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A BRUSSELS BAROQUE HISTORICAL TAPESTRY
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more TWO BRUSSELS MARC ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA TAPESTRIES FROM COKER COURT COKER COURT Coker Court, Somerset, has its origins in the Middle Ages. It is recorded in 1306, when it passed from the de Mandavilles to the King and then to Hugh de Courtenay, Earl of Devon and became his chief residence. The two offered lots are illustrated as hanging in the Hall in 1909, showing the 15th Century structure that was renovated in the 17th and 18th Century as well as the 20th Century. The house remained in the Courtenay family until 1591 and changed hands three times in the following 25 years, the last being to Achdeacon Helyar in 1616, with whose descendants it remained. His grandson, who fought to help James II to suppress the Monmouth rebellion, succeeded him after his death in 1645, and it was possibly under him that the suite of six tapestries of the Marc Anthony and Cleopatra series were purchased and installed. MARC ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA TAPESTRIES The earliest tapestry series depicting The Story of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra was that designed by Karl van Mander the Younger (d. 1623) which was woven in Brussels, Delft, Gouda and Schoonhoven (a set of five are in the Spanish Royal Collection - see P. Junquera de Vega, C. Diaz Gallegos, Catalogo de Tapices del Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 1986, vol. II, pp. 104 - 109). The tapestry series to which this lot belongs is first mentioned in a document of 7 June 1651. The weavers Geraert van der Strecken (d. 1677) and Jan van Leefdael (d. 1680) then signed a contract to supply a set of ten tapestries to the Antwerp merchant Louis Malo (d. after 1668) (J. Blazkova, E. Duverger, Les Tapisseries d'Octavio Piccolomini et le Marchand Anversois Louis Malo, St. Amandsberg, 1970, p. 97). Its creator is then revealed in a later contract in which Geraert Peemans (d. circa 1710), son-in-law of van der Strecken, agrees to supply a set with gold-thread to the Marshal Daumont, then in command of the citadel of Antwerp, based on the designs of Justus van Egmont (d. 1674). Justus van Egmont (d. 1674) was an Antwerp painter who had trained with Peter Paul Rubens between 1622 and 1625 before moving to Paris and working with Simon Vouet. Returning to Antwerp via Brussels in 1653, he established himself as a successful designer of tapestries for both cities. Several tapestry sets, including the highly successful Story of Zenobia Queen of Palmyra and Story of Caesar Augustus, can be attributed to him. COMPARABLE TAPESTRIES Four other panels of this set from the property of S.A. Walker-Heneage, Coker Court, Somersert, were sold Sotheby's, London, 30 April 1971, lots 14, 15, 18 and 19, three of which were re-offered anonymously, Christie's, London, 5 July 1979, lots 121 - 123, and again Christie's, London, 27 March 1980, lots 130 - 132. At least one of the panels is signed Gerard van der Strecken. A set of three tapestries from the same series but with slightly differing borders and by Jan van Leefdael remains today in the Quirinale, Rome (N. Forti Grazzini, op cit., pp. 199 - 205), while a further five panels, probably from the same set are in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence. The borders of these tapestries include a landscape panel to the lower border. Identical borders are also on a set of five tapestries from this series, originally from the Barberini collection, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (E. Standen, European Post-Medieval Tapestries and Related Hangings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985, vol. I, pp. 206 - 217). Another set of eight panels, formerly the Imperial Austrian Collection, are divided with one panel (this subject) in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, and seven in the Castle Prague (for Vienna piece L. Baldass, Die Wiener Gobelinssammlung, Vienna, 1920, cat. 204). Another set, consisting of five panels, with differing borders is also in the Quirinale (Forti Grazzini, op cit., pp. 256 - 267). All of the above sets are signed by either Geraert van der Strecken (d. 1677) and or Jan van Leefdael (d. after 1662). Another set of fourteen tapestries from this series mixed with scenes from The Story of Julius Ceasar, but with differing borders including top borders identical to the offered lots and sigend by Geraert Peemans and Guillaume van Leefdael (d. 1685), is in the Art Institute of Chicago (C. Mayer, Masterpieces of Western Textiles from the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 1969, p. 30). Guillaume van Leefdael, son of Jan, opened his own workshop in 1656 and was active until 1684. Because the Coker Court tapestries also bear the Gerard van der Strecken signature it is almost certain that the set was woven between the founding of the Guillaume van Leefdael workshop and before Gerard van der Strecken's death in 1677. (Forti Grazzini, op cit., pp. 199 - 200 and Standen, op. Cit., pp. 206 - 208) THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN (LOTS 191-192)
A BRUSSELS BAROQUE HISTORICAL TAPESTRY

CIRCA 1656-1677, AFTER JUSTUS VAN EGMONT, BY GUILLAUME VAN LEEFDAEL

Details
A BRUSSELS BAROQUE HISTORICAL TAPESTRY
CIRCA 1656-1677, AFTER JUSTUS VAN EGMONT, BY GUILLAUME VAN LEEFDAEL
Woven in wools and silks, depicting Cleopatra Dissolving the Pearl from The Story of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra, with Cleopatra and Anthonius seated at a table waited for by attendants and a torch-bearing angel above, within an elaborate architectural border with fruiting floral garlands decorated with vases and winged putti, the upper border centred by a scrollwork cartouche inscribed 'CLEOPATRA GEMMAM INEFFABILIS VALORIS ANTONIO IN POTVM FVNDIT', blue outer slip to top and bottom later, losses to the lower border, minor areas of reweaving mainly to two areas of lower border
12 ft. 4 in. x 12 ft. 11 in. (374 cm. x 395 cm.)
Provenance
Probably supplied to colonel Helyar and by descent at Coker Court, Somerset.
Literature
'Coker Court, Somerset, seat of Major G.W. Heneage', Country Life, 2 January 1909, pp. 21 - 22.
E. Standen, European Post-Medieval Tapestries and Related Hangings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985, vol. I, pp. 207 - 208.
N. Forti Grazzini, Il patrimonio artistico del Quirinale, Gli Arazzi, Rome, 1994, vol. II, p. 200.
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
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