Distinguished Property from Osterrieth House in Antwerp

The Monkey Hunt, a Flemish Game Park tapestry, after Antonio Tempesta (1555-1630), early 17th century

Lot Closed

November 13, 11:43 AM GMT


4,000 - 6,000 GBP

Lot Details


Distinguished Property from Osterrieth House in Antwerp

The Monkey Hunt, a Flemish Game Park tapestry, after Antonio Tempesta (1555-1630), early 17th century

woven with Oriental huntsmen in a woodland, cleansing from small bowls as a rouse to catch the monkeys, they are surrounded by monkeys doing the same thing, other figures relax in the shade of the trees and other monkeys are playing and climbing the trees in which a bird is centrally perched, within four-sided associated floral borders

approximately 294cm high, 214cm wide

This lot is sold with no reserve. Please refer to the conditions of business on the website for information on lots sold with no reserve.

The Illustrated Bartsch, Abaris Books, New York, Vol.36 (Antonio Tempesta), [formerly Volume 17, Part 3] , p.337, no.1093 (165) 'Hunters Capturing Monkeys' from 'Diverse Animal Hunting and Battle Scenes' (Venationes Ferarum, Auium, Piscium, Pugnae, Bestiariorum et mutuae Bestiarum delineatae ab Antonio Tempesta, Roma, 1602) .A very similar tapestry fragment from the Vigo-Sternberg collection was sold Sothebys, 29th February, 1996, lot 15 (illustrated Verdure Tapestry, Vigo-Sternberg Galleries, London, 1983, catalogue no.20).  

The subterfuges here depicted for catching monkeys comprised huntsmen washing their faces in bowls of water; they would then set out similar bowls filled with honey when the monkeys would imitate their face washing but their eyes would be gummed up with honey so that they would be easy prey for the huntsmen. Similarly the monkeys would try on the huntsmens' boots and would then be unable to run away. The inspiration for this tapestry is said to be derived from the Greek historian Herodotus (c.484-425 B.C.) Book IV -'Descriptions of Hunting in Africa'. See also Vol.37 [formerly Vol.17, Part 4] for other Hunting subjects by Tempesta. A similar series of Tapestries called Hunting Parties was designed by Johannes van der Straet called Stradanus (1523-1605). For these designs as engraved by Philippe Galle (Amsterdam 1586) see The Illustrated Bartsch, Vol.56 (Philips Galle) nos.401-444, (including no.104:22 depicting a 'Monkey hunt' but without the subterfuges seen in the present piece) Jules Guiffrey -Les Tapisseries du XIIe a la fin du XVIe siecle, Paris, n.d., Vol.VI, p.170 'Les Chasses du Stradan, avec commentaire latin, ont ete gravees par Jean Collaert et editees par Philippe Galle vers 1600. Ces planches representent surtout des chasses au tigre, a la panthere, au singe. Les dessins de ces compositions singulieres sont conserves au Louvre'.