A GAME PARK TAPESTRY, SOUTHERN NETHERLANDS, PROBABLY BRUSSELS, LATE 16TH/EARLY 17TH CENTURY
finely woven in wool, depicting figures taking part in a musical concert and others involved in hunting birds, set in a woodland landscape with house and formal gardens in the background
approximately: 252cm. high, 382cm. wide; 8ft 3in., 12ft. 6in.
Overall measurements: 382cm across the top, 378cm across the bottom, 250cm along the left side, 252cm along the right side.
Tapestry is lined with glazed linen. Old hoops across the top for hanging purposes. Recommended that Velcro should be applied to the top edge for hanging purposes in the future. There is new selvedge applied to four edges.
There is some fading overall to colour and the top edge area of sky is discoloured, commensurate with age. There are some horizontal splits in the sky, which are cosmetic and can be professionally repaired. The original brown outer selvedge is visible on the far outer left edge.
This tapestry has balanced colour and composition and is very decorative. There are some charming details, such as detailing to costume of the figures, including the lace collars and there are some characteristic technically proficient weaving techniques overall, especially to the details of costume and berries on plants.
"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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Probably Rose Berkeley (1861-1922)
These small figure designs of Game Park tapestries were woven throughout northern Europe by this date and were woven by Southern Netherlandish weavers, including anonymous weavers in London, Frans Spiering who relocated from Antwerp to the northern Netherlands, and there were others in Brussels, Enghien and Oudenaarde. They often had elaborate deep borders, incorporating allegorical figures in architectural niches, alternating with fruit and flowers. The quality of the weave varied from one weaving centre to the other. The subjects could be mythological or secular. With the importance of garden design at this time, they were often depicted as formal arrangements in these landscape settings with the elegantly dressed figures in the foreground. For an example of a Game Park tapestry of similar quality of weave and attention to detail, see a Classical subject of 'Pluto and Proserpina with Falconry', woven in Brussels, circa 1600, under the direction of Erasmus I de Pannemaker, based on a design by Adriaen Collaert (1560-1618), after Hans Bol (1534-1593), within an especially detailed border, in the Art Institute of Chicago (384 by 345cm: Inv.1896.148)