The Frame as Art: Eli Wilner's Personal Collection | February 19th – Online only

Wednesday, February 19 – 1:00pm ET
Online Auction
January 30 – February 19
Eli Wilner's Workshop
(by appointment only)
Online Bidding:

Absentee Bidding:
By e-mail, mail and telephone
Bidder Agreement Form
Absentee Bid Form
Terms & Conditions

Auction update

Guernsey's would like to alert bidders to a change in the auction schedule for our upcoming auction: The Frame as Art Eli Wilner's Personal Collection. The auction will now be held online through and, and with absentee bidding by order bid or telephone. We will be eliminating the live auction event and preview scheduled at The Pierre.

We are elated to announce that bidders will have an opportunity to view the frames by appointment. Guernsey’s is now offering appointments to bidders to view frames at the Eli Wilner workshop (located in Long Island City, just minutes away from Midtown Manhattan) during the three-week period leading up to the auction. In addition to seeing the auction frames, you can also see how these very frames are made! Contact Guernsey’s to make an appointment (212-794-2280,

The Eli Wilner Classic Frame Collection

On February 19, Guernsey’s will be conducting an unprecedented auction of The Frame as Art: Eli Wilner’s Personal Collection consisting of more than four hundred of the workshop’s very finest frames made using old-world artisanship. The auction is a celebration of Eli Wilner & Company’s 40+ years as the country’s leading Master Framer will be held on February 19th, beginning at 1pm, online only through and, or through absentee bidding, order bidding, or telephone.

What do The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum and the White House have in common? On the walls of each, one will find more than two dozen magnificent picture frames crafted at the workshops of Eli Wilner & Company, Master Framers. When The Met was searching for an intricately carved, stunning and massive 14 by 23-foot gold-leafed frame to showcase its historic painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware, the Museum commissioned Eli Wilner for the coveted seven-figure assignment. And when Sotheby’s and Christie’s required the very finest frames to surround important works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, O’Keeffe, Rockwell and Magritte, they reached out to the Wilner studio.

Following the conclusion of prominent museum exhibitions or important art auctions, frames the Company loaned for those occasions were returned and became part of the Eli Wilner Classic Frame Collection. Each unique frame will include its exhibition history. The auction will include frames that surrounded works such as: van Gogh’s Paysage sous un Ciel Mouvemente for $54 million, Rockwell’s The Gossips for $8 million, and Picasso’s Le Peintre et son Modele for $13 million all of which were sold at Sotheby’s.

In addition to Washington Crossing the Delaware, The Met framed John Singer Sargent’s famous Madame X in an exquisite Wilner work, while a visit to the White House would include sightings of Eli Wilner frames on Albert Bierstadt’s powerful Storm Clouds and, in the Oval Office, Childe Hassam’s The Avenue in the Rain.

Inquiries about this unprecedented, upcoming auction should be directed to Guernsey’s (212-794-2280,, the New York-based auction house known for such events as the landmark Cold War auction of artwork from the Soviet Union, the Titanic sale, auctions of recovered collections of Holocaust-related art and the John F. Kennedy auctions.

Successful buyers of these treasured picture frames can easily have a liner created, adapting the frame to an existing work of art. Or, inasmuch as some view these frames as “masterpieces in and of themselves,” simply add a mirror or nest them on the wall.

62. 18th Century Spanish Style Frame
Ex. Picasso "Femme au Bouquet, 1970"

46. Charles Prendergast Design,
American c. 1920 Style Frame

223. Clamshell Design, American c. 1920
Style Frame Ex. Georgia O'Keeffe

90. American c. 1930 Style Frame,
Ex. Lempicka

55. American c. 1810 Iconographic Frame,
Ex. Gilbert Stuart "George Washington"

66. European 19th Century Style Frame,
Ex. Picasso "Peony"

393. Modernist Style Frame,
Ex: Paul Cezanne

113. Dutch Style 19th Century Style Frame
Ex. Rene Magritte "La Memoire"

70. Taos American
c. 1920 Style Frame

47. Italian 17th Century
Style Frame

5. Carl Sandelin Design,
American c. 1930 Style Frame

107. 19th Century Dutch Style Frame
Ex. Picasso "Tete de Femme"

View & Download (PDF)

Online Bidding

Those who are interested in participating can view the catalogue online, and leave advance absentee bids, as well as bid live as the sale is taking place at and


Interested bidders should also review the Terms & Conditions, as well as the Bidder Agreement form, and the Absentee Bid form.