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.
Modern Gobelin mark.
Mark of the Baumgarten works at Williams-bridge, with date below the shield.
Nicolas Karcher, Florence XVI century.
Mortlake mark, the shield of Saint George.
Alexandre de Comans, Paris, first half XVII century.
Charles de Comans, Paris, first half XVII century.
Philip de Maecht, Paris and Mortlake, XVII century.
Ian Van Der Cammen, last half XVI century.
Unfortunately a majority of the monograms have not yet been identified, and no exhaustive comparative study of them has been made. So that the presence of a monogram is not as helpful now as it may become later. The custom of signing monograms lasted a little over a century - roughly until 1635 - when initials and full names in Roman letters took their place. Some of the later signatures are:
Jan Permenters. Brussels second half XVII century.
I. V. Zeunen (or I. V. Z.). Brussels XVII century.
V. Leyniers(UrbainLeyniers). XVII century.
D. Leyniers. Brussels XVIII century.
MA. RO. (Matthew Roelants). Brussels XVII century.
I. Liemans. Brussels XVII century.
I. V. Brvgghen. Brussels XVII century.
Peeter. Vander. Berghen. Brussels XVII century.
M. Provoost. Brussels XVII century.
A. V. Dries. Brussels XVII century.
M. Wauters (or M.W.). XVII century.
Besnier Et Oudry. A Beauvais. Signature of the artist Oudry and the manager Besnier at Beauvais, first half of the XVIII century.
D. M. Beauvais (De Menou). Beauvais last half XVIII century.
P. Ferloni. F. RomÆ MDCCXXXIX (P. Ferloni made at Rome in 1739).
Jan Leyniers. Brussels second half XVII century.
EverÆRt Leyniers. Brussels second half XVII century.
H. Reydams. Brussels second half XVII century.
P. V. D. Borght. Brussels XVIII century.
G. Peemans (or G. P.). Brussels XVII century.
D. Eggermans. Brussels XVII century.
Iudocus. DE. Vos. Brussels Early XVIII century.
G. V. D. Streecken. Brussels XVII century.
Guillam. Van Leefdael. Brussels XVII century.
Cozette, 1765. Gobelins.
Audran, 1771. Gobelins.
Neilson Ex. Gobelins XVIII century.
Iac. D. L. Riv. (Jacques de la Rivière). Rome XVII century Behagle (Philip Béhagle). Beauvais last half XVII century.
An important feature of many story-tapestries are the captions. In the long, narrow bands of the XIV and XV centuries, they are often on scrolls that frame the personages (See plate no. 329). On many of the immense XV century panels, there are inscriptions at the bottom in Latin or French, with names and other inscriptions in the field of the tapestry. In Renaissance historical and Biblical sets, the Latin captions usually occupied the middle of the top border. In the XVII century, cartouches occupied the middle of the top border and bottom border, the top cartouche carrying a coat of arms or a shadow oval, the bottom cartouche the descriptive caption, with sometimes another inscription in the side border. An extreme example of long inscriptions is Charles V's Tunis set, with Spanish in the top border, and Latin in the bottom border. On the whole, captions tended to disappear from the panel of tapestries with the approach of the Renaissance, and altogether with the increased dominance of paint style in the XVII century. But a very pleasing feature of Charles Coypel's XVIII century Don Quixote series are the descriptive captions in the lower part of the panel.
Tapestry borders in the XIV century, there were nqne, and in the XV century, few before the last quarter. The brick wall with floriation surrounding the Burgundian Seven Sacraments at the Metropolitan Museum is a noteworthy exception. About 1475 narrow verdure borders became the fashion, and remained in vogue for half a century. Compartment borders were first introduced by Raphael's Acts of the Apostles, the best examples of these borders being in the Royal Spanish Collection (See plate no. 89), and in the Mercury and Herse tapestries belonging to Mr. Blumenthal and the Duchess of Denia. Renaissance borders were much wider than those that preceded, and were especially rich in flowers and fruit and animal motifs. A splendid example is the border of the Roman Colosseum in the Metropolitan Museum, with birds in the top border, fish in the bottom border, and field and forest animals in the side borders.
Of Renaissance borders I am tempted to say that often they are almost as interesting as Gothic verdure tapestries.
With the XVII century borders began to be heavily shaded in imitation of frames carved in relief. To be sure, there had been inside shadows on two sides of the panel of some Renaissance tapestries, but it took Francis Cleyn - and Mortlake dyes that have blackened with time - to show how far this shadow tendency could be carried. At the Gobelins, too, they liked to show ornament in relief, and Gobelin XVII century colours - the shadow colours - also darkened with time, but less than the Mortlake ones. The Gobelin borders of the XVII and XVIII century are very distinctive and almost exclusively - after the first brilliant period under Lebrun - comparatively narrow and not very interesting woven reproductions of gilt wooden frames.
In the XVIII century, tapestries became smaller and more intimate than in the XVII century - the Don Quixote series taking the place of Alexander the Great, and the Hunts of Louis XV of the Story of the King. This was merely a reversion to early precedent, for arras tapestries started small in the XIII century, and grew large as skill and taste developed. In the XIV and XV centuries many sets of tapestry were woven of huge size, like the Angers Apocalypse, though perhaps sometimes in small pieces that were sewed together after weaving. At the end of the XV and beginning of the XVI century, a multitude of small tapestries was woven, side by side with lengthy sets of large pieces. What the XVI century could accomplish in the way of size, combined with perfection of technique, is illustrated by Charles V's Conquest of Tunis. In discussing the size of the tapestries, one should always remember that small tapestries are just as much of an anomaly as large paintings. On a small scale paint is superior; on a large, tapestry. The best shape for tapestries is wide rather than high.
The old unit of tapestry measurement was the aune (ell). The French aune was 46 3/4 inches long, the Flemish ell 27 inches. The Flemish ell was used not only in the Netherlands and England, but often by Flemish weavers in measuring up their work at Beauvais and other French factories. In changing from Flemish to French ells, 7 French were figured as roughly equal to 12 Flemish, and 1 French square ell as equal to 3 square Flemish ells - the French square ell containing 48 sticks (stocks) or bâtons,
Plate no. 277. On the left, Cleopatra and the Asp, from the XVII century Antony and Cleopatra series at the Metropolitan Museum. Signed with the Brussels mark and G. V. D. STRECKEN. On the right, a Scene from Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, Canto II, Stanza 21. The Christian Sophronia, declares to the tyrant Ismeno in order to save her fellow Christians: " 'Twas I who took the image. I am the one thou seekest. 'Tis me that thou shouldst punish." Signed P. FERLONI. F. ROMAE A. D. MDCCXXXIX the Flemish square ell 16 bâtons, which was the square unit common to both systems. The units now in use are the English foot of 12 inches, and the French metre of 39.37 inches. For purposes of quick comparison multiply the number of metres by 3 1/4 to get feet, or by l 1/11 to get yards.