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    Sale 7433

    Important Early European Furniture, Sculpture and Tapestries

    8 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 60

    A FRENCH MYTHOLOGICAL TAPESTRY

    BY RAPHAEL DE LA PLANCHE, PARIS, DATED 1661

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A FRENCH MYTHOLOGICAL TAPESTRY
    BY RAPHAEL DE LA PLANCHE, PARIS, DATED 1661
    Woven in metal threads, wools and silks, depicting Psyche and her father with a high priest at an altar in front of a classical building with Solomonic columns, within a scrolling foliate border decorated with grotesque masks and exotic beasts on a yellow ground, dated 1661 within the borders, with horizontal cuts to upper and lower ends of side borders, possibly indicating a reduction in height
    9 ft. (275 cm.) high; 11 ft. 6 in. (350 cm.) wide


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    PROVENANCE
    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

    COMPARABLE TAPESTRIES
    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.

    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.


    Provenance

    Recorded in the 1737 inventory taken upon the marriage of M. Gaspard-César-Charles de Lescalopier and M. de Lesseville.
    M. de Crozé.
    Possibly with French & Co., New York.


    Literature

    M. Fenaille, Etat Général des Tapisseries de la Manufacture des Gobelins, Paris, 1923, vol. I, pp. 291 - 292.