"If you think it necessary for me to go and I can be of service to you, I am ready to do all that it pleases you to order, but otherwise, it is not the part of a widow woman to trotter and visit armies for pleasure."
She also owned seventeen rich Spanish velvet carpets. Among her chamber-hangings, bed-hangings, and canopies were several articles made of rich cloth of gold, bordered with crimson and embroidered with the arms and device of the "late King of Aragon."
She had a camp (or folding) bed with hangings of cloth of gold richly embroidered with gold thread and silk, and a canopy for a camp bed covered with cloth of gold and trimmed with a fringe of black silk and gold threads; and she also owned four large pieces of cloth of gold, each differently bordered, to decorate her throne, and also one of green velvet. She had two curtains of green and grey tafetas, and four of crimson tafetas, a number of pieces of cloth of gold, four hangings for a chamber of green velvet and white damask, and two palls, one of white silk embroidered with gold, and the other gold, green, red and white; and the furnishing of a camp bed with canopy, counterpane and three curtains of green tafetas lined with black. Margaret did not despise leather hangings, for she had several pieces of "tapestry of red morocco" each 4 1/2 ells long and just as wide, trimmed with bands of green brightened with gold, and three other pieces of "red morocco" with gilded bands. These probably came from Spain.
PLATE VII. - Huclie, or Bahut (Sixteenth Century). CLUNY MUSEUM, PARIS.
A "pavilion" of grey and yellow silk threads "as a protection against the flies," shows how early the mosquito net was known.
We should also note "packs for mules in the Spanish style," covered with cloth of gold and silver.
Among her table-covers was one of cloth of gold and white with trimmings of crimson velvet embroidered and fringed with gold, and one of cloth of gold with a crimson satin border.
The collection of "serviettes" were exquisitely embroidered with gay coloured silks and gold threads. Some of them were trimmed with silk borders and some with narrow fringe. One, for instance, was embroidered with violet, and adorned with a violet fringe; another was embroidered in silver, blue, flesh-colour, crimson and green and had a little fringe of red, blue and gold. The two dozen beautiful cushions were of cloth of gold with gold tassels; of gold and blue lozenges; and embroidered in variously coloured silks."
The choice articles in her cabinet included three fine pieces of amber; a branch of coral in a wooden box; four other branches of coral; a piece of coral shaped like a horn; a little silver box with two coral images; a little parfumador of silver for scent-balls; a little Spanish fan, beautifully made; a little gilded St. George in a black leather case; a little agate salt-cellar with a gilded foot; three spoons - one of mother-of-pearl with a silver handle, the others of cornelian with handles of chalcedony; a picture of St. Mark on canvas; two East India boxes; a pair of East Indian slippers; a piece of violet silk; a little retable, containing an image of Notre Dame and St. Joseph; another, with a hawthorn in blossom; a little paradise with all the apostles represented; a lacquer box garnished with silver; a little silver cage; two tablets of wood framing pictures; two clocks, the larger one striking the hours and half hours; a Saint Margaret made in the likeness of Mile, de Mon-Lambert; a little crying child painted by a good artist; the Emperor's face in black and white; the little Duke of Milan on canvas; an Annunciation on canvas; a Saint Anthony made by Master Jacques; a little ivory picture given to Madame by M. de Chievres; the face of the Duke Philip; a silver gilt picture of the Annunciation with two leaves of porcelain, portraits of the late King Philip and Queen Joanna, his wife; a Notre Dame in amber; a beautiful steel mirror; a Notre Dame of alabaster; a round piece of alabaster in which a lion is cut; and several sets of chess, of silver, silver-gilt, ivory, carved wood, ivory and wood; a set in jasper wrapped in a flag; and a set of chalcedony and jasper in an old painted box.
She also had two dice-boxes, one gilt and one ivory. She also owned a good deal of curious needlework; two steel mirrors, one framed in silver gilt; and a netted purse of green and silver, marked with a unicorn.
Margaret was by no means peculiar in her liking for sumptuous tapestries. The walls of every palace, castle and mansion of the day were adorned with rich hangings, and these products of the Flemish looms were sought by prince and prelate throughout Europe.
Although Flanders continued to produce the most important sets of tapestry during the sixteenth century, and cartoons were supplied by the Flemish artists, Bernard van Orley, Michel Coxie and Peter of Campana, and the French artists, Primaticcio, Matteo del Nassaro, Caron and Lerambert, by far the greater number of designs came from Italy. Paul Veronese, Titian, Pordenone, Salviati, A. del Sarto, Bronzino, Giovanni da Udine, Giulio Romano and Raphael are among the most prolific designers; and in the tapestries after their cartoons, the grouping and distribution of the figures as well as the colouring (that requires much more shading) differ greatly from the works of the past. The borders are also more varied; instead of being decorated only with fruits and flowers tied with ribbons, other motives are introduced - birds, nude children, fishes, crustaceans, vegetables, emblems, quivers, masks, grotesques, etc., etc.
Most of these fine sets were made in Brussels to order; but many tapestries were made there and sold in Antwerp. If Brussels was the workshop of Europe, Antwerp was the mart. In this city, where all kinds of merchandise abounded, Guicciardini informs us that more than a thousand foreign merchants had established themselves and exhibited for sale to the eyes of purchasers the fine tapestries made in Brussels. There was a special place" "Le Pand, halle aux tapisseries, where many beautiful and marvellous inventions and works were exhibited and sold."