Lot 20
  • 20

Myrtillus and Amaryllis, A Flemish Classical Literary Tapestry, Brussels, from the Story of Pastor Fido, workshop of Judocus de Vos, after Nicholas van Schoor and Peter Spierincx, circa 1710

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
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  • Approximately: 306cm. high, 546cm. wide; 10ft., 17ft. 11in.
woven with Myrtillus and Amaryllis embracing, with cupid above, with foreground figures within a detailed and extensive landscape, within a four-sided gold and yellow entwined scrolling ribbon and floral motif border, with further narrow outer bead and reel borders


Colours are not as dark in reality. The reds are more cerise and the blues lighter cobalt blues, and more attractive, lighter and cripser in appearance. The chemise of the seated figure corner right, with red skirt, is a lighter green colour and not the blue it appears to be in the catalogue photograph. There is a fresh and rich range of greens in reality, as visible in the lower right corner. There are some repairs to the light highlight areas, commensurate with the colours used. Some rewoven repairs in different colour to surrounding area, such as small terracotta shaped areas, up the right hand vertical border, on inside edge. There is an oval patch a third of the way up, largely within the ground of the tapestry, as visible in the photograph. Other different coloured repairs, for example the mustard coloured areas running vertically down through the foliage, top left corner and bottom left corner into border. Small repairs to border. Browns oxidised in areas, with specks of white warp threads visible. Commensurate with techniques used, there ara areas where white stitches joining areas of different colour together are visible. Tapestry is lined. It is recommended that Velcro should be attached across the top for hanging in the future. Striking tapestry, with charming subject and beautifully drawn and detailed figures. Very decorative. Good overall condition.
"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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

According to the story Myrtillus who had fallen in love with Amaryllis was encouraged by the other nymphs to disguise himself as one of them and to take part in a kissing competition, of which he was declared the winner by Amaryllis. The original source of the Pastor Fido tapestries was the popular tragi-comical romance Il Pastor Fido by G.B.Guarini first published in 1590. It was chosen by Guillaume Dumée and Laurent Guyot for their successful entry in the competition to succeed Henri Lerambert as 'peintre du roi' in 1610 and their designs continued to be used by the various Paris ateliers throughout the early 17th century. Different cartoons were used for the later Brussels series, woven by the workshop of Judocus de Vos in the early 18th century century, with two border types recorded being the narrow entwined scrolling border or the wider frame pattern border.

Göbel, Wandteppiche, Leipzig, 1923, Part I, Vol.I, p.397, notes that Nicholas van Schoor and Peter Spierincx were entrusted by Daniel Stroobant, Lord of Ter-Brugge, one with the design of the figures and the other with the landscapes of the Pastor Fido series. Göbel notes that Stroobant was most probably acting for the Elector Palatine Johann Wilhelm.

Another weaving of this episode is one of a set of three relating the Story of Myrtillus and Amaryllis in the Collection of Lord Digby at Minterne, within a frame border incorporating with the arms of General Charles Churchill, presented to him by the States General around 1712. Another set by Judocus de Vos, including this episode from the series is in the Collection of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria and another in the Imperial Collection in Vienna (Serie LXXX), of which a panel depicting The Betrothal of Myrtillus and Amaryllis at the Altar of Diana, woven within an elaborate frame pattern border with weaver's name in selvedge, is illustrated in Göbel, ibid, no.534. Another weaving of which was sold at Sotheby's, London, 29th November 1985, as lot 12, with an exuberant floral border incorporating the coat-of-arms of Dominique André von Kaunitz.