This tapestry belongs to a series of Chancelleries woven both at the Royal Tapestry Manufactory at Gobelins and Beauvais. They usually have a background fleurdelisé with the Royal arms and the attributes of the Chancellor or the Garde des Sceaux. To the centre they usually depict the arms of France and Navarre, for Henri IV, the first King to unite the two titles in 1589. The records of Gobelins do not record the weaving of this subject prior to 1694, although the Etat des présens du Roy lists on 15 November 1679:
donné a Mgr le Tellier, chancelier de France, une tenture de tapisserie, Manufacture des Gobelins, à fleurs de lys, en 9 pièces...
In 1686 the Comptes des Bâtiments recordds payments to François Bonnemer (d. 1689), who received the Prix de Rome in 1666 and upon his return was repeatedly employed by the Gobelins and Savonnerie workshops, as designer of the main field, and Jean Lemoyne (d. 1709), conseiller et peintre ordinaire du Roi, for the borders of a tapestry made for M. le Chancelier. A further payment was made to Philippe Béhagle (d. 1711), then director at Beauvais, for tapestries woven for the same client.
In 1700 and 1701 payments to both Guy-Louis Vernansal (d. 1729), who also executed the designs for the Beauvais Histoire du Roi de Chine (see lot 220), and Pavillon, painter of arms, are recorded as having been made for the work on further designs for Chancelleries. The first recorded tapestry of this series at Gobelins was woven in the atelier of Jean Le Febvre the younger (d. 1736) for Louis Phélypeaux, comte de Pontchartrain, for the Hôtel de la Chancellerie à Versailles, in 1703. The popular design is known to have been woven in eleven tentures at Gobelins up to 1777.
One of the tapestries woven for the comte de Pontchartrain was sold from the property of the Earl of Iveagh, Elveden Hall, Thetford, Norfolk, Christie's house sale, 21-24 May 1984, lot 1777.