We’re absolute fans of vintage and shabby chic styles, which is why we went looking for antique-style photo frames. And what better place than Etsy to look for these treasures? The best Etsy antique picture frames came in all kinds of ornate and classic shapes and were bursting with personality. What’s more, they made a statement with our decor and brought a touch of elegance into our homes. That’s what made them such a perfect choice for holding everything from certificates to handpainted portraits and favorite photographs. Whatever one uses antique frames for, knowing which one to buy is the challenge.
With so many designs on offer on Etsy, it could be a challenge to zero in on one rustic or vintage/antique-inspired frame. That’s why we’ve done the legwork for you and come up with this definitive and detailed guide to buying the best old-time products on Etsy.
Happy Moose Vintage Two Danish Twin Antique Frames
We begin this list with the utterly gorgeous pair that is Happy Moose Vintage Two Danish Twin Antique Frames. These two white-and-golden brass picture frames date back to Denmark in the 1950s and are as vintage as they get. The frame itself is made from high-quality brass with detailed and well-designed engravings. What’s more, it features the Photo original convex glass from back then and is mounted with stands and hoops. It was the perfect vintage shabby-chic addition to our farmhouse decor in our sunroom. Did we tell you what we framed them with? The flower bouquet from our wedding! It was also one of the best Etsy wedding gifts we’ve gotten.
- This item is vintage from the 1950s.
- It’s a unique pair of picture frames.
- It goes well with vintage or even rustic-chic decor.
- It costs to ship.
We were looking for a unique photo frame that was not made from metal, and this Traditional Assets Antique French Gothic-style Leather Photo Frame is perfect. Dating back to the 1910s, this fabulous tabletop easel back picture frame features a Gothic-style arch. What’s more, the exterior is covered in dark brown leather, which has developed a rich, sleek patina. In fact, the front of the frame is embossed in a gorgeous French fleur-de-lis design. Since it’s designed in a Gothic arch style, the front of the frame has two doors that open up to reveal an inner photograph! The best bit? They can be closed with a beautiful metal latch.
“With a lovely Fleur-de-lis pattern and dark brown leather, this photo frame is as antique-y as decor can get!”Dizzzi
- Since it doesn’t have a glass, we could easily remove and replace photographs.
- It’s a majestic antique item to display on a table or shelf.
- It’s in great vintage condition with just age-related wear.
- It’s not a traditional picture frame.
Robeet Vintage Victorian-Style Frame
We were looking for a vintage rather than antique frame and found this Robeet Vintage Victorian-style Frame to be ideal. Dating to before the 2000s, this Victorian-style frame added a touch of elegance to our vintage, rustic-themed dining area. We loved the arched top with the detailed engraved borders and features easy-to-open tabs. So, we didn’t have any trouble at all changing our pictures regularly. Since it’s designed from clear glass, strong metal, and durable plastic, the frame is designed to last. Finally, it also comes with a hanging hook, so we could mount it easily on our walls.
- The frame is very affordable.
- The frame is durable and very well-designed.
- It’s vintage and in good condition.
- The size might be a tad too small for larger walls.
Canny Fox Vintage Antique Art Deco Spelter Squirrel Marble Photo Frame
Unique is what came to our minds when we saw the Canny Fox Vintage Antique Art Deco Spelter Squirrel Marble Photo Frame. This really lovely 1920s French tabletop photo frame comes with a marble base. What’s more, it features a glass between two decorations that holds the photo, with white-and-grey marble squares at one end and a spelter metal squirrel at the other. Moreover, the squirrel’s back is marked with a tag – “No. 2003 Made in France.” Not only does the glass come with sandblasted edges, but also the frame comes with good-quality backing paper. Hence, we could use it to slip in any photograph that we wanted to display, and it worked well, especially if the image was smaller than the glass’ size.
- Considering its age, it’s in a good vintage condition.
- The screw that holds the squirrel in place is new.
- It’s one of a kind.
- It costs to ship.
Oldtimer Beauties Antique Round Gold Frame With Alps Landscape Oil Painting
Not all picture frames need to have edges, do they? That’s the beauty – and uniqueness – of circular frames. Plus, the Oldtimer Beauties Antique Round Gold Frame With Alps Landscape Oil Painting even comes with a gorgeous oil painting of the Alps landscape! This vintage treasure features a small, original, and captivating oil painting on canvas. The mesmerizing artwork depicts a serene Alps landscape, making it perfect for a den, a sunroom, or a breakfast room in your house. What’s more, it came framed in a round antique gilded frame, which elevated the decor of our space, adding tranquility and charm
- We could choose from different styles – a landscape, a fir tree, or two fir trees.
- It’s vintage from before the 2000s and in very good condition.
- It’s a unique, rare treasure.
- It’s on the expensive side.
Jewels DuMonde French Louis 15th XV Style Brass Picture Frame
When you see the Jewels DuMonde French Louis 15th XV Style Brass Picture Frame, you won’t be surprised that it sits at the top of the frame. This antique frame dates back to the 1930s, and we could buy not just 1 piece but up to 10 pieces. The frame is made in France from raw brass and boasts a natural patina that only becomes more gorgeous with age. Since it was made from antique tools in Louis Quinze (15th or XV) style, the detailing when it comes to the engraving is jaw-dropping. The size of the frame might be much smaller than the others on this list, but it went perfectly with the miniature setting in our sunroom!
- The raw brass build and design with detailing are gorgeous.
- It’s unique and one of a kind.
- For smaller rooms, the size is perfect.
How To Choose The Best Etsy Antique Picture Frames?
- Neoclassical style: These frames have simpler designs with straight lines, rounded profiles, and molded squares and were popular in the 19th century.
- Victorian style: Popular in the 19th century, these were around the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and feature elaborate moldings.
- Rococo style: This 18th-century style is famed for its swirling and fanciful designs.
- Baroque style: These 17th-century style frames are big on drama, with flowers at the corners, leaves, shells, and carved medallions.
The objective of antique picture frames is more than just framing photographs – most times, they’re timeless collectibles and keepsakes. You could even slip in personal artwork, pressed flowers, and more. It all boils down to what you want you want to use the frame for.
When going for wooden frames, we made sure that the frame was in good condition overall. To that end, we checked for dark coloring and uneven staining at the back, which is a sign of the natural oxidation that comes with aging. It’s also an indication that the frame is antique and, hence, valuable.
Antique picture frames are of a much higher quality than frames today. Most frames these days are light and may be made of plastic or metal. Because valuable antique frames are often made of wood, they are usually on the heavier side.
Match the decor
Finally, we love it when decor matches, like when antique Etsy rugs and vintage Etsy clocks complement Etsy dining room wall decor. Since every antique frame is different, choose them on the basis of the decor where you plan to place the frame.
How do you date an antique frame?
We looked at the frame’s back for the craftsman’s mark, a label that usually also has the date of creation of the frame.
How do you clean vintage frames?
After wiping the dust off with a soft, clean cloth, dunk a toothbrush into a mild dishwashing soap solution and gently scrub the surface in small sections. Pay attention to the crevices and finish off with wood oil.
Are antique picture frames valuable?
It’s possible, but while some sell for thousands of dollars, others are not worth so much. So, it’s a good idea to get the frame appraised.
Some images in this article are copyrighted by Etsy.