Custom New Wave Gothic Shadow Box Frame

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 07-05-2009 08:22 AM 3675 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a recent personal project – I have a tenancy to pull off some rather, how best described let’s see … well overkill is a good way to describe it I guess …

My father finally decided it was time to sign off on my “Masters” certification – which officially proclaimed that I have the basic idea what I’m doing, and transferred the shop name, etc to me. I figured it would be fun to have this done on a manuscript, and with some research I discovered Rosemary Buczek of The Gilded Quill. Around the same time saw Pergamena appear on Dirty Jobs.

The combined idea, a known source of hand made goatskin parchment, and one of the world’s best Master Penman at the ready … I ended up commissioning an illuminated manuscript. The piece warranted a frame that would properly display the parchment in a natural looking state (IE not stretched fully flat) so a shadow box made sense.

The style is in our original “New Wave Gothic” using a rope carving around the frame and the shadow box (which is not shown yet in these photos) and a set of acanthus leaves just for an extra accent. The internals are a mat board of black acid free suede with a protective museum glass panel in the front.

Fun project – looks great in my dining room for now. We really need to relocate though so I can build a stone castle looking wall someplace where this would make a far more dramatic display!

The text Reads

Artisans of the Valley
Hand Crafted Custom Woodworking & Museum Quality Antique Restoration
Pennington, NJ

Be it known that I Stanley D. Saperstein master of the shop known as Artisans of the Valley hereby do transfer the name of my shop and my Title of Master to my son Eric M. Saperstein who has followed in my footsteps earning the title of Ars Artisan of Custom Furniture Making and all its branches.

I hereby certify that my son has fulfilled his obligations as my apprentice from the age of ten through the 2 day of the year 2000.

I hereby certify that my son has demonstrated to my satisfaction his abilities as a journeyman furniture maker by delivery of a series of master’s pieces designed, joined, carved, and finished by his hands.

I hereby certify that my son has demonstrated to my satisfaction his abilities as a journeyman in furniture restoration by completion of a series of master’s level restorations.

I hereby proclaim to have fulfilled my obligation as the fifth generation set forth by the tradition of my teacher Fourth Generation Master C.N. Grinnell and the masters before him to pass on our trade and heritage.

I now transfer this title to my son as the sixth generation of master woodworkers formally trained in the Grinnell family tradition.

Ergo I take the title of Master Emeritus and set my signature to this document on the 2 day of the year 2008.

Stanley D. Saperstein

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

5 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4156 days

#1 posted 07-05-2009 01:17 PM

Eric, this is wonderful. I love the frame -and the manuscript of course. You are truly an artist. Don’t ever lose that “overkill” creativity. I smiled at the comment that you now need to build a wall befitting the project :)

Well done and congrats to your mentor, your Dad, as well!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3244 days

#2 posted 07-06-2009 01:12 AM

Thanks – I wish the pictures really showed the manuscript in its true form; I took the image through the museum glass which polarized it, etc. I cleaned it up quite a bit in photoshop but the colors are still not really expressed as well as they are in real life. Rosemary really did an amazing job on this piece, I guess some day it will be one of those finds on Antiques Roadshow!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#3 posted 07-06-2009 01:15 AM

Nice frame

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3770 days

#4 posted 07-06-2009 09:22 AM

A great piece to cherish and be honored to have recieved! You have a God given talent you should be proud of. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3244 days

#5 posted 08-16-2009 07:45 AM

Added one more photo – watch for updates when this piece along with a few others will be appearing on an artist feature. Not sure of the TV Show title yet – I don’t think they have finalized it … scheduled to air we’re hoping this September.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

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