Tapestry Fragment

ca. 1600 (made)
Tapestry Fragment thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This piece from a tapestry border shows a fashionably dressed man out hunting with his dog and hawk. The huntsman is holding the prey, possibly a duck, in his right hand.
The border was probably made in the Sheldon tapestry workshop. In 1570 William Sheldon, a prosperous Worcestershire gentleman, set up a tapestry workshop in his manor house at Barcheston, now in Warwickshire. His intention was to provide a remedy for the high local unemployment which, by training tapestry weavers, would also cut down the level of goods imported from Flanders (now part of Belgium) and the Netherlands, the traditional areas of the weaving craft. His head weaver almost certainly came from those regions and was engaged to teach his skills to local Englishmen.

Few of the Sheldon tapestries rivalled the more sophisticated work produced in Flanders and most of the products attributed to the Sheldon looms are relatively modest in size and style. They were therefore within reach of the middle classes of society. Production continued through the lifetime of William’s son, Ralph, but had almost certainly ceased by 1615.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk tapestry on wool warp
Brief Description
A piece of tapestry border showing a huntsman with his hawk and dog, probably made by Sheldon Tapestry Workshops, Warwickshire, ca. 1600.
Physical Description
A piece from a tapestry (border) in silk on wool warp showing a huntsman in a landscape of trees and flowers. The man is fashionably dressed in hat, doublet and trunk hose. He is holding his hawk in his left hand while the prey, possibly a duck, is in his right hand. A dog is at the huntsman's feet. The border is edged by band of simplified floral pattern on red ground.
Dimensions
  • Length: 23.2cm
  • Width: 21cm
Credit line
Given by Wendy Hefford
Object history
Registered File number 1993/1769.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This piece from a tapestry border shows a fashionably dressed man out hunting with his dog and hawk. The huntsman is holding the prey, possibly a duck, in his right hand.

The border was probably made in the Sheldon tapestry workshop. In 1570 William Sheldon, a prosperous Worcestershire gentleman, set up a tapestry workshop in his manor house at Barcheston, now in Warwickshire. His intention was to provide a remedy for the high local unemployment which, by training tapestry weavers, would also cut down the level of goods imported from Flanders (now part of Belgium) and the Netherlands, the traditional areas of the weaving craft. His head weaver almost certainly came from those regions and was engaged to teach his skills to local Englishmen.



Few of the Sheldon tapestries rivalled the more sophisticated work produced in Flanders and most of the products attributed to the Sheldon looms are relatively modest in size and style. They were therefore within reach of the middle classes of society. Production continued through the lifetime of William’s son, Ralph, but had almost certainly ceased by 1615.
Collection
Accession Number
T.645-1993

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record createdMarch 3, 2005
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