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    Sale 7433

    Important Early European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    8 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 66

    A FLEMISH ALLEGORICAL TAPESTRY

    BRUSSELS, FIRST HALF 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A FLEMISH ALLEGORICAL TAPESTRY
    BRUSSELS, FIRST HALF 17TH CENTURY
    Woven in wools and silks, depicting a wind-swept classically-draped female figure holding a sword and pouring water on the earth, and to the left, Cupid's laurel-wreathed shield, within an elaborate border with figures draped with fruits and supporting parrots centred to the top by a laurel-wrapped cabochon in a strapwork cartouche flanked by serpents and putti and a brown outer slip, minor areas of restorations and reweaving
    82 ft. 7 in. (382 cm.) high; 9 ft. 2 in. (279 cm.) wide


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    The tapestry celebrating Agriculture's Triumph, is revealed through a trompe l'oeil opening that is crowned by a flowered cartouche displaying Cupid's triumphal laurel-wreathed 'targe' or shield, and attended by Cupid's companions. These bear fruit and flower-issuing cornucopiae, the horns of Peace and Plenty, and accompany serpents as emblems of the summer and kindly harvest deity Ceres, while exotic birds attend hermed statues of Ceres, that are garlanded with fruit and flowers and displayed in pilaster niches bearing the shell-badge of the nature-deity Venus.
    The Virgilian concept that 'Agriculture flourishes with the laying aside of arms', is personified by a wind-swept female figure pouring water on the earth; while melting weapons at an altar. It was Ceres, who assisted mankind to regain a golden age, by making ploughs from weapons.

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