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    Sale 7623

    Important Early European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    6 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 559

    A LOUIS XIV ARMORIAL PORTIERE TAPESTRY

    PROBABLY GOBELINS, EARLY 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LOUIS XIV ARMORIAL PORTIERE TAPESTRY
    PROBABLY GOBELINS, EARLY 18TH CENTURY
    Woven in wools and silks centred by a strapwork cartouche with the cipher 'AH' (?) beneath an architectural pediment suspending a ribbon- bound bell and supported by grotesques with herm figures, scrolling foliage and floral garlands, decorated with a parrot and a squirrel and a female mask beneath, within a spirally scrolling foliate border decorated with flowerheads and circular paterae to the corners, with beige inner and outer slips, the slips largely replaced
    9 ft. 8 in. x 6 ft. 11 in. (295 cm. x 210 cm.)


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    This tapestry is based on the Portières des Renommées originally designed by Charles Le Brun (d. 1690) while working for Nicolas Fouquet (d. 1680) and running his private tapestry workshop at Maincy. The tapestries were first woven at Maincy, which mainly supplied tapestries to the finance minister's château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. After Fouquet's fall from power in September 1661, the workshop was moved to the hôtel des Gobelins under Jean-Baptiste Colbert (d. 1683). Louis XIV approved the weaving of the Portières while Colbert also had them woven for himself with his emblem of a snake in the central cartouche.
    The design of the offered lot re-employs the framing device of Le Brun, while incorporating the grotesques popularized by Jean Bérain and adopted into tapestry designs in the late 17th and early 18th century at Beauvais and Gobelins. Weavers at Gobelins occasionally wove tapestries for private patrons, particularly when Royal Commissions ceased due to financial difficulties between 1693 and 1699.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Sotheby's, London, 30 April 1971, lot 13.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN COLLECTOR