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REF: 2433

'LATE 17TH CENTURY FLEMISH ALLEGORICAL BAROQUE TAPESTRY, ‘AFRICA’
FROM A SERIES OF THE FOUR CONTINENTS WOVEN IN WOOL AND SILK,
PROBABLY AFTER A DESIGN BY JAN VAN ORLEY FROM THE WORKSHOP OF JUDOCUS DE VOS
FLANDERS c.1680

The tapestry depicts five figures, each in differing costume of the 17th century of both European fashion and African. On the left hand side a merchant is shown in a blues and golds with a headdress, in conversation with an African holding a narwhal horn. The narwhal horn was believed to have powers which would cure melancholia and poisoning. In the centre of the tapestry is a woman bearing a horn of plenty full of flowers and sheaves of grain who can be perceived as the embodiment of Africa. In her left hand she holds a scorpion up high, the symbol of Africa in antiquity and on her head she wears an elephant scalp head crest which again is symbolic of her in the role of Africa, an image which predates to Roman antiquity (see ‘Personification: Embodying Meaning and Emotion’, Editied by Walter S. Melion and Bart Ramakers). To her right are seated two western women dressed in resplendent clothes with embroidered decoration, one of the women with an ostrich feather headdress holding a sceptre, the other woman holding a very large nugget of gold. Below the two women on the bottom right is a river bed on which rests a large arrangement of exotic fruits including pomegranates and melons. A lion and a leopard lie recumbent next to the figures in the tapestry, in the centre and to the bottom left hand side. In the close background are palm trees and in the distance a town can be seen at the base of a mountain range.
With a decorative geometric border, the tapestry has been reduced in size. There are old spot repairs throughout.

HEIGHT: 330 cm (10'8")
WIDTH: 330 cm (10'8")

£POA

Late 17th century tapestry of Africa, after Lodewijk van schoor and Peter Spierinckx

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