chartwell gallery

Quality Picture framing in Southend since 1977

We are retiring at the end of June 2020 after 36 years at Chartwell Gallery.  The business will take orders up to Tuesday 30th of June.

From January 2020 our opening hours are Wednesday to Friday 10.30 to 5.00.  Saturday 10.30 to 3.00. Closed Sunday, Monday & Tuesdays. 

Jane & I would like to thank all our past customers who have supported us over the years.

 Established in 1977, the Chartwell Gallery offers a friendly professional in-house framing service by Brian Davis BA (hons) and Jane Kent.  We only use wood mouldings such as obeche, oak, beech, lime, ash, and pine with conservation quality materials, to ensure the maximum protection for our framing. 


Framing an Ammonite Fossil  Probably the oldest item I have framed so far. Notice the box of Conservation P90 tape which we use to seal the framing package before the final board is fitted to the back of the frame.

glass display case on a plinth showing polyhedrons

A Glass Display Case on a Plinth  We make glass display covers on a plinths, and here is an example with three mathematical models.

Jimmy Quinn's boxing shorts

Boxing Shorts Box Framed.  The shorts were sown onto the lining of the box using nylon fishing line which is very strong. A spacer is used under the frame to keep the glass form the shorts, and is just visible in the photograph.. It is important that the glass does not touch the object being framed.  Float Glass was used.

shopfront september 2016

Conservation Framing

Our Conservation Framing Service complies with The Fine Art Trade Guild Specification. The basic principle of conservation framing is that the method of framing must be reversible, without any damage to the artwork. This means that items must not be stuck down on boards of any kind, and all materials within the framing package must be of conservation quality having a ph value of not less than 7, which is the neutral point on the ph scale.

Of course we recognize that not everybody will require conservation framing, and so we also offer our standard framing which can include, if required, elements of conservation such as UV or low reflection glass, or dry-mounting onto foam-board in our heated vacuum press.

shopfront september 2016

Protect with UV Glass

We offer 3 different types of glass, high quality Float Glass, UV Glass, and Low Reflection Glass, which also has UV protection.

The Low Reflection Glass is coated with a multi-layer interference coating (OIC) which is similar to the coating on a camera lens.  About 92% of light is transmitted through glass, the remaining 8% is reflected towards the viewer.  Our Low Reflection Glass only reflects about 1%,  giving a brighter image with minimal reflection.

Box frame showing a row of teddies

using 't' pins to stretch an embroidery

Peacock Embroidery, Design & Copyright by Jayne Netley-Mayhew.
Embroidered by Mrs Sylvia Gibson

This embroidery was stretched onto a 5mm conservation foamboard using 'T' Pins along the grain of the fabric to get it perfectly square. The glass must not lie directly on top of the embroidery, therefore a black spacer was used under the rebate of the frame to give an air space of approximately 3mm.

ceramic tea cosy


A ceramic figure with a wollen dress.  This unusual item is in fact a tea cosy!  Framed with a leather effect mahogany frame.

venitian leather mask

A Venetian Leather Mask.  This required a fairly deep box frame with a forest green suedette mountboard from Arqadia. The framed item would have benefited from Low reflection UV Glass, however this project was completed before the glass was widely available in this country.

Box Framed 3-D Objects made by Grace & Alex

a framed tribute to trevor bailey

A Framed Tribute to Trevor Bailey CBE - Hanging in the Westcliff-0n-Sea Cricket Pavilon at Chalkwell Park, Southend on Sea, this was commissioned for the Cricket Club.

signed blackburn rovers football shirt

A Signed Blackburn Rovers Football Shirt suspended in a double sided glass frame.- The shirt is hanging on a special 3mm Perspex Hanger, and is suspended with nylon fishing line sown through the shirt and into a black spacer in the Frame.  This gives 45mm between the glass panels to allow the shirt to hang naturally.  Tru Vue Conservation Clear UV Glass was used on both sides of the frame to protect the signatures and shirt from fading.    

Framed Arsenal Football Shirt

Signed Arsenal Football Shirt - This large shirt was box framed using a 'Fire Red' brushed nylon fabric to line the shallow box inside the main frame.  As usual a shaped foamboard is inserted into the shirt to give it a three dimensional effect.  Nylon fishing line was used to attach to the backing.  A Modern white box shape moulding was chosen to contrast with the colour of the shirt and background, which works very well.  Artglass low reflection UV glass was used to reduce reflections since the overall size of the frame was quite large, 90x86cm.  The UV element in the glass will protect the signatures, colour of the shirt, and background, from fading. The shallow box frame is sealed to the glass using P90 Conservation tape, and then attached to the main white frame using screw eyes and screws, thereby enabling easy access should that be required in the future.

coldstream guards jacket

Coldstream Guards Jacket -  This large Coldstream Guards Jacket was box framed into a deep box, with a green suedette mountboard liner which gave a nice contrast to the red of the jacket. The jacket was padded with acid free tissue and sown with near invisible nylon through the liner at strategic points. A board shape was cut and painted for the neck space, and a plinth with an engraved inscription was placed under the jacket. UV Glass was used to protect the colours of the jacket and also the green of the liner. Low Reflection Glass with UV protection could have been used as an alternative to reduce relections.

 Light Damage

Light damage is gradual, and irreversible.  Artwork or prints should never be exposed to direct sunlight from windows, especially early morning or evening when the sun is low in the sky and UV exposure is greatest. 

Light enters rooms from windows and bounces from walls and ceilings. This indirect light is less damaging of course, but this exposure is often overlooked.  We use a UV Protection glass which has a filter that absorbs 99% of the damaging ultraviolet energy. Vulnerable items include fabrics, cross stitch, needlepoint, silks, watercolours, papyrus, and sports shirts with signatures.

framing workshop

 Method of Framing

The glass is sealed to the foamboard and window mounts, with a conservation white paper tape called Filmoplast P90. This sealed package prevents the intrusion of dust and small insects, and fits neatly into the frame rebate.

If necessary we sometimes use a small spacer placed under the rebate of the frame.  This gives a small air space between the artwork and the glass allowing any condensation which may form on the inside of the glass, due to sudden temperature changes, to gradually dissipate without affecting the artwork.  This method is very useful for embroideries.  A double mount will of course do the same job as a spacer, and gives about a 3mm air space.

Finally, a solid 3mm medium density board, or an archival corri-cor board is used as a final backing and sealed with gum paper tape, so essentially the frame is double sealed.  Felt pads are placed on the bottom corners of the frame to allow an air space between the picture back and the wall, which promotes air circulation.

shop display 2014

Mounting Prints and Artwork

 Our Conservation method of attaching prints and artwork on paper is to use gummed Mulberry paper T-hinges on a conservation mountboard or foamboard.  Only about 5mm of the hinge is actually fixed to the artwork.  This enables the hinge to break at the crosspiece of the hinge if the frame receives a violent shock, without tearing the artwork.  Two hinges are required for most items, placed about 3cm from the top corners.

Paper should be able to expand and contract with the change of humidity therefore the paper should never be taped all around the edges as this restricts movement  causing cockling, the wavy undulation of the paper which is difficult to rectify.

Mounting a print with T hinges


Medal Sets

Medals require a box frame to allow sufficient space between the medals and the glass.  The box is also normally lined by a green suedette mountboard that gives a nice colour contrast to the ribbons and medals.  It is often a good idea to include a small photo of the recipient, and perhaps other related information, if possible.

Ribbons are sown to the suedette background with thin almost invisible nylon thread.  The glass is then sealed to the box with a P90 Conservation paper tape, which prevents the intrusion of dust and insects. This sealed unit is then inserted into the frame in such a manner that it may be easily removed at a later date if required.

Often overlooked is the fact that Ribbons like other fabrics will gradually fade if constantly subjected to sunlight or strong artificial light.  We use UV Glass, or UV Low Reflection Glass to protect the ribbons, background colours, and any documents from fading.

Medals that have been cleaned and polished will gradually lose their shine.  This is a natural process and depends on the type of alloy composition and the ambient humidity.  Bronze stars, for instance will return to their natural patina fairly quickly, but medals with bright alloys tend to retain their shine.

ceramic heads
 Two painted ceramic heads in a Box Frame.

framed samurai sword
A Japanese Samurai Sword  - An original 19th Century Japanese Samurai Sword in a wall mounted display, with a hinged lid. The sword blade requires regular cleaning and oiling, therefore the sword needs to be easily removed from the display case This was achieved by hinging the front moulding and using magnetic connectors to keep the lid closed. The sword was wedged between wooden dowling, and a named inscription on glass was placed in the left bottom corner. The display case was lined with forest green suedette mountboard.

a 100 yaer old enamel railway sign

A large framed enamel railway sign approximately 100 years old -  This enameled steel sign was quite bent in the middle from top to bottom along the rusted section. The challenge here was to straighten this within a frame. A 4cm width Oak frame was chosen for it's strength, and it's ability to resist warping. The Sign was pinned around the perimeter onto 25mm marine plywood, which was prepared for outside use. Holes were drilled through the side of the moulding and the frame was secured with screws into the side of the plywood to ensure a rigid fit, and therefore straightening the sign. The Plywood backing and frame were varnished to protect them from the elements.

framed essex football cap

 A Framed Essex Football Cap  A 60mm deep black frame was chosen to allow enough space for the cap to be slightly padded with tissue paper. It was then sown with nylon line into the white backing board. Tru Vue Conservation Clear UV Glass was used to preserve the colour of the cap and the surrounding mount board colour. An engraved brass inscription was placed under the cap.

signed Muhammad Ali Glove and photos

Signed Muhammad Ali Boxing Glove and photo's in a Box Frame. This required a deep box frame of about 150mm to accommodate the glove.  Low reflection glass was used to minimize reflections, and to protect the photo's and mounts from fading.

1940's RAF Tunic and Cap
The Jacket is first padded with foam board and tissue paper. The apertures for the photo's were then cut into a Natural hessian( Linen Moccasin Conservation Mount Borad from Arqadia). The tunic was then sown to the linen liner using nylon fishing line. Tru Vue Conservation Clear Glass was used to protect the photographs and the fabric from fading. A 4cm grey/silver metallic frame from Arqadia (273084330) was used to reflect the colours of the tunic.

framed star wars limited edition plates

Star Wars Limited Edition Plates  This was quite a challenging project simply because of the length of the frame and the framework within the main frame to make the structure rigid. Each plate had its own section within the frame, with a circular hole cut so that only about 10mm of the plate extended beyond the mount. A black spacer was used under the frame to give a small space between the plates and the glass. Due to the length of the box frame,  3mm glass rather than 2mm  was used for safety reasons.

set of tarzan and captain scarlet cards freverse of tarzan and captain scarlet cards

Set of 66 Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons Cards c1967. Set of 66 Tarzan Cards c1966. 

Each set has forms a large image on one side, with individual images on the reverse. The method of framing was to construct a grid of 1.5 mm thick black plastic framespace to support each card.  For Conservation purposes it was important not to fix the cards in place, but  to allow them to fit with a slight tolerance within their own space. The first image above, shows the grid marked on the lower sheet of glass in felt pen where the framespace is to be stuck. The two sheets of glass were sealed together using P90 Conservation tape.  This sealed package was placed within the rebates of two frames back to back, held together with glass plates, allowing easy access to the cards if required.

multi aperture pentagon frame

Multi-aperture Pentagon Frame - One of our pentagon frames with a a collection of old wedding photo's. These are custom made in any frame,size. and mounting.

Sports Shirts

Sports shirts require a box frame that allows sufficient space between the shirt and glass so they do not touch. Shirts should not be folded too small, or crushed between the glass and backing board. We like to retain the shirt in its actual size, however sometimes we fold the bottom quarter to reduce the overall frame size.  The box frame is lined with a contrasting colour to the shirt. A foam board insert is cut to the shape of the shirt to provide the necessary padding. Sleeves are usually pinned inwards to reduce the overall width, and shirts are held in position by nylon line sown into the box lining at strategic points. UV glass is sealed to the box frame with conservation paper tape that keeps out any dust particles.

 Sports shirts should not be hung in areas of possible high humidity, or above a heat source such as a radiator.  It should be realized that even the fabric colour will gradually fade if the framed shirt is placed in a bright room.  SIGNATURES ON SIGNED SHIRTS ARE  VULNERABLE TO FADING UNDER STRONG LIGHTING CONDITIONS UV filtered glass should be used to protect the fabric colours & signatures.


Signed Spurs Football Shirt   Lots of signatures on this Spurs Shirt. UV Glass is recommended not only to protect the signatures, but also the shirt and backing colours. Museum glass will give in addition, minimal reflections ( less than 1% ) when viewed directly opposite. Unfortunately the Spurs Shirt does not have Museum Glass as is evident from the photograph. brass tokens

Brass Tokens  A shallow box frame displaying two Colliery and one Milk Brass Tokens. A small black spacer under the rebate gives a 3mm space to allow the UV Glass to float above the objects. UV Glass was used to protect the colour of the velvet backing. A removable backing was made to allow access to the tokens for polishing. The velvet was stuck to a foamboard, with the tokens held in position with double sided tape, and vacuum pressed to give a slight indent in the velvet foamboard. The frame is a lacquered Walnut vernier.

old house keys

A set of Old House Keys

Christening dress in a box frame

A Christening Dress   The Christening Dress is framed in a deep box lined with a light tan suedette mountboard from Arqadia. The Dress hangs from a special perspex hanger, and is sown to the box with thin nylon thread. UV glass has been used to protect the dress and suedette colour.

Papier Mache Mask  From Peru this type of mask is worn at certain festivals and represents a 16th century Spanish Conquistador.  The box has a depth of 20cm, and is made from plywood, with perspex panels on the top and rear of the box to allow light to enter and illuminate the object.

mathematical model in glass display caseMathematical Model in a Glass Display Case - The final Stellation of the Icosahedron


multi aperture framing


Double Framed Tile  A double framed Ceramic Tile

miniature bag with a pearl handleMiniature Bag with a Pearl Handle in a Box Frame.
This item was sown with nylon thread onto a rich Cabernet Suedette from Arqadia. A white Swept frame from the same company was used to create a dramatic contrast to the box colour.

A Solid Brass Award from the N.H.B.S to commemorate all the Horses in the Great War. The brass can be easily removed from the frame to be polished when necessary.  This was achieved with a hinged back and a removable box which contains the solid brass horse shoe. The Mount and box is a Forest Suedette from Arqadia, with a mahogany frame with two gold lines.  UV Glass was used to protect the info pane and the red silk title 'In Memory of all the Horses in the Great War'. Silk is damaged by UV light which degrades the silk fibers.

framed ceramic poppy by paul cummins framed tower poppy with coldstream guards figures

A Ceramic Tower Poppy with two Pewter Coldstream Guards Figures. Two hand painted pewter figures, Grenadier of the Coldstream Regiment Foot Guards, and a Guardsman, Coldstream Guards, 1980, lie on a shelf above the certificate certifying that this poppy is one of 888,247 made for the art installation at the Tower of London between the 5th of August and the 11th of November 2014.   Each Ceramic Poppy represents a British or Colonial military fatality during the First World War.
Tru Vue Conservation Clear UV Glass was chosen to give the maximum protection to the colour of the forest green suedette conservation mounting, the poppy and also the two figures. A pewter silver frame with a metallic appearance complements the Tower of London Photograph in the background.

framed tower ceramic poppy

framed ceramic poppy A compact version of the Tower Poppy


tower poppy no.4 

One of the Tower of London Poppies - framed with a gold slip frame around the two apertures. UV Glass was used to protect the colour of the mounting and the certificate.

supermarine spitfire tie pin

A Spitfire Tie Pin  Made from original components of Supermarine Spitfire P7350 during restoration in 2003. First Airborne in August 1940 during the Battle of Britain, it is now the oldest working airworthy Spitfire, forming part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Princess Diana Ceramic Plate

Ceramic Plate of Princess Diana in a Box Frame.  The glass must not be allowed to rest on the rim of the plate, therefore a spacer was used discreetly under the rebate of the frame to create the necessary space. framed cast iron sculpture

 A Cast Iron Sculpture Box Framed with Low Reflection Glass, and a plain Oak Frame


framed london marathon medal, ribbon and photo's

2015 London Marathon Medal plus ribbon and photographs.  A black spacer was used under the rebate of the frame to give about 3mm of space to allow for the thickness of the medal. The photographs were drymounted onto conservation foam board, and the ribbon was attached to the mount with the remainder overlapping the reverse of the board. UV Glass was used to protect the colour of the mount and ribbons from fading. The deep wooden frame is a scratched brushed silver finish, which complements the colour of the mount and medal.

bespoke wedding framing
  An example of one of our wedding frames - A tiara & garter in a black suedette lined box frame was used to create a contrast with the items. Low reflection glass reduces reflections to a minimum, since box framing on very dark colours tend to accentuate reflections.





1930's Zeiss Bellows Camera And Leather Case - A Natural Oak Frame and Plinth were joined together to form a structure to display this vintage camera.  A five sided glass box fits on top of the plinth, and slides into the rebate of the standing frame. The front glass panel is low reflection artglass.  The top of the plinth and the back panel of glass were covered with a Linen Moccasin Board from Arqadia, which provides a nice fine grain texture( not evident in the photo's).  The Oak frame and Plinth were treated with Beeswax to protect the wood from staining and excessive dryness. The Camera may be easily removed from the glass box when required.

Framed Lewis Hamilton Signed Shirt


Framed Lewis Hamilton Signed Shirt - A silver coloured liner was chosen to reflect Team Mercedes Arrows. A 5mm Foamboard was inserted into the shirt to give a more three dimensional effect. The shirt was fixed to the box liner with nylon fishing line.  Tru Vue Conservation Clear Glass was used to protect the signature, shirt colour, the silver lining, and the photograph from fading. This was quite a large and heavy frame, therefore heavy duty brackets were used on the reverse of the frame to hook directly onto strong wall hooks.  No cord or Wire! Peg line photo collection A Swept Frame showing small photographs hung on a Peg Line.