacturing it.

That was the case for my client.

The frame was quite distinctive and nothing really came close, so we searched high and low for a suitable manufacturer to copy them.

Luckily we found him.

The frame he reproduced was perfect, even down to the variations of green with the worn through to slight white and a faint black line.

We had them framed exactly the same as the first group supplied and my client was delighted with the result.

Last year, I asked if we could have my photographer Russell Winnell complete a photo shoot in her home and she kindly obliged.

In the meantime she also had several stunning Basil Besler images that I specialize in framed through Stuart Rattle.

They also looked perfect in her home so we photographed them as well. I also placed a couple of my select antique pieces that suit my art throughout the house as well.

The shoot allowed us to make a statement of style when she allowed us to photograph more of my stock in her lovely setting.

These are some of the photos taken on the day.

The beautiful art you can see includes prints take from a Basil Besler first edition 1613 and third edition 1713 and, as well, there is Elizabeth Blackwell 1730.

Stunning collection of 'Redoute' prints together in one frame, a statement of style - courtesy Allpress Antiques, Malvern, Melbourne

My personal favourite – Hendrik Draakestein 1686 (I love his work) and then there is Abraham Munting 1696 and publications sponsored by Christoph Trew 1750 and Johann Weinmann who employed George Dionysius Ehret one of the greatest painters in the history of botanical illustration.

These rare engravings modernize an older home or look fantastic in a contemporary setting.

Having been in business since 1990, my showroom has housed many fantastic oils, watercolours, lithographs, drawings, silhouettes, maps, globes and now contemporary paintings by William Robinson and John Kelly, and photography from Bill Henson to Rosemary Laing.

All of these blend so well with our 17th- 19th century English and French country furniture’ here at Allpress Antiques.

Jamie Allpress, Guest Author for Spotlight Stories, The Culture Concept Circle, 2013


1419 Malvern Road,
Malvern Vic 3144

Tel: 03 9824 8551
Mobile: 0415 555 998
Email: [email protected]


NB: The entire shoot at Jamie’s client’s house is featured on Allpress Antiques website under Decorating – Botanical Photo shoots – Orrong Road

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.