Code 915-41 Important 18th Century Tapestry, Guillaume Wernier, Lille, France Circa 1725
This magnificent tapestry was originally part of a 'Tenture' or set of tapestries that was ordered around the year 1680. The tapestries were not actually woven for another 40 years, and it was the workshop of weaver Guillaume Wernier who made them between 1720 and 1730. When the drawings for the tapestry were made in the late 1600s, the town of Lille was a recent addition to France. The design that we see below incorporating Apollo the Sun God, was a way for the new French families of the North to honor the King of France: King Louis XIV, The Sun King. The Coats of Arms at each corner represent a "Seigneur Haut Justicier" or highest ranking Feudel lords from the Lille region (Cysoing, Wavrin, Comines et Phalempin).
The larger tapestry from this original set is known to reside in the Muséum Benoît-De-Puydt in Bailleul, France. The status of the other tapestries is unknown or more likely they have not survived. The only other tapestry (the larger one in museum) was lost during the Revolution and only found about 50 years later by a merchant. Since 1934 it has been in a museum, but the centuries of light, dust, and hanging under it's own weight eventually took it's toll. A photo of the other tapestry can still be found in the archives (it is currently rolled and in reserves in the museum). Both tapestries share the same Coats of Arms at each corner as well as a terrestrial globe and two dolphins at the bottom center. They both have a full field Fleur De Lys on a rich blue background, and they are crowned at the top center by Apollo The Sun God. The thick and beautiful borders are comprised of foliate motifs, colorful ribbons, swords, trophies, rifles, armor, decorated cuirass breast plates, and cavalry bags.
Like it's larger brother which resides in France, this tapestry suffered from nearly 300 years of dust, gravity, and light so when it was found in 2015, it needed cleaning, re-stitching, and other restorations. It was professionally restored in Europe for 4 months and a backing and velcro strip (museum industry standard) has been added for optimal hanging. *A special thanks to Pierre-Yves Machault (Certified National Expert in French Tapestries and Textiles CNES) for his assistance in researching this tapestry. Chambres Nationales des Experts Specialises en Objets d'art et de Collection.
CONDITION: Very good condition. Cleaned and restored in Europe. Backing and velcro strip added. Minor light fraying and discoloration. Please inspect photos.
H=150 3/8, W=68