Mounting and Displaying Art, Artifacts, and Collectibles.

There are many ways to display your fine art, artifacts and collectibles. We offer both stock displays and custom mount options for all your display needs.

Custom Mount Making for Art and Artifacts

Art Display Essentials has many stock items that can be used to mount art, collectibles, and artifacts. However, there are many times a custom mount may be needed or desired. For instance, the object may be too large, too fragile, too heavy, or the object may require a special mount to get an exact fit.
Art, collectibles, and artifacts can be mounted in many ways. Each object has its own unique properties requiring a solution to hold it securely and look aesthetically pleasing, with a good balance between security and aesthetics.
These are some basic approaches to custom mounts:

The Display Armature:

There are, for the most part, two basic materials for an armature; metal and acrylic. Acrylic can be nice in some situations especially if you are mounting something that you can see through because it is clear. The drawback with using acrylic is it takes a much thicker material to get the same strength as metal would in a smaller size. Acrylic armatures are bent by heating the acrylic until it gets soft and bendable. Metal armatures are more common because they can be of a smaller material size making them less noticeable and provide a professional clean look. The armature is bent to match the curves of what it is holding and is placed somewhere on the artifact to support it safely but should be out of sight as much as possible. Usually this armature comes from the back or from underneath, whichever works best to support the artifact. Sometimes an artifact is floated off of its base and sometimes it looks better to have it resting right on the base. Often, where the tips of the armature are visible, they are painted so they do not stand out. If the artifact is soft, a plastic coating is put on the tips to protect it. Very small and fragile items can be mounted with very small diameter metal. Very large and heavy artifacts will use thicker, stronger metal. Usually steel or brass is used. 10-31 Inc. has been making custom armatures for artifacts for over 25 years for hundreds of galleries, museums, universities, auction houses, and private collectors. The very knowledgeable staff are ready to assist you in choosing the right solution for your pieces.

Custom Display Armature

Here is a cycladic figure mounted with a custom display armature next to the empty display. Notice how little you see the armature when on its display.

Art Display Essentials carries a stock display armature that you can bend yourself making it a stock to custom approach you can use to mount an object or artifact. You can see those items here:

Stock display armatures holding artifacts, art objects and collectibles:

T-arms with clear and black base options T-arm side view with upright post bent away from artifact T-arm display holding small powder horn Back view of T-arm holding an African mask T-arm with one arm cut off and the other arm bent down into a hook. Double T-arm being used so artifact can float off of display base H-arms holding pistols H-arm bent for powder horn Spider mounts, one holding small skull from underneath Tobacco pipe display on spider mount Two dolls displayed on T-arms mineral display on spider mount

Bending methods:

Bent around square object that is not the artwork to get square bend. Bent around object if it is hard and stable. Be careful not to scratch object. Bent around round non-art object. Tight bends using two pliers. Two larger pliers bending back post. Clipping off excess wire after bending is complete.

Drilling and Sleeving:

There are some artifacts or objects that benefit from being drilled prior to mounting. The piece is usually drilled from the bottom or the back on a non artistic surface. 10-31 Inc. always recommends putting a sleeve into the object. This is the conservatorally sound way of mounting the piece so it can be removed from its base and helps to keep the piece from being worn down or damaged from removing it from the base. It is not recommended to permanently attach the artifact to a base since it could reduce the value. This method has a very clean look. Stone, wood, metal, clay or terracotta can be drilled. Some stone is very hard to drill making it more expensive because of the time it takes. Terracotta can be very fragile and needs to be drilled delicately. Drilling always has its risks, so it is best to use someone with experience. 10-31 Inc. has been drilling artifacts for over 25 years and has the experience and equipment to do the job correctly.
Drilling and screwing is a similar procedure but is usually done from the back. The piece would be drilled to allow lead or brass fittings to be placed so that screws can be placed into them.

Drill and Sleaved stone head on custom bronze base:

The Fitting:

A fitting can made to go inside the cavity of hollow artifacts to hold the piece. The advantage here is that there is no need to drill and it doesn’t need anything holding it on the outside. Sometimes it is difficult to get a fitting to hold the piece correctly which may require a good deal of tweaking.

Hood ornament with acrylic fitting:

Weathervane stand with post going into bottom of piece:


This method uses clips to hold an artifact onto a backplate that could be black, clear, wood, etc. Sometimes the back of the artifact goes through the backplate itself.
Again 10-31 Inc. has been making these custom mounts for artifacts for over 25 years and will recommend which approach is the best for a particular situation.

Art Display Essentials also carries stock backplates in a number of sizes. You can see them here:

Stock black and clear backplates:

The Inlet:

The inlet is sort of the opposite of the fitting. The base gets carved out and molded to the exact shape of the bottom of the artifact letting it fit down into the base and locking it into place. This is sometimes used in conjunction with other mounting techniques.

Display Bases:

Most of the time the above methods use a base which the armature attaches to or the inlet is put into etc. Bases come in a number of sizes and finishes. A popular finish is a semi flat black, because it is neutral enough to fit in a large variety of situations. Other finishes and materials are; clear, steel, wood, fabric, bronze, and marble. They also have options such as; turntable, mirror, steps, and lighted.
Art Display Essentials also carries stock sizes of the black and clear that can be seen here:

and other base options here:

Display Cases:

Acrylic cases are not used to hold up an artifact but are used in conjunction with the other mounting techniques to further protect an artifact. Cases are usually used with a base that has a top step that fits in the case. An artifact is put on a base with a case to keep it protected. UV filtering acrylic can be used to help protect the artifact from UV rays. Cases can be very small to very large, they can go on pedestals or over textiles. They can have square, rounded or beveled edges. They can have doors and they can go on walls. They can also be used with humidity control bases, to help stabilize the humidity in the case.
Art Display Essentials also carries some stock size cases which can be seen here:

10-31 Inc. has been making custom cases for over 25 years and can make one to the size you require.

Art Display Essentials also carries a couple of sizes of Humidity Control Bases. These bases have a hollow section underneath where silica gel can be stored. They can be seen here:

Larger display cases used in museums and other institutions are made of glass. 10-31 Inc supplies quality glass display cases in the USA. Major museums and design firms look to 10-31 Inc to provide custom glass display cases and solutions for complex display situations.

Humidity control base shown with custom case and stock black base:

Glass museum display cases at the Patton Museum, Fort Knox:

Display Pedestals:

Display pedestals are furniture dedicated to displaying an art object.  10-31 Inc. has many options and finishes to choose from and has made thousands of high quality display pedestals for hundreds of galleries, museums, universities, auction houses, and private collectors. Some of the options are; top step, bottom step, turntable top, pyramid, castors, lighted, laminate, wood veneer, painted, acrylic, lacquered or metal. For a truly special look, brass metal laminate can be patinated into a bronze finish. Pedestals can be made to hold quite a lot of weight. A typical pedestal can hold 200 lbs. 10-31 Inc. has made them to hold 2 tons!
Art Display Essentials also carries some stock size pedestals which can be seen here:

mahogany decorative pedestal:

group of pedestals:

painted decorator pedestal

Mineral, Fossil, and Seashell Displays:



Antiquarium, Ltd:

Greek Art, Roman Art, Hellenistic Art, Etruscan Art, Near East Art, Egyptian Art, Byzantine, Islamic, & Renaissance Art.

Royal-Athena Galleries:

Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Byzantine & Early Christian, Migration to Neo-Classic, Cypriot, Sardinian & Iberian, Egyptian, Near Eastern, and Prehistoric.

Medusa Ancient Art:

Egyptian Art, European Art, Greek Art, Near Eastern Art, Roman Art, and South Italian Art.

M.S. Rau Antiques:

Antiques, Fine Art, and Jewelry.

Minerals, Shells and Collectibles:

Egyptian Artifacts:

Some types of artifacts:

Usahbti, Celt, Etruscan, Geometric, Coreform glass, Bronzes, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Faience, Amulets, Jade, Oil lamps, Terra Cotta, Byzantine, Olmec, Mezcala, Pre Columbian, Mayan, Aztec, Stylized, Estarte, Bi, Anatolian, Luristan, Hellenistic, Mycenaean, Sardinian, Thraco-Scythian, Tlatilco, Pre Classic, Teotihuacan, Colima, Jalisco, Vera Cruz, Chavin, Moche, Chimu, Quimbaya, Valdivia, Pairona, Cycladic, Inuit, North West Coast, Eskimo, Native American, Indian, Tang Dynasty, Ming Dynasty, Ching Dynasty, Nordic, Ancient coins, Medieval, Mineral

Decorative Easels
Sword and Knife Displays
Artifact Displays at Amazon
African Mask Displays
Oil Lamp Displays
10-31 Inc. Custom Mounts
Art Display Essentials
Retractable Museum Barriers
Helmet and Hat Stands
Museum Display Products
Museum Barriers
Museum Display Cases
Gun Displays
Display Easels
Museum Hanging Systems
Wholesale Easels
Cane/Walking Stick Display