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    Sale 7433

    Important Early European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    8 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 123

    A FLEMISH ALLEGORICAL TAPESTRY FROM 'THE SEASONS OF LUCAS' SERIES

    BRUSSELS, LATE 17TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A FLEMISH ALLEGORICAL TAPESTRY FROM 'THE SEASONS OF LUCAS' SERIES
    BRUSSELS, LATE 17TH CENTURY
    Woven in wools and silks and depicting an extensive frozen moat of a castle with various courtly-dressed figures skating, falling onto the ice and others on the banks of the lake fastening skates, with children hovering over a brazier, in the distance a burning village with figures dashing with ladders, the heavens with billowing clouds and putti blowing winds and surrounding Boreas, within a border densely woven with floral garlands decorated with grapes, pomegranates, and with hounds chasing hares, the lower field possibly associated or previously folded under and subsequently slightly reduced in height, with restored vertical cut to right side, slightly reduced in width, areas of repairs
    11ft. 11in. (362 cm.) high; 19ft. 4 in. (585 cm.) wide


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    This tapestry, depicting Winter (see lot 124 for a Paris version of 'Summer') from the series The Seasons of Lucas, was probably originally designed by a Flemish artist of the school of Bernaert van Orley (d. 1541) in about 1535 and not as suggested by the name which it acquired in the 19th century, by Lucas van Leyden. This tapestry belongs to a series that consists of four panels and must have been designed by the same hand or workshop as The Months of Lucas, later frequently woven at the Royal Gobelins Tapestry Manufacture. The source for the Paris versions of this series were twelve Brussels tapestries that belonged to Louis XIV, woven circa 1535 and destroyed in 1797.

    A complete set of the Brussels versions with virtually identical borders to the offered lot, previously in the collection of The Viscount Wimborne, Canford Manor, Dorset and later in the Brookline Trust Company, was sold at Christie's, New York, 26 April 1990, lots 6 - 9, this subject being lot 56. Interestingly the foreground of plants varies to the offered lot. A further complete set, almost certainly made in Paris and woven with metal-threads, was in the collection of King Louis-Philippe and was sold in the Louis-Philippe sale at the Domaine de Monceaux, Paris, 28 January 1852, lot 15 and is now dispersed. A further set of three Paris tapestries is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (E. Standen, European Post-Medieval Tapestries and Related Hangings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985, cat. 49, pp. 328 - 330), while another was recorded in the collection of Mme. De Pruynes in 1930. Several versions, probably both from Paris and Brussels in various sizes are at the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Detroit Institute of Arts (A. Phipps Darr, T. Albainy and M. Holcomb, Woven Splendor, 1996, cat. 13, pp. 53 - 55) and in the Hôtel Lallement, Bruges. A further wide version with the lower right corner cut off from the collection of Mrs. Charles van Raalte, Brownsea Castle, Dorsetshire, was sold at Christie's, London, 20 February 1930, lot 138, while one was recorded at Canford Manor, Poole, Dorset, in 1888.

    (E. Standen, European Post-Medieval Tapestries and Related Hangings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985, cat. 49, pp. 322 - 330)

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