Dunster Castle, Somerset, England houses a set of seven painted leather wall-hangings depicting the story of Anthony and Cleopatra which directly correspond in hand and design to the panel offered here; the set includes a panel illustrating a scene identical to this example.
The panels in Dunster Castle may not have originally been intended for this site as they were cut down and vary greatly in size. The origins and date of the arrival of the panels at the castle is unknown, although the family archive reveals that they were in the Gallery in 1741. The designs for these panels have been associated with the painter Claude Vignon based on the composition and costume of his Esther Before Ahasuerus. It has also been suggested that the designs rely solely on cartoons also employed by tapestry weavers in Belgium, especially that for the Battle Scene, which is related to a Brussels tapestry designed by Julius van Egmont in 1661.
The Dunster panels and the present lot were executed using the techniques of 16th-century leather-gilding, where the leather was cut and joined, after which foils were applied and the design was drawn from cartoons; highlights were then hand-tooled and colored oils were applied. While a number of houses have retained rooms with leather panelling, few depict a whole story, as do the Dunster panels.