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A bruges late gothic millefleurs tapestry with armorial...

About the object

The deep blue ground almost entirely covered with millefleurs -- clusters of narcissus, carnations, violets, fuchsias and other flowers, upon which are superimposed three formalized date palms hung with crossed quivers, enclosing two medallions garlanded with bunches of fruit and flowers, each depicting a landscape vignette with a fortified town, and in the foreground a smaller palm with a trophy of armor and crossed pole arms, and an unidentified coat of arms, the brownish red border incorporating an early Renaissance design of running leaf scrolls entwined with blossoms and cornucopias of fruit, and interspersed with pairs of naked putto figures riding upon dragons, trophies of arms, pairs of dolphins\nRELATED LITERATURE\nC. J. Adelson, European Tapestry in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1994\nA. S. Cavallo, "The Garden of Vanity: A Millefleurs Tapestry" in Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 57 , 1979, pp. 30-39 This magnificent millefleurs armorial tapestry belongs to a small group of related tapestries known to survive and now ascribed to the Bruges workshops. A very fine example with a nearly identical design incorporating floral-wreath medallions flanked by palm trees suspending military trophies, emblazoned with the arms of Salzburg and Cardinal Matthaus Lang von Wellenbeurg, all on a rich millefleurs ground is in the Salzburger Museum Carolino Augusteum (Delmarcel and Duverger, op. cit, cat. no. 4, pp. 192-196). Von Wellenburg served in the court of Frederik II and Maximillian I before becoming cardinal in 1513 and later archbishop of Salzburg in 1519. A fragment with the same arms is in the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge.\nThe millefleurs genre evolved in around 1450-60 and one of the earliest documented pieces is the armorial tapestry of Philip the Good of Burgundy, probably woven for the duke in Brussels circa 1475. Millefleurs grounds served as a backdrop for sacred, profane, historical and heraldic representations and were de regueur well into the 16th century. The quality of these tapestries varied widely, depending on the workshop in which they were woven. However, the present example represents a very fine, dense quality of weaving that characterizes the best tapestries of the period.\nDelmarcel and Duverger (op. cit., pp. 195-196, fig. 4/4) illustrate this tapestry in their seminal publication on the Bruges tapestry manufactory noting that it was previously catalogued at 'Tournai'. While the designer, cartoonist and weavers of these colorful hangings are often unknown, fragments of a very similar millefleurs tapestry from the Bruges workshop with armorial devices dated circa 1530-40 is documented as having been made for the council hall in Bruges. Woven by Antoon Segon, after designs by Lancelot Blondeel and Willem de Hollander or Joost van der Beke (Delmarcel and Duverger 1987, op. cit.,  pp. 84, 180-203), this piece has allowed scholars to determine a more specific dating of these sumptuous weavings.


Colors of inner panel are more saturated in person and overall hue is slightly more golden. Needs re-lining. Later selvage. Some restoration throughout including ground. Restoration throughout border (border is likely associated from another Bruges tapestry). Very good quality. With light cleaning and re-lining it will be ready to hang. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.


6 ft. 11 in. by 14 ft. 8 in.; 2.11 m. by 4.47 m.


New York, Duveen Galleries, Exhibition of Gothic Tapestries, 1948 Tournai, Halle aux Draps, Tapisseries d'Occident, 19 July- 31 August 1958, no. 12 Buenos Aires, Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo, Arte flamenco en las colecciones argentinas, exh. cat., November - December 1965,  p. 75


Arte flamenco en las colecciones argentinas, exh. cat., November - December 1965, Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo, Buenos Aires, p. 75 J. Duverger, ‘Mededelingen en Kanttekeningen:Tentoonstellingen van Doornikse tapijten’, in Artes Textiles, VII, 1971, p. 203 J. P. Asselberghs, Les tapisseries flamandes aux Etats-Unis d'Amérique, Brussels, 1974, p.15 C. Adelson, 'Florentine and Flemish tapestries in Giovio's Collection', in Atti del Convegno Paulo Giovio: Il Rinascimento e la Memoria, Como, 3-5 June 1983 Raccolta Storica, vol. 17, Como, 1985, p. 253, nn. 40-42 G. Delmarcel  and E. Duverger, Bruges et la tapisserie, Bruges, 1987, p. 192-196, cat. no. 4, fig. 4/4 A. S. Cavallo, Medieval tapestries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993 p. 296, n. 7, J. Paul Getty Trust, Getty Search Gateway Digital Collections (including notes on French & Co. stocks sheets)


Galerie George Petit, Paris, 12 December 1919, lot 125; Charles of London, New York, 26 April 1920; Colonel Edouard Jonas, Paris; Charles of London Collection, American Art Association, New York, 17 November 1920, lot 724; French & Co., New York; A. J. Kobler, November 17, 1923; A. J. Kobler Collection, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York,  30 April- 1 May 1948, lot 422; Paula de Koenigsberg Collection, Buenos Aires,  Argentina


Property from a Private Collection

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.