Aubusson Tapestries, ca. 1900

Value (2006) | $4,000 Auction$5,100 Auction

GUEST:
My mother-in-law died in 1965. And where she acquired it from, I don't know. I found it in a trunk and it's been in the trunk ever since.

APPRAISER:
So it's been in a trunk for 40 years.

GUEST:
40 years, yes.

APPRAISER:
Wow. That may account for why it's in such great condition. It's incredibly vibrant in its coloration. And objects of this sort have a tendency to fade over time if they're exposed to sunlight.

GUEST:
She collected a lot of needlepoint,

APPRAISER:
Mm-hmm.

GUEST:
so I have a lot of it.

APPRAISER:
Actually, it's not needlepoint, it's tapestry.

GUEST:
Tapestry?

APPRAISER:
It was made to be a wall hanging, made in a town called Aubusson, which is in France.

GUEST:
France.

APPRAISER:
Southeast of Paris. Which has had a history of tapestry-weaving since at least the 14th century. This piece itself was actually made in the late 19th, early 20th century between 1890 and 1920.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And I got to tell you it is phenomenal quality. Most tapestries you see of this period were poorly made to be cheap in the market at the time, whereas this piece is just phenomenal quality, incredibly well woven. What you can really tell if you look at the details in the faces, they actually look like human faces. They don't look like cartoon characters or they're not misshapen at all. They really have true clarity. This is woven in a combination of wool and silk, which gives it a lot of the vibrancy as well as the color retention. The light picks up the silk parts, reflects it more than the wool and really gives the tapestry some life. Another interesting aspect is, even though it is early 20th century, circa 1900 in date, the design is taken from a 16th-century tapestry.

GUEST:
Oh.

APPRAISER:
There's one little damage that you can see right here. A little slit, but that could very easily be sewn up and taken care of. There's really no loss to the tapestry itself. You also brought in another small piece of tapestry that's woven in the same technique as this, also made in Aubusson. But as opposed to being a wall hanging, it was made as a piece of decorative art. Either to be framed and hung on the wall, or possibly framed to be put onto a pole screen, a fire screen, which is a popular decorative accessory in the early 20th century. The value of this piece, if it was to come up at auction today, because it's such phenomenal quality, it would be between $3,500 and $4,500. And on he pole-screen cover, probably around $500 or $600.

GUEST:
Thank you very much.

APPRAISER:
Pleasure. Thanks for coming in.

GUEST:
Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Beauvais Carpets
New York, New York
Appraised value (2006)
$4,000 Auction$5,100 Auction
Event
Philadelphia, PA (August 05, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Form
Tapestry
Material
Silk, Wool

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