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The Tapestry Book, by Helen... - Yesterday Image

The Tapestry Book, by Helen... - Yesterday Image


The Tapestry Book, by Helen Churchill Candee. 150 of 196 03/03/2009 19:16 The Enghien town marks are an easy adaptation of the arms of the place, and the weavers’ marks are generally monograms. Weavers’ marks, after playing about the eccentricities of cipher, changed in the Seventeenth Century to easily read initials, sometimes interlaced, sometimes apart. Later on it became the mode to weave the entire name. An example of these is the two letters C of Charles de Comans on the galloon of Meleager and Atalanta (plate facing page 68); and the name G. V. D. Strecken in the Antony and Cleopatra (plate facing page 79). Other countries than Flanders were wise in their generation, and placed the marks that are so welcome to the eye of the modern who seeks to know all the secrets of the tapestry before him. In the Seventeenth Century, when Paris was gathering her scattered decorative force for later demonstration at the Gobelins, the city had a pretty mark for its own, a simple fleur-de-lis and the initial P, and the initials of the weaver. PARIS ALEX. DE COMANS CHARLES DE COMANS That Jean Lefèvre, who with his father Pierre was imported into Italy to set the mode of able weaving for the Florentines, had a sign unmistakable on the Gobelins tapestries of the History of the King. (Plate facing page 114.) It was a simple monogram or union of his initials. In the Eighteenth Century the Gobelins took the fleur-de-lis of Paris, and its own initial letter G. The modern Gobelins’ marks combined the G with an implement of the craft, a broche and a straying thread. JEAN LEFÈVRE GOBELINS, 18TH CENTURY GOBELINS, MODERN In Italy, in the middle of the Sixteenth Century, we find the able Flemings, Nicholas Karcher and John Rost, using their personal marks after the manner of their country. Karcher thus signed his marvellously executed grotesques of Bacchiacca which hang in the gallery of tapestries in Florence. (Plates facing pages 48 and 49.) John Rost’s fancy led him to pun upon his name by illustrating a fowl roasting on the spit. Karcher had a little different mark in the Ferrara looms, where he went at the call of the d’Este Duke.

The Tapestry Book, by Helen Churchill Candee. 151 of 196 03/03/2009 19:16 KARCHER, FLORENCE JOHN ROST KARCHER, FERRARA The Florence factory made a mark of its own, refreshingly simple, avoiding all of the cabalistic intricacies that are so often made meaningless by the passing of the years, and which were affected by the early Brussels weavers. The mark found on Florence tapestries is the famous Florentine lily, and the initial of the town. The mark of Pierre Lefèvre, when weaving here, was a combination of letters. PIERRE LEFÈVRE, FLORENCE MORTLAKE When the Mortlake factory was established in England, the date was sufficiently late, 1619, for marking to be considered a necessity. The factory mark was a simple shield quartered by means of a cross thrown thereon. Sir Francis Crane contented himself with a simple F. C., one a-top the other, as his identification. Philip de Maecht, he whose family went from Holland to England as tapissiers, directed at Mortlake the weaving of a part of the celebrated Vulcan and Venus series, and his monogram can be seen on The Expulsion of Vulcan from Olympus (coloured plate facing page 170), owned by Mrs. A. von Zedlitz, as well as in the other rare Vulcan pieces owned by Philip Hiss, Esq. This same Philip de Maecht worked under De Comans in Paris, he having been decoyed thence by the wise organisers of Mortlake. SIR FRANCIS CRANE PHILIP DE MAECHT The marks on tapestries are as numerous as the marks on china or silver, and the absence of marks confronts the hunter of signs with baffling blankness, as is the case of many very old wares, whether china, silver or tapestries. Also, late work of poor quality is unmarked. Having thus disposed of the situation, it remains to identify the marks when they exist. The exhaustive works of the French writers must be consulted

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