RG Les Cadres Gault’s story starts the end of the 19th century in Paris, near Canal Saint-Martin.
The company, established by Émile Gault and specialising in framing and the manufacture of carved wood frames, opened a shop on Rue Bonaparte at the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in 1936.
It soon became the go-to address – where Picasso, Chagall and Dali went to have their works framed.
Today, the company has set up shop on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in addition to opening branches in Geneva and Moscow, in order to ensure close proximity and superb service for its clients, museums, historic monuments, galleries, decorators and private individuals.
From one generation to the next, staff learn the craft from more experienced colleagues. Meticulous methods, a passion for quality work, experience and creativity are the subtle elements that combine to form the foundation of RG Les Cadres Gault.
For more than a century, we have been making and restoring frames and mirrors, continuing our profession’s tradition both in terms of the methods and the materials used.
Our workshops are also the places where joiners, wood carvers, finishers and gilders combine their expertise in their quest for excellence. All our frames are entirely handmade.
We are pleased to welcome you to our shops, where you will find our frames for sale on display; our craftsmen and framers will be more than happy to help meet your needs. Trained in traditional techniques, they are able to advise you on the choice of frames or mirrors according to your needs in terms of taste, style and period. They can also provide guidance on materials, board and glass, in line with the latest requirements on protection and conservation of your works.
We also sell a variety of hanging systems and can come to your home to ensure your works are hung perfectly.
Everything is made traditionally in our workshops.
We outline below the various steps involved in making a frame.
Step 1: carving
The frame or pattern to be carved arrives in a raw form.
The carver draws the pattern to be created, using threaded chisels to strike the outline following the design.
Next, the wood is removed to bring out the pattern and create varying levels of thickness.
Last but not least, the surrounding refines the details.
When the four sides are complete, the frame is assembled and joined together to create a perfect finish.
When the frame or mirror is complete, the finishers can start their work.
The frame arrives in a raw form; it is glued (using rabbit-skin glue and chalk) and primed (with the same mixture, but thicker) with a brush.
Finishing: when it is dry, the primer is softened with a cloth and water.
Then the repair work starts, when all the ornamentation is cleared and chiselled.
When the work is complete, the frame arrives in the gilding shop, where it is glued (using yellow ochre and rabbit-skin glue) and covered with a base (mixture of clay and rabbit-skin glue) that is traditionally red in colour.
When the base is dry, the gilder can start laying on the gold leaf. The gold leaf is laid using a sable hair brush.
When it is dry, it is burnished with agate stone to create a high-gloss effect.
The last step is the patina, which adds various nuances to the frames from very old gold to very new in line with our customers’ requests.