I’m often asked that if money was no object what frames would I love to own in my collection.
Well to be honest, most collectible frames tend to be collectible due to the provenance of the person who owned them and not necessarily the quality of the frame.
Who wouldn’t want to own a pair of frames once worn by Gandhi (£34,000), or John Lennon glasses (£1 million+) or Churchill (£11,200) ? The intrinsic value of the frame is low, but once touched by the magic of the owner the desirability and material worth is multiplied many thousands of times.
In the other corner sits the frame whose value lies in what it is and not who owned it. This is the area that interests me, as it is also the area which pushes the boundaries of design and material often making what is, at its simplest a utilitarian item, into a work of art.
Take for instance the work of Emma Montague in last year’s Royal College of Art show. Here we have a young designer taking and blending materials that have been historically used to make spectacle frames – acetate, bone and horn – and using them to great effect in expressing abstract ideas within a practical and beautiful form.
So if you ask me what I like within my collection, a jaw bone frame would currently be pretty high on the list.
First published April 2013!