Gaspard-César-Charles de Lescalopier (d. 1792) was Intendant de Justice, Police et Finances in Champagne from 1711 to 1730. He was later placed in Tours and became the Intendant Général. He married Anne Leclerc de Lesseville, daughter of the comte de Charbonnières, on 6 September 1737, when the offered lot is recorded in their inventory together with three further panels from this set.
HISTORY OF THE SERIES
The original designs for this series which encompasses at least seven subjects appears to have been designed by the 'Flemish Raphael' Michel Coxcie (1499 - 1592). He was raised by his father and Bernard van Orley and, with the latter, led the tapestry production at the Vatican. He was very influenced by the 'Italian' Raphael and is recorded as having painted a History of Psyche in 1532 while in Italy. He painted for various Royal courts while living in Brussels and King François I made various unsuccessful attempts to attract him to Paris. He returned to Flanders in 1543 and supplied various cartoons to tapestry weavers. It is believed that the first set was conceived for Francois I and executed in Brussels, but alas, burnt in 1797 to retrieve the silver and gold used in the weaving. The Royal inventory from the Garde Meuble in 1663 lists:
No 5 Psiché - Une tenture de tapisserie de laine et soie, relevé d'or, fabrique de Bruxelles, dessein de Raphaël, représentant la Fable de Psiché, dans une bordure de festons de fleurs et de fruits, portez par des anges de grisaille, avec une sallamandre et deux F couronnées....en 26 pièces doublées à plein de toile
The series was copied several times in the 17th century and a total of four Paris weavings, all attributed to Raphaël de la Planche, are recorded in the French Royal inventories of the 17th and 18th centuries. A set of six tapestries with nearly identical borders to this tapestry, believed to be of Paris manufacture, was sold, P.-M. Rogeon, Paris, 14 March 1994, lots 12-17.
A tapestry of the same subject but lacking borders from the collection of Henry White was sold, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 22 November 1946, lot 207.