• Important Early European Furni auction at Christies

    Sale 7764

    Important Early European Furniture, Sculpture & Tapestries

    5 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 217

    AN ENGLISH MYTHOLOGICAL TAPESTRY

    EARLY 18TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY ANTWERP

    Price Realised  

    AN ENGLISH MYTHOLOGICAL TAPESTRY
    EARLY 18TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY ANTWERP
    Woven in silks and wools, depicting a scene from Ovid's Metamorphoses with Diana and her hound and a female attendant in a wooded landscape with a village beyond, within a ribbon-tied border with brown outer slip, adapted in size to right hand side of field
    7 ft. 9 in. x 9 ft. (235 cm. x 274 cm.)


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    THE SERIES
    This tapestry forms part of the extensive Ovid's Metamorphoses group of tapestries that was almost certainly woven in England in one of the workshops established in England in the late 17th and early 18th Century, after the closure of the Great Wardrobe. Very few records survive of the various tapestry series that were made during this period in the many private ateliers established, not only by workers from the Great Wardrobe, but also by immigrants from such regions as Aubusson. No specific workshop can thus be associated with this series. The large group of differing designs and stories could be freely combined so that tapestry sets could consist of from two to eight panels of the same story.

    Recent research has revealed that tapestries were woven in Antwerp, in the English manner, for export to England during this period and some of its designs were even copied in England. Many tapestries that have in the past been attributed to the Soho workshops in England have turned out to actually be from Antwerp. The similarities of the tapestries woven in the two centres are so great that it is often impossible to tell where they were made.

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