The coat-of-arms of this tapestry are probably those of the Grimaldi family of Genoa. The origins if this powerful Renaissance and Baroque dynasty can be found in Genoa in the 12th century. They established themselves as a strong merchant and banking family and together with the Fieschi family headed the propapal Guelph party during the power struggles between the Pope and the Holy Roman Empire. As a result most of the Guelph families had to flee between 1270 and 1276 and the Grimaldis established themselves along the Riviera. Some branches of the family returned to Genoa and continued to serve actively in public office and banking, and constituted one of the Republic's most
influential families, thriving until the Napoleonic Wars. During the 16th century alone five doges were elected from the Grimaldi family branches in Genoa.
It has also been suggested that the coat-of-arms are those of the Bevilacqua-Lazise family of Verona. The family was bestowed the title of Conte Palatino by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II on 8 August 1573. The senate in the Veneto had also already given Giovanni Battista Pietro Bevilacqua the title of conte del Castello di Nogarole in 1571. The titles were recognized by Empress Maria Theresa in 1744.
This tapestry is identical to an example in the Koninklijke Musea voor Kunst en Geschiedenis in Brussels (M. Crick-Kuntziger, Catalogus van de Wandtapijten, Brussels, 1956, cat. 34, pl. 43). Interestingly that tapestry also bears a small Brussels town mark but apparently another also unidentified weaver's mark. It is further interesting to note that four other version are recorded, some of which may be the same ones: one in the collection of Engel-Dolfus, who exhibited the tapestry in Mulhouse in 1883, a further version in the collection of Camillo Castiglione which was sold in Amsterdam, 17 - 20 November 1925, lot 269, one in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and a final version from the collection of Maurice Ruffer, and previously in that of Count Bosdari, which was sold at Christie's, London, 28 April 1932, lot 152. The number of recorded examples suggests that this tapestry was woven as part of a larger series to decorate either a large room or several spaces in a palace.
A closely related tapestry incorporating the arms of the Bossi family of Milan, who held high positions in the government of the city and region as well as high cleric posts, was sold anonymously, Christie's New York, 21 October 2003, lot 773. It incorporates a closely related iconography with Faith and Fortune framing a coat-of arms, all surrounded by very similarly structured borders.
AMBASSADOR JEFFERSON AND MARY MARVIN PATTERSON
Jefferson Patterson (d. 1977) was the son of Frank Jefferson Patterson, founder of the National Cash Register Company. He was a career diplomat and was posted as First Secretary at the US Embassy in Berlin and later in Peru, Belgium, Egypt and Greece. His last post was as Ambassador to Uruguay. Mary Marvin Patterson (d. 2002) was the daughter of John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, a family well known in state and national politics since the Revolutionary era. Mrs. Patterson was a professional photojournalist and filmmaker, publishing photos in National Geographic, Vogue, Life and Harper's Bazaar. She became the first woman news broadcaster, when she was hired by CBS to report on World War II from seven European countries. She was also the first woman in the United States to earn her licence to fly planes in 1929. A generous philanthropist, she donated 544 acres of land, the richest archeological site in Maryland, which are today run by the Maryland Historical Trust. The couple also donated their 23-acre estate in York to Bowdoin College.