The Call of Nature, with Bugatti and Renaissance Tapestry Weavers

On 02 May 2019, by Philippe Dufour

Two antelopes tamed by Rembrandt Bugatti’s hand frolic against a backdrop of a flowering late 16th-century tapestry.

Rembrandt Bugatti (1885-1916), "Deux antilopes apprivoisées" (“Two tamed antelopes”), bronze with a brown patina on sea foam marble base, lost wax cast signed “A.A. Hébrard” and “R. Bugatti”, stamped “no. 3”, 22.7 x 45.3 x 10.4 cm.
Result: €300,000

This pair of peaceful herbivores is one of three known copies of a group made in 1905 by Bugatti, edited by Hébrard and cast by Albino Palazzolo. The bidding reached €300,000, putting it in the upper range of prices recorded for this sculpture (source: Artnet). Audenarde, in Flanders, and Enghien, in France, were the cradles of European tapestry. The wool and silk tapestry with Aristolochia décor came out of their workshops in the late Renaissance. It features tufts of flowers – daisies, poppies, daffodils, violets, periwinkles, strawberry blossoms, carnations, foxgloves, columbines – five birds, a lavish border decorated with foliage and crests in the corners. This high-flying masterwork sold for €200,000. Next up came a selection of stunning sports cars from the Trente Glorieuses era in France, including a beautiful R 1135 Renault Gordini 1300, which came out in 1967. Sold as is, it fetched €42,900. The auction also included contemporary art: an abstract, untitled oil painting by Wang Yan Cheng was bought for €27,100.

Success for a Renaissance Tapestry

On 11 May 2019, by Philippe Dufour

Instant replay of the results obtained by a 16th-century wool and silk tapestry with an aristolochia decoration, from Audenarde or Enghien.

Flanders, late 16th century, Audenarde or Enghien, tapestry with aristolochia, wool and silk, 207 x 295 cm.
Result: €200,000

At a sale in Saint-Etienne, in eastern central France, this piece had a marvellous surprise in store for art lovers when it soared up to €200,000, multiplying its estimate by six… A splendid victory at a time when medieval and Renaissance works are struggling to find takers. True, this result was justified by its remarkable condition, and its amazingly fresh colours in particular. The tapestry came from a Burgundy collection and eventually went to a British connoisseur. It is also remarkable for its rich decoration of aristolochia and clusters of daisies, poppies, daffodils, violets, periwinkles and columbines, with five birds playing merrily among them. The border is equally opulent, ornamented with a mixture of irises and vine branches. Each corner features as yet unidentified coats of arms. The piece was woven at either Audenarde or Enghien: two Flemish cities that became famous for their tapestries in the 15th century, their output reaching a peak the following century. In Audenarde, the guild of tapestry weavers is mentioned for the first time in 1441, and a few decades later the Enghien factory began exporting its works to the Duchy of Burgundy. 

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