This section is from the book "Tapestries; Their Origin, History And Renaissance", by George Leland Hunter. Also available from Amazon: Tapestries; Their Origin, History, And Renaissance.
A set of Aubusson tapestries to cover five pieces of furniture - sofa, two arm-chairs, two side chairs - weighs ten pounds, measures nine square yards, and costs in the United States from $1,000 to $5,000. That is to say, if you bought it by weight, you would pay from $100 to $500 a pound. If you bought it by area, you would pay from $110 to $550 a square yard. To an Aubusson set that costs $1,400 correspond a Belleville set at $950 and a Nimes set at $700 - both the latter broché imitations of real tapestry that are sometimes mistaken for it.
Aubusson tapestries are woven in the little town of Aubusson in France, 207 miles by rail south of Paris. Tradition says that the industry was established there in the year of our Lord 732 by stragglers from the Saracen army that Charlemagne's grandfather, Charles Martel, defeated near Tours, thus saving Europe to Christianity. In 1664 the tapestry merchants and weavers of Aubusson, in a report to the King on the condition of the manufacture, declared that it had been "established from time immemorial, no person knowing the institution of it." But the first documentary evidence that has been discovered of tapestries woven in the Aubusson district, is in the will dated 1507 of the Duchess of