Renaissance Vestment Panel, ca. 1575
Appraised Value: $1,500 - $5,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:38)
Decorative Arts, Rugs & Textiles
Appraiser of Fine Art and Antiques
Szescila Appraisal Service
APPRAISER: This is a very interesting religious panel that you've brought in today.
Where did you get this?
GUEST: I was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I worked for a very wealthy family as a secretary, and when the mother died, I wanted a remembrance of her, and this was in the things that they were going to auction off. And it was recommended to me by the art gallery, that this would be something I would enjoy as a remembrance.
APPRAISER: Okay. And when you bought it, what did they tell you about it?
GUEST: The art gallery said they thought it was 15th century.
APPRAISER: 15th century?
GUEST: Altar hanging. With Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
GUEST: And that's all I know about it.
APPRAISER: All right. Well, I think it's a little bit later than that. I think it's probably the second half of the 16th century, somewhere between 1550 and 1600. It's made in Italy. And it's woven with metallic-wrapped threads and then if you look at the faces, we have silk embroidery and some couching done in other areas of the piece. I don't think that they're Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I've talked with several people here on the show, and we think that the top one, this is probably John the Baptist, because he's using... he has a lamb. The second one is probably St. James, because he is wearing a traveler's cap and a staff for the pilgrimages that he took. This is probably John the Evangelist, so you do have one of the four saints that you thought you had, because he's carrying a chalice. Sometimes he's represented with a chalice because he was given poison once and supposedly when he got ready to drink it, it turned to snakes. So he knew it was poison and he didn't drink it. And the last one is most likely St. Andrew, because he has an X-shaped cross. So you do have four saints there in actually remarkable condition for their age. They're very, very rare. The very nature of textiles is that they're very fragile and it's very unusual to find something that's this old and in this good a condition. It does have some condition problems, which we would expect. If you look, there are numerous little areas where the threads are loose and in other areas, they've just completely come off, particularly down here on the face of the lower saint.
GUEST: Well, the face is because of my son putting his finger there saying, "This is where I'm not supposed to touch?"
APPRAISER: Oh, dear. (chuckles) Well, it's unfortunate that he did that, but it's still a wonderful grouping. Probably these were all individually done by the same maker, done as vestments for a priest. And then later on they were all put together, as you can see. They were put together here and here, the four of them. What did you pay for this?
GUEST: $150, I believe.
APPRAISER: When was this that you bought it?
APPRAISER: Well, with religious items of any sort in this country, they don't sell as well, perhaps, as we would expect for something this old. And I think if they sold in the United States at auction, they would probably sell for somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000. However, in a good sophisticated shop in Europe, they would probably go for more like $5,000 or so. So you have to choose the right market to sell a piece like this. It's rare, it's exceptional. It's really a nice piece.
GUEST: Thank you very much. Thank you.
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