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.
Plate no. 331. Two XVII century tapestries: one made in Paris, the other in Brussels. The former pictures a scene from the story of Constantine after Rubens, signed with a Paris mark P and a fleur-de-lis in the bottom selvage, and with the monogram of T H and F M in the selvage on the right, woven in the factory of Raphael de la Planche, and now in the French National Collection. The monogram of X P in the top cartouche and on the standard is that of Christ formed of the two Greek letters that correspond to CH and R, adopted by the Roman Emperor Constantine as his device after his conversion to Christianity. The other tapestry illustrated on this page pictures Alexander the Great fainting in the Cydnus, and is signed IAN. LEYNIERS.
Plate no. 333. Animals Fighting, a XVII century Gobelin tapestry at the Ashmolean Museum of Orford University, one of the Old Indies taken from eight paintings presented to Louis XIV by the Prince of-Nassau, and "painted on the spot." The first high warp set of the Indies was presented to the Russian Emperor Peter the Great when he visited the Gobelins in 1717, and was used as a model at the St. Petersburg works founded by him (See chapter VI (French Looms, The Gobelins: Beauvais: Aubusson)). The tapestry illustrated on this page bears the signature of JANS and is believed to have been presented by Louis XIV to the Chinese Emperor. At any rate after 150 years it and its companions in the Groult collection were discovered in one of the imperial godowns at Yuen-Ming-Yuen when the place was looted in 1861. The Chinese inventory ticket dated 1771 read: "one piece of tapestry with human figure in feathers," evidently representing the ticket writer's idea of "foreign devils".
Plate no. 335. The Four Elements and Time, a XVII century tapestry in the Royal Swedish Collection designed by Jan Van Den Hoecke and woven by H. Reydams whose signature together with the Brussels mark appears in the bottom selvage. The design is characteristic of the century and belongs to the type often described as "The School of Rubens".
Plate no. 337. A Game of Backgammon. Brussels XVII century tapestry after Teniers, I metre by 1.30, bought by the Brussels Museum for 6,300 francs at the Somzee Sale, 1901.
Paris 1900, is my abbreviation for the invaluable though unillustrated report of the international jury for Class 70, Tapis, Tapisseries et Autres Tissus d'Ameublement by Ferdinand Leborgne. At this exposition Grand Prizes for tapestry-weaving were awarded to the French national works of the Gobelins and of Beauvais; to three French private firms; and to the English works established by William Morris, at Mertonnear London, for the set of four picturing the Quest of the Holy Grail and designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. A noteworthy feature of the exposition was the exhibition of ancient Flemish tapestries from the Royal Spanish Collection.
Bruges 1907, designates the exquisitely printed and illustrated Chefs-d'œuvres d'Art Ancien a l'Ex-position de la Toison d'Or at Bruges in 1907, published in Brussels, 1908. It is important not only for the illustrations and descriptions of two of the three Esther and Ahasuerus tapestries lent by the Cathedral of Saragossa, but also and particularly for the illustrations of ancient portraits and of coats of arms, of Knights of the Toison d'Or. Among the portraits are three of Philip the Good Duke of Burgundy by Rogier Van Der Weyden, Philip the Good and his wife Isabella of Portugal, Charles the Bold and his wife Isabella of Bourbon, Margaret of York third wife of Charles the Bold, the Emperor Maximilian I, Margaret of Austria by Barend Van Orley, the Emperor Charles V, Charles's brother Ferdinand I. The full descriptive list of the 22 tapestries exhibited is given on pages 109 to 118 of the small illustrated catalogue of the exposition. Sale catalogues I shall refer to by the name of the owner followed by the word Sale and the year. For instance, to the catalogue of the Duke of Hamilton sale, in London, 1882, as Hamilton Sale 1882; to the catalogue of the sale of the collection of the Duke of Berwick and Alba, in Paris in 1877, as Alba Sale 1877; to the catalogue of the sale of the Somzée collection of tapestries in Brussels, 1901, as Somzée Sale 1901; to the sale catalogue of the collection of Frederic Spitzer, as Spitzer Sale 1903. Incidentally I would remark that the Library of the Metropolitan Museum has an exceedingly large and valuable collection of sale catalogues. Of the Hamilton Sale it has both the catalogue published before the sale, and the one published afterwards with prices. The Alba catalogue is a much handsomer publication than the Hamilton one, and contains a number of very beautiful photographic illustrations of tapestries, among them the Passion, 2.45 metres by 2.25, that is now owned by Mr. George Blumenthal; Calvary, 3.50 metres square, that sold in 1877 for $5,000 and at the Dollfus Sale 1912, in Paris for $60,000; three large tapestries picturing Victories of the Duke of Alba, two of them signed with the Brussels mark and one with the monogram of Willem Van Pannemaker; a wonderful series of Late Gothic tapestries picturing the Creation, Christ Inspiring Faith, New Testament Scenes, Combat of Vices and Virtues, Triumph of Christianity, the Last Judgment, averaging 13 feet high by 26 wide; two out of a set of five large Renaissance Brussels tapestries picturing the Story of Vertumnus and Pomona, four of which were recently on sale in New York. In the Somzée catalogue numbers 521 to 606 are tapestries of which nearly one-half are shown in large photographic illustrations. From the tapestry point of view, the Somzée sale was the most important ever held. The descriptions in the catalogue are excellent. In the Spitzer sale catalogue, numbers 394 to 417 are tapestries, and there are photographic illustrations of 14 of them on plates IX to XII of volume III, while a supplementary volume gives the prices obtained. Other European sales, important from the tapestry point of view, are those of Louis Philippe 1852, Castellani 1866.