Trash or treasure? Let’s find out

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Ansie Furter of Krugersdorp writes: I bought this tapestry from an antique shop in Modimolle and would love to know more about its history and possible value. Can you help?

Ainsley Taylor of Stephan Welz & Co. replies: This tapestry is a modern replica taken from a set of six tapestries dating from about 1500AD. The original set was discovered rotting away in a chateau in central France in the middle of the 19th century; once restored it became renowned for the sumptuous quality of materials used, as well as the extraordinary depiction of the subject matter.

General consensus is that each of the tapestries presents a meditation on earthly pleasures and courtly culture, offered through an allegory of the five senses. This particular tapestry, showing The Lady making a wreath of flowers with a unicorn and lion framing her, represents “Smell”.

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April 2023

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