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Tapestries

Today, tapestry is widely used to describe a variety of textiles, including embroidery and mechanically-woven fabrics. Historically, tapestry refers to weft faced and often figural textiles woven by hand using a loom. The loom is composed of two rollers that stretch plain warp threads, which form the backbone of the tapestry. Because of its durability, wool was commonly used for the weft threads, whereas a range of materials including wool, linen, and silk, were used for the warp.

Traditional tapestries became especially popular in Europe during the 14th century. In 1384, Philip the Bold inherited the province of Artois in France and decorated his court with tapestries displaying the dynastic, religious, and commercial exploits of his territories. Some of his tapestries, which were made by local weavers and guilds, used gold and silver-lined threads that resulted in a shimmering, iridescent appearance. By the 15th and 16th centuries, royalty and nobility across Europe, Russia, and Asia commissioned elaborate tapestries for display within their churches, castles, and homes. Henry VIII of England, for example, amassed an impressive collection of Netherlandish tapestries to decorate his palaces and country homes.

Tapestry experienced a revival during the 19th century, when William Morris produced modern, innovative tapestries intended for ecclesiastical and decorative purposes. The art of Edward Burne-Jones, a British artist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement, served as inspiration for the figures and scenes in Morris' tapestries. Tapestry makers continue to test the limits of the medium today, creating unique works of art with dazzlingly complex patterns and designs.


Quick Facts

  • On November 26, 2014, Christie’s Hong Kong sold an imperial embroidered silk thangka, a tapestry depicting Buddhist deities, for $45,142,597
  • Medieval tapestries drew themes from ancient legends, history, mythology, religion, and sport
  • Some of the oldest tapestries to have survived were made in ancient Egypt in 1500 B.C.

Recommended Items at Auction

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Large Vintage Flemish Verdure Style Tapestry
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Large Vintage Flemish Verdure Style Tapestry
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$19013 Bids
18th Century Italian Silk and Metallic Thread Hanging Tapestry
Jun 20, 12:00 PM EDT
18th Century Italian Silk and Metallic Thread Hanging Tapestry
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $200- $2,000
$3505 Bids
Wool farmhouse hanging tapestry (110 x 140cm)
Jun 20, 10:00 AM AEST
Wool farmhouse hanging tapestry (110 x 140cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD100- AUD150
AUD202 Bids
Old Framed Embroidery/ Tapestry Hunt Scene
Jun 22, 6:30 PM EDT
Old Framed Embroidery/ Tapestry Hunt Scene
by Gary R. Wallace Auctioneers Inc.
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
GOOD LUCK SWASTIKA TEXTILES
Jun 23, 12:00 PM EDT
GOOD LUCK SWASTIKA TEXTILES
by Omnia Auctions
Est: $60- $80
$451 Bid
A FRENCH WALL TAPESTRY WITH AN ANIMATED LANDSCAPE, 19TH/20TH C.
Jun 20, 10:00 AM CEST
A FRENCH WALL TAPESTRY WITH AN ANIMATED LANDSCAPE, 19TH/20TH C.
by Coronari Auctions
Est: €250- €500
€2001 Bid
CARTON FROM AUBUSSON TAPESTRY "EAGLE IN THE UNDERGROWTH" OIL ON CANVAS PROJECT, 19TH CENTURY.
Jun 22, 9:00 AM CEST
CARTON FROM AUBUSSON TAPESTRY "EAGLE IN THE UNDERGROWTH" OIL ON CANVAS PROJECT, 19TH CENTURY.
by Goldfield Auction
Est: €100- €200
€1001 Bid
Decorative lot of 4 Guadamecíes framed in embossed and polychrome leather Córdoba 18th century
Jun 26, 4:30 PM CEST
Decorative lot of 4 Guadamecíes framed in embossed and polychrome leather Córdoba 18th century
by Templum Fine Art Auctions
Est: €400- €600
€2001 Bid
A Salvador Dali "Lincoln in Dalivision" Tapestry
Jun 20, 9:00 AM PDT
A Salvador Dali "Lincoln in Dalivision" Tapestry
by Abell Auction
Est: $500- $700
$2501 Bid
A FLEMISH WALL TAPESTRY WITH AN ALLEGORICAL REPRESENTATION OF THE MONTH OF JULY, 19TH/20TH C.
Jun 20, 10:00 AM CEST
A FLEMISH WALL TAPESTRY WITH AN ALLEGORICAL REPRESENTATION OF THE MONTH OF JULY, 19TH/20TH C.
by Coronari Auctions
Est: €400- €800
€3201 Bid
Provencal Landscape Tapestry Terrace View with Lavender Fields
Jul 02, 9:00 PM EDT
Provencal Landscape Tapestry Terrace View with Lavender Fields
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $700- $800
$4500 Bids
Front Entrance Bouquet and Red Drape Tapestry
Jul 02, 9:00 PM EDT
Front Entrance Bouquet and Red Drape Tapestry
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $900- $1,100
$7000 Bids
TAPESTRY/PICTORIAL WEAVING, 20TH CE
Jun 24, 10:00 AM CEST
TAPESTRY/PICTORIAL WEAVING, 20TH CE
by Historia Auctionata
Est: €0- €0
€1000 Bids
Pomona's Harvest The Goddess of Abundance: William Morris Inspired Jacquard Tapestry - 46.8" x 29.3"
Jul 09, 9:00 PM EDT
Pomona's Harvest The Goddess of Abundance: William Morris Inspired Jacquard Tapestry - 46.8" x 29.3"
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $450- $550
$3500 Bids
Floral Elegance: Vintage Bowl and Crown Cotton Tapestry - 33.2" x 52.7"
Jul 09, 9:00 PM EDT
Floral Elegance: Vintage Bowl and Crown Cotton Tapestry - 33.2" x 52.7"
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $525- $625
$4100 Bids
Regal Reverie: Empress Eugenie's Elysee Palace Jacquard Wall Tapestry - 72.9" x 29.3"
Jul 09, 9:00 PM EDT
Regal Reverie: Empress Eugenie's Elysee Palace Jacquard Wall Tapestry - 72.9" x 29.3"
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $700- $800
$6000 Bids
Lady with the Coat of Arms: Elizabeth Charlotte's Wedding Bliss Tapestry - 58.5" x 42.9"
Jul 09, 9:00 PM EDT
Lady with the Coat of Arms: Elizabeth Charlotte's Wedding Bliss Tapestry - 58.5" x 42.9"
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $750- $850
$6500 Bids
ENGLISH NEEDLEPOINT TEXTILE OF DOG & PUPPIES
Jun 30, 11:00 AM EDT
ENGLISH NEEDLEPOINT TEXTILE OF DOG & PUPPIES
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $150- $250
$700 Bids
XVth Century Jacquard Wall Tapestry Wine Processing Scene
Jul 02, 9:00 PM EDT
XVth Century Jacquard Wall Tapestry Wine Processing Scene
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $600- $700
$3500 Bids
Elysee Palace Flower Arrangement Tapestry
Jul 02, 9:00 PM EDT
Elysee Palace Flower Arrangement Tapestry
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $800- $1,000
$6500 Bids
Neoclassical design carpet; Royal Tapestry Factory, 1944. Wool. Signed and dated.
Jun 20, 12:45 PM CEST
Neoclassical design carpet; Royal Tapestry Factory, 1944. Wool. Signed and dated.
by Setdart Auction House
Est: €7,000- €8,000
€4,0000 Bids
Pequeño tapiz en petit point.
Jun 19, 6:00 PM CEST
Pequeño tapiz en petit point.
by Isbilya Subastas
Est: €0- €0
€400 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Tapestries


Tajan

Tajan

Coronari Auctions

Coronari Auctions

Artcurial

Artcurial

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures