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Textiles

Six lords and ladies with fabulous beasts, fragment of a wall hanging

Key data

Basle, ca. 1410/20

Wool tapestry, three pieces, of height 70 cm, width 207 cm

height 77.5 cm, width 206 cm

height 75 cm, width 75.5 cm

original overall length ca. 630 cm

Inv. 1880.61.

Description

The survival of this tapestry is due to the historian Auguste Quiquerez, who discovered the three fragments in 1880 on the wagon of a roadworker in the canton of Jura. Against a dark background interwoven with magical, blue blossoming periwinkle, gentle human figures are dramatically juxtaposed with menacing monsters. These are led on chains attached to lavishly decorated collars by the slender youths and maidens in courtly dress. The magical powers of the sprays of blossom enable the couples to subdue the ferocity of the fabulous beasts. The theme of the taming of savage nature by courtly manners recurs in various forms in tapestries from Basle, and often had metaphorical significance.

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Contact

Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00
Message: +41 61 205 86 02
historisches.museum(at)bs.ch

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