H C Marillier, English Tapestries of the Eighteenth Century, London, 1930, p.23, pl.9a
The attribution of this tapestry to Hatton Garden is possible on the grounds of a tapestry of identical design that formed part of a group of four that are signed 'F.P.HATTON GARDEN' and are at Hardwick Hall.
When Mortlake reverted to become a private undertaking in the 1670s, it also lost its pre-eminent position and the Great Wardrobe established itself no only as an atelier restorign tapestries, but also weaving new sets. The workshop moved to Hatton Garden in 1679 and remained there until Francis Poyntz' death in 1685 when it was moved to Soho. Francis Poyntz, whose initials precede the name of the workshop in the Hardwick Hall tapestries, mainly worked for Mortlake, but was also Yeoman Arrasworker of the Great Wardrobe.
Tapestries of this subject are genereally known as Playing Boys or Naked Boys. The subject was originally woven in Italy in the 1540s, based on the frescoes of Giulio Romano in the Palazzo del Te. The winged children of the frescoes were engraved in Germany in 1529 and it was probably from these engravings, which omitted the wings, that Brussels weavers drew their inspiration. The theme was much copied and also repeatedly woven at Mortlake in later periods. Sets still remain today at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, and at Burghley House, Lincolnshire.