• Important Early European Furni auction at Christies

    Sale 7764

    Important Early European Furniture, Sculpture & Tapestries

    5 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 268

    A LOUIS XVI ALLEGORICAL TAPESTRY

    BY FRANCOIS PICQUEAUX, AUBUSSON, CIRCA 1779, AFTER JEAN-BAPTISTE OUDRY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LOUIS XVI ALLEGORICAL TAPESTRY
    BY FRANCOIS PICQUEAUX, AUBUSSON, CIRCA 1779, AFTER JEAN-BAPTISTE OUDRY
    Woven in wools and silks, depicting a roaring lion and a lioness before an antique temple with marble figures, with a wooded landscape in the background, signed 'M.R.D AVBVSSON, 1779 PICQUEAUX.A SORTISSEVR', the top folded over by circa 13 in., possibly reduced in size to the sides, areas of restoration and reweaving, especially to the light threads
    9 ft½ in. x 82 in. (275 cm. x 208.5 cm.)


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    This tapestry belongs to the late successes of the Aubusson workshop and is woven by one of its pre-eminent weavers. Picqueaux (d. 1804) became assortisseur des laines et des soies for Aubusson in 1773. Picqeaux is also recorded having woven a set of the Metamorphoses after Oudry for Jean-Louis de Lentilhac, Marquis de Gimel, in 1771 (D. and P. Chevalier and P.-F. Bertrand, Les Tapisseries d'Aubusson et de Felletin, Paris, 1988, pp. 154 - 155).

    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.


    Saleroom Notice

    This tapestry depicts 'The Metamorphosis of Hippomene and Atalanta' from Jean-Baptiste Oudry's 'Metamorphoses'. In this series Oudry replaced all protagonists with animals. He placed great emphasis on the designs and made at least twenty preparatory drawings for the eight tapestries that formed this series. They were first woven once at Beauvais for King Christian IV of Denmark for his palace Christiansborg in Copenhagen in 1734 but burnt in the fire of 1794. The cartoons were sent to Aubusson in 1761 and at least two weavings were produced, one by Francois Piqueaux for Jean-Louis de Lentilhac, marquis de Gimel for his chateau Saint-Jean de la Cour d'Aubusson in 1771 and another woven by Fourie in 1783. Only two tapestries are traceable, one that was with French & Co from 1914 - 61 which showed Zeus changed into a bull and another depicting the Death of Orpheus in a private collection.
    What is probably the offered lot was at the chateau de la Courcelle at the end of the 19th century and is described illustrated in L. Guibert and J. Texier, Exposition de Limoges 1886, L'Art Retropsectif, Limoges, 1887, no. 22, pl. LXXXIX.
    (P.-F. Bertrand, 'Les sujets de la tenture des "Metamorphoses en animaux" d'Oudry', Bulletin de la Societe de l'Histoire de l'Art francais, Paris, 1991, pp. 95 - 107)


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A LADY