Franklin Report Report Card for Eli Wilner & Company in New York City
★ Franklin Report Card
Eli Wilner & Company
1525 York Avenue
New York, NY 10028
(212) 744-6521
www.eliwilner.com
info@eliwilner.com
Main Contact: Eli Wilner
FR Rated
Categories
Art & Antiques Appraisers
Framing

Services & Specialties
Exceptional antique frames - restoration, replicas and appraisal

FRANKLIN REPORT RATINGS
Recommendation:
 
4.5
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Value Analysis :
 
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FR Review:
What’s your next stop after buying that Monet you couldn’t live without? Eli Wilner & Company, of course. Unlike other framers who approach the craft from a purely aesthetic point of view, Wilner and his staff of twenty craftsmen prefer to be true to the original artist’s intentions—they not only identify and reproduce the original frame (when possible) with what materials were available at the time, but they also try to put themselves in the artist’s shoes. The firm also appraises antique frames.

Wilner’s love of framing started when he was a boy and an aspiring painter. His great-uncle would frame young Eli’s paintings in antique frames and hang them next to his Chagalls. Years later, after receiving his master’s degree in painting from Hunter College, Wilner took a framing position at Shepherd Gallery, where he eventually took over the entire department. Wilner stayed at Shepherd for five years, and during that time amassed a large collection of antique frames. He found that it was easy to acquire them after auction sales, and from art dealers who would have otherwise discarded this valuable merchandise. In 1983, Wilner left Shepherd and established his own firm.

Clients tell us that the company not only has the finest framers, but also pro- vides the best service. Wilner & Co. is literally a “white-glove business,” meaning that employees wear white gloves and masks, and when they are installing they bring protective carpets. The firm is also willing to do “adventurous deliveries”—when paintings don’t fit in a building’s elevator, they’ve been known to ride on top of elevator cars to deliver the work. The company has also taken art all across the country, shipped to every state and have even installed in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Switzerland and the Middle East.

Wilner & Co. is a framer of choice for Sotheby’s. They have also done work for Christie’s, the Metropolitan Museum and the White House (the firm received the great honor of reproducing the frame for and installing Washington Crossing the Delaware.) Work of this caliber will cost you, and Eli Wilner, by his own admission, is literally the most expensive framer in the world, making his company all but inaccessible to everyone except institutions and the very wealthy. (Not surpris- ingly, Wilner & Co. framed highest-priced painting ever auctioned, a $106 million Picasso from Christie’s.) Prices are based on the rarity of the antique frame or the number of hours Wilner’s studio needs to reproduce one. Wilner offers a five percent discount for paying up front, and as a result this is the way most of his customers choose to pay. The bottom line is that if you have artwork worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, the cost of hiring Wilner is likely not an issue, and you’re getting the best. Look elsewhere to frame your diploma.

Representative Client Comments:
“Extremely well-known in the business, everyone respects him.” “Great, personal service.” “At Sotheby’s, we respect his choice of frames.” “There was only one painting he framed that I thought was not appropriate, but that was one painting out of literally dozens and dozens. Eli changed the frame for me immediately.” “We can send him digital images, and Eli will research what kind of frame would have been originally on a piece.” “It’s a big plus to have a reproduction frame when we are selling a painting.” “I’ve been working with him for twelve years.” “We don’t have an exclusive arrangement with Eli, but I would say that most of the time we use him. He is a framer of choice.”

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REGISTERED (1 review )
Posted 2/15/2012
Reviewed By:
PollySartori New York, NY

Bottom Line:
At Sotheby’s we respect his choice of frames.
Recommendation
Work Quality
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Project Description & Comments:
I can only speak to Eli's work with respect to the Sotheby's 19th Century Framing Department, but I have worked with him for twelve years. My predecessor worked with him as well. We don’t have an exclusive arrangement with Eli, but I would say that most of the time we use him. He is a framer of choice. We can send him digital images, and Eli will research what kind of frame would have been originally on a piece and his craftsman reproduce it. It’s a big plus to have a reproduction frame when we are selling a painting.
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