Tag: tapestry

Flemmish Tapestry #20440: circa 1700

Tapestry, Flemish, probably Brussels, depicting a scene from the Story of Tobias.

Late 17th Century

7’ 2” x 10’ 2” (originally approximately 10-10’ 6” x 12’ 6”- 13”)

No weaver’s on town mark.

Rebordered in plain stripes; slightly reduced from larger piece.

Structure:

Warp: wool, beige, natural, Z-2-S, 11-12 warps/in

Pattern Wefts:

  1. wool, Z-1
  2. silk, golden-beige only, not original, several restoration campaigns.

Weft density: wool, 21-25 facing wefts (42-50 overall) /inch.

Subject: Tobias and the archangel Rafael.

The iconographic source is the Apocryphal Book of Tobit (O.T.). The present panel displays vigorous, almost life size figures of Tobias, son of Tobit and his escort Rafael in the guise of Azarias, and accompanied by his faithful dog. Tobias and the Angel are in semi-classical garb, thus placing the action in an ancient or mythical past. Further, Tobias is dressed as a hunter with spear and bow, but lacks quiver and arrows.  His dog is a hunting hound. The garments of both protagonists are wind blown, thus indicating rapid forward movement.

The iconography of Tobias varies in Western art, but here he is a young man with a blonde mustache, not the boy as is frequent in this tale. The angel is androgynous (the pearl earring) and lacks any angelic attributes. The wings are mimicked by the windblown drapery. They will only be revealed later. The figures pass through a pure, wooded landscape with no buildings or people visible in the small views through the forest. There is a variety of small flowering plants in the lower foreground.

This panel comes from a set of at least four (or probably six) tapestries which may have included some of the following scenes:

  1. The blinding of old Tobit, Tobias’s father, from bird droppings in his eyes.
  2. Tobias taking leave of his father in order to travel to Rhages to collect a debt before the old man’s demise;
  3. Tobias and the angel en route to Rhages – our panel;
  4. Tobias at the bank of the Tigris river catching the giant fish which has attacked him. The Angel informs him that certain innards of the fish will be useful and in particular, that the intestines or gall bladder will cure his father’s blindness;
  5. Tobias applying the piscine entrails to his father’s eyes;
  6. The Archangel, after having revealed himself, taking leave of the house of Tobias after the cure;
  7. Tobias meeting or betrothing Sara, she of many husbands;
  8. Tobias and Sara in prayer.

Because of the Tobias-Sara connection, these tapestry sets were popular in Europe in the upper classes as marriage gifts from the 16th century onwards. A six piece set, late 17th century of either Brussels or Dutch origin covered the walls of the Stadtholder of Friesland in his mansion in Leeuwarden.

Although the series was often a marriage present, there are a few sets surviving, Gobel (Wandteppichie, v.I) and Tapestry in the Baroque MMA 2008), do not illustrate or mention specific Flemish Tobias story series or panels.

Condition: although slightly reduced and rebordered, this piece is not a fragment of a much larger panel. There is some rewefting in the wool areas and a few small reweaves. The overall condition is good with strong colors across the entire palette, the reds and yellows have held up well. The silk areas which have been replaced are discreet and not light or “hot” as is the case with many injudicious restorations.

In general, the tapestry is very attractive with large, lively figures and clear colors, it is extremely decorative in the best sense.

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Tapestry/20440

 

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#40-570 Flander Tapestry: circa 1700

Flemish Tapestry Panel
Audenarde, c. 1600
8’1” x 9’5”
Warp: wool, ivory to light brown, some mixing, natural, Z-Z-S 8-9 warps/in., a few areas up to 12/in.
Weft: wool, Z-1, Z-Z-S, 28-30 pattern shouts/in;
Woven sideways, left to right, on a horizontal loom as finer pieces were done vertical looms.
Generally in good condition with colors well preserved; small areas of reweaving or re-wefting; plain outer salvage trimmed with loss of town and weaver’s marks. Some brown outlines improved.

Depicts:

King David (to right) gives Uriah the Hittite (on left) a secret order to be conveyed to the commending general ??????. This order places Uriah in the frost line of battle, thereby assuring his demise. Uriah is the husband of Bathsheba whom David covertly covets and who will marry him after Uriah is killed. David’s penitence will eventually follow.

Probably from a Life of David series or perhaps from a series of old Testament scenes. There seem to be no other panels from this cycle recorded in the literature.

Attribution: The attribution to the provincial weaving town of Audenarde is loused or close similarities to pieces possessing the town & weavers’ marks in the outer plain border. Diagnostic are the following stylized background elements:

  1. The “building block” castle;
  2. The round, puffy “cotton ball” trees in rows blanketing the landscape.
  3. Pointy, sharply outlined distant mountains.

In comparison we may consider:

  1. H. Gőbel, Tapestries of The Lowlands, no. 357, a landscape with similar, but better, mountains and trees.
  2. Christie’s, London, Mayorcas Sale, 12.2.99, lot 316, Game Park 9’5” x 14’6”, 16c (late) with similar pointy mountains, cotton ball trees, identical trees, and similar foreground foliage elements. All wool, no silk. Probably from the same workshop as our example, but lacking identifying marks. Sold for ₤40,000 = $64,800
  3. The same pointy mountains with cotton ball trees appear in a panel from a different Life of David set depicting the Death of Absalom, 3.27 x 5.25m, end of the 16c., Beaune, Musee des Hospices. Pub in Dhondt, no. 9.

The curly hair and beards arc virtually identical to our example which is from a                  somewhat less distinguished series, however.

Interestingly, de Meuter in her magisterial surrey of Audenarde weaving does not focus on any Life of David series. Could our example be from a later edition of the same cartoon as the Beaune examples, albeit with different borders? The Beaune piece has a town mark, but lacks that of the weaver.

  1. The same mountains and trees recur in tapestry of Jason & Medea with Golden Fleece, c 1580-1600, 3.04m x 4.24 from the Abbey of Kremsműnster (de Meuter, p. 177)
  2. The same larger trees, mountains, etc. again appear in a Game Park panel, 1580-1600, with an unidentified weaver’s mark from the Audenardo Galerie d’Art M. Ragge-De Baere (de Meauter, p. 178) The floral border with round cartouches centering each side is no identical to recent published examples, but there are the same useful parallels.
  3. Similar elliptical/round cartouches in border centers appear on a Game Park examples, c.1580 – 1600 (de Meuter, p-143). The trees and mountains are also in the usual formula. The weaver’s mark, again & alas, is not identified. The border on our example was constructed from
    1. The left and right borders (left woven first) are identical in content and direction’s
    2. The top border is an axial reflection across the center;
    3. The lower border uses the same cartoon as the upper with similar axial reflection, but in addition.
    4. The pumpkin still life is inverted from right to left;
    5. The central roundels with castles are unchanged in both end borders.

These simple manipulations of a few basic modules allow the weaver to produce variety without the expanse of additional cartoon. This is characteristic of production for the middle class in a provincial production centre.

Diagrammatically we see

The castles in the roundels are top/bottom and right/left identical, and are generic buildings with no reference to particular estates.

  1. Gőbel, no. 448 has side borders repeated in the same direction and has roundels in the centers of all 4 sides. He dates it c.1640 but clearly it seems earlier, c.1610
  2. A Brussels panel, early 17c. 8’8” x 11’4” with an unidentified Biblical scene was sold Sotheby’s N.Y., 23.5.03, lot 81, est. $10 – 15,000. It was of slightly finer execution and equally preserved color. (see p. for more comperanda).

Weaving in Audenarde is comprehensively covered in two recent exhibitions catalogues:

L. DeMeuter, M. Vanwelder, etc. al Tapesseries d’Audenarde du XVI au XVII Siecles, Tiele, 1999

L. Dhondt and F. Van Ommeslaeghe, Audenarde: Tapisseries Flamandes du XVI au XVIII Siecles, Arras, 1994

The illustrations only partly overlap and neither includes additional members of the series of our piece, thus it seems to be unknown to the specialist literature.

  1. Of roughly the same quality and period, but slightly larger is a hunting tapestry from Audenarde, end 16c. 8’9” x 11’2”, sold Sotheby’s, N.Y., 13.1.95 lot 78, est. $20-25,000
  2. A Biblical panel, c.1600 probably from nearby Enghien, 10’6” x 12’9” was sold Sotheby’s, N.Y. 6.6.94, lot 168, est. $20-25,000.

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Tapestry/40-570

 

 

#21100 French Tapestry

Rug # 21100

Tapestry, probably Beauvais, France

7’0” x 7’8”

Probably second half of the 19th century

In the style of Francois Boucher (mid 18th century)

 

 

Structure and Materials:

Warp: wool, natural, tan, Z-3-S, 19-20/in

Weft:    wool, Z-2-S, 50-60/in

silk, Z-2-S, 50-100/in

Description:

The present panel depicts a scene from classical mythology, but a full identification is not yet possible.  In a mountainous, wooded landscape a herdsman plays a flute beneath a tree on a hillock, all to the right.  A lyre rests at his feet and a shepherd’s crook lies in his lap.  At the upper right, Mercury (Hermes) flies in clutching a quiver and bow.  Behind the tree at far right are several cows.  A youthful, winged figure, almost certainly Cupid (Eros) listens raptly to the music.  Three maidens in dancing poses approach from the left up a slope.  The image is closed on the left by a full, leafy tree and floral garlands hang from trees on both sides.   There are still lifes of fruit in the foreground as well as naturalistically depicted flowering plants.

The subject of the tapestry hinges on the identity of the piping figure.  The lyre would indicate Apollo, but since it has been discarded in favor of the flute, the identification is less likely.

 

 

Remarks:

What Beauvais  series this is not from is easier to determine.  It is not a part of either The Loves of the Gods (Amour, des Dieux) nor Scenes from Operas, both executed at Beauvais from 1750 onward.  The former series has much larger (up to 14’0” x 17’0”) panels and more complex iconography.  The latter series of only four subjects is not comparable in subject matter.  The style is certainly derivative of Boucher, but the rendering seems less assured and more generic.  It is not the work of Gobelins: there is a Loves of the Gods series from that manufactory, but neither the large panels nor the subsidiary sections, executed from 1757 onwards, are in any way similar to the present piece even though a few share subject matter with the contemporary Beauvais ensemble.

We are left with two possibilities: first that this panel is part of a larger, untraced mid 18th century tapestry, itself likely part of a series, of Beauvais origin.  Less likely since all the action is directed toward and converges near the Cupid figure.  Secondly, that it is a 19th century quasi pastiche of Boucheresque themes and depictions.  The relatively small size (see below), a feature of 19th century production, may militate in this direction.  The date, then, could well be in the 2nd half of the 19th century.  The standard work on Beauvais weaving (Jules Badini Le Manufacture des Tapisserie de Beauvais, 1909, Paris) does not discuss 19th century production in any detail and is, in any case, out-of-date.  No such piece appears in major museum catalogues.

Condition:

Originally there was a faux giltwood picture frame border about 6”-8” wide, giving and overall size of 8’0”-8’4” x 8’8”-9’0”.  It has been slightly framed all around, especially on the right.  A plain woven two tone brown selvage has been added.

There are areas of wear and powdering in the silk; minor splitting, and creases.  The colors are slightly faded, but the red of the piping figure has held up well.  The distant landscape is quite pastel.

To view this tapestry on our website, please use the following link:

http://www.antiquerugstudio.com/Tapestry/21100

#40-570 Flander Tapestry: circa 1700

Flemish Tapestry Panel
Audenarde, c. 1700
7’0” x 9’0”
Warp: wool, ivory to light brown, some mixing, natural, Z-Z-S 8-9 warps/in., a few areas up to 12/in.
Weft: wool, Z-1, Z-Z-S, 28-30 pattern shouts/in;
Woven sideways, left to right, on a horizontal loom as finer pieces were done vertical looms.
Generally in good condition with colors well preserved; small areas of reweaving or re-wefting; plain outer salvage trimmed with loss of town and weaver’s marks. Some brown outlines improved.

Depicts:

King David (to right) gives Uriah the Hittite (on left) a secret order to be conveyed to the commending general ??????. This order places Uriah in the frost line of battle, thereby assuring his demise. Uriah is the husband of Bathsheba whom David covertly covets and who will marry him after Uriah is killed. David’s penitence will eventually follow.

Probably from a Life of David series or perhaps from a series of old Testament scenes. There seem to be no other panels from this cycle recorded in the literature.

Attribution: The attribution to the provincial weaving town of Audenarde is loused or close similarities to pieces possessing the town & weavers’ marks in the outer plain border. Diagnostic are the following stylized background elements:

  1. The “building block” castle;
  2. The round, puffy “cotton ball” trees in rows blanketing the landscape.
  3. Pointy, sharply outlined distant mountains.

In comparison we may consider:

  1. H. Gőbel, Tapestries of The Lowlands, no. 357, a landscape with similar, but better, mountains and trees.
  2. Christie’s, London, Mayorcas Sale, 12.2.99, lot 316, Game Park 9’5” x 14’6”, 16c (late) with similar pointy mountains, cotton ball trees, identical trees, and similar foreground foliage elements. All wool, no silk. Probably from the same workshop as our example, but lacking identifying marks. Sold for ₤40,000 = $64,800
  3. The same pointy mountains with cotton ball trees appear in a panel from a different Life of David set depicting the Death of Absalom, 3.27 x 5.25m, end of the 16c., Beaune, Musee des Hospices. Pub in Dhondt, no. 9.

The curly hair and beards arc virtually identical to our example which is from a                 somewhat less distinguished series, however.

Interestingly, de Meuter in her magisterial surrey of Audenarde weaving does not focus on any Life of David series. Could our example be from a later edition of the same cartoon as the Beaune examples, albeit with different borders? The Beaune piece has a town mark, but lacks that of the weaver.

  1. The same mountains and trees recur in tapestry of Jason & Medea with Golden Fleece, c 1580-1600, 3.04m x 4.24 from the Abbey of Kremsműnster (de Meuter, p. 177)
  2. The same larger trees, mountains, etc. again appear in a Game Park panel, 1580-1600, with an unidentified weaver’s mark from the Audenardo Galerie d’Art M. Ragge-De Baere (de Meauter, p. 178) The floral border with round cartouches centering each side is no identical to recent published examples, but there are the same useful parallels.
  3. Similar elliptical/round cartouches in border centers appear on a Game Park examples, c.1580 – 1600 (de Meuter, p-143). The trees and mountains are also in the usual formula. The weaver’s mark, again & alas, is not identified. The border on our example was constructed from
    1. The left and right borders (left woven first) are identical in content and direction’s
    2. The top border is an axial reflection across the centre;
    3. The lower border uses the same cartoon as the upper with similar axial reflection, but in addition.
    4. The pumpkin still life is inverted from right to left;
    5. The central roundels with castles are unchanged in both end borders.

These simple manipulations of a few basic modules allow the weaver to produce variety without the expanse of additional cartoon. This is characteristic of production for the middle class in a provincial production centre.

Diagrammatically we see

The castles in the roundels are top/bottom and right/left identical, and are generic buildings with no reference to particular estates.

  1. Gőbel, no. 448 has side borders repeated in the same direction and has roundels in the centers of all 4 sides. He dates it c.1640 but clearly it seems earlier, c.1610
  2. A Brussels panel, early 17c. 8’8” x 11’4” with an unidentified Biblical scene was sold Sotheby’s N.Y., 23.5.03, lot 81, est. $10 – 15,000. It was of slightly finer execution and equally preserved color. (see p. for more comperanda).

Weaving in Audenarde is comprehensively covered in two recent exhibitions catalogues:

L. DeMeuter, M. Vanwelder, etc. al Tapesseries d’Audenarde du XVI au XVII Siecles, Tiele, 1999

L. Dhondt and F. Van Ommeslaeghe, Audenarde: Tapisseries Flamandes du XVI au XVIII Siecles, Arras, 1994

The illustrations only partly overlap and neither includes additional members of the series of our piece, thus it seems to be unknown to the specialist literature.

  1. Of roughly the same quality and period, but slightly larger is a hunting tapestry from Audenarde, end 16c. 8’9” x 11’2”, sold Sotheby’s, N.Y., 13.1.95 lot 78, est. $20-25,000
  2. A Biblical panel, c.1600 probably from nearby Enghien, 10’6” x 12’9” was sold Sotheby’s, N.Y. 6.6.94, lot 168, est. $20-25,000

#18888 Tapestry: circa 1650

Rug #18888
Subject: Scene from a life of Moses Series, probably the reconciliation of Miriam and Zipporah
Size:10’0” x 12’8” (3.07m x 3.86m).
Period: Late 16th / early 17th century.
Origin: Brussels, no mark
Maker: No mark.
Structure: Warp, wool, tan natural, Z-4-s, 19 – 20/in.
Weft: wool Z-2, 60-64/in and
Silk, Z-2 or z-3, 68-74/in

Iconography:

The likely cast of characters is follows:

  1. Moses with halo in center, slightly to rear, presiding over the foreground event, the “horns” of the Old Testament text refer actually to rays of light. The goat-like protuberances of later art are really a literal and incorrect reading of the text.
  2. The pair of figures on the left hefting an urn-like Ark of the Covenants one of which with a particularly fine back view and striped loincloth, are very Mannerist in style, indicating an origin in Italy, outside the Netherlands, in the circle of some early 16th century artist, possibly Giulio Romano, Mark Antonio Raimondi, Rosso Fiorentino or someone else of that trend. The figures are imported as a unit into the composition. Interestingly the two figures and their burden reappear in the 17th century French tapestry of the Triumph of Alexander after Charles Le Brun, but they have been swung around to nearly parallel the picture plane, although the rear orientation of the figure is still prominent.
  3. The two female figure in the foreground may well be
    1. On the left Zipporah, the wife of Moses; and
    2. On the right Miriam, the sister of Moses.
  4. A servant woman holds the train of Zipporah
  5. Other Israelite women.

Miriam and Zipporah are reconciled after a long period during which Miriam criticizes and speaks out against Moses and his policies as tribal leader. For this she is punished by God: her skin instead of being the brownish hue of the Israelites becomes white. Only when she ceases her dissent is she healed. This event may be depicted here. (cf Ex.. 4:14-16, Micoh 6:11, Deut. 24:9 for details)

The life of Moses was depicted in various other sets from 1530’s on ward with among others the following subjects:

  1. Passage of The Red Sea
  2. Brazen Serpent
  3. Finding Gathering of Manna
  4. Moses Receiving The Tables of The Law
  5. Rebecca and Eleazar
  6. Moses Prohibited from Setting Foot in The Promise Land
  7. Worship of The Golden Calf
  8. Joshua Defeats Amalek at the Battle of Rephidim

Among the extant sets we may list:

  1. The earliest a series of 9 panels (of 10), Brussels, 1530-40, designed by Bernard Van Orley and woven by Jan Gheetels, at Chateau Chateaudunt Somzee Coll.
  2. Another set from the same cartoon also woven in Brussels, lacking a maker’s mark, 1545-1554, 9 panels (of 10) at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
  3. Five panels (of 10), c. 1575 woven by Martin Reymbouts in Brussels now at the Chartres Musee De Beaux Arts, given in 1578 to the cathedral by Bishop Nicolas de Thou
  4. Two panels (of 10) in the San Francisco Palace of The Legion of Honor; Brussels, c. 1550, possibly by Peter II van Aelst (unknown artist, but the same as that for the panel from the life of Jacob in the same museum, some of the same figures are even used)
  5. 7 panels (of 10) from Oudenarde, 2nd half of the 16th century, now Monuments Historiques de France, much more traditional in style and lacking the Italianate mannerist elements. The whole effect is more planar and flat. The border could have come from a Verdure.

The Life of Moses was popular later, and a set of indeterminate size, was woven in 1660’s in Brussels by Jan Parmentier with one panel, in square format, surviving.

Apparently there are other panels surviving from The Life of Moses, but whether they constitute disjecta membra of true a series relating just Moses or whether they are single mosaic episodes along with other O.T. scenes in different cycles is open to question. They could belong with such non-mosaic scenes as Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, David and Goliah, Susanna and The Elders, David and Bathsheba, the Judgment of Solomon, etc. to illustrate various salient O.T. events.

The border is slightly broken into at the top and bottom centre. The same effect, though more prominent, appears on a 12 Months of The Year series by Jan Franz van den Hecke, Brussels, c. 1590. It is possible that our piece may have some connection with his workshop.

#40-1150 Silvia Heyden Tapestry: circa 1965

40-1150j
Rug #40-1150, size 7’7″ x 4’3″

Origin: America

Type: Tapestry

Size: 4’3″ x 7’7″

Construction: High warp linen tapestry

Circa: 1965

Silvia Heyden, born Silvia Stucky, in Basel Switzerland in 1927, studied at the School of Arts in Zürich from 1948-1953 .  After her marriage to Dr Siegfried Heyden in 1954, Silvia spent the following years with her children in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Berlin.

Her first tapestry loom was purchased in 1964 for a large commission for the Expo-Suisse in Lausanne, Switzerland.  The family moved to Durham, NC when Siegfried received a new position at the Duke University Medical Center in 1966.  This move would lead to her first major exhibit at the Duke University of Art Museum, in Durham in 1972.

From 1974-1992 Heyden took part in numerous large exhibits and worked on commissions in the US and Europe.  This particular piece was made in America, the label seen below (included with this tapestry), indicates the hometown of the designer.

40-1150label