1. QUEEN VICTORIA
The first in a series of
nine Gold Medal winning tapestry panels exhibited at The Paris
Exhibition of 1878. Eight other panels in the series entitled
"The Merry Wives of Windsor" completed the exhibit.
These eight are described on these pages, the first of which
is linked here. The
Merrie Wives Tapestry
Artist: Phoebus Levin, a German painter
working in London 1855-78. In 1876 he copied the portrait of
the Queen painted by Baron Heinrich von Angeli (1840-1925) at
Windsor Castle in 1875. (Refs:
Subject: Queen Victoria
Cartoon: Not surviving. Phoebus Levin is
known to have prepared a cartoon. (Ref: 5)
Size: 3 ft. 2 in. high by 2 ft. 102 in. (Ref: 5)
Warps: 22-23 per inch
Colours: The Queen is dressed in black with
wide gold trimming before a sombre background. She wears the
blue Garter ribbon - the Garter around the Royal Arms in gold
is just discernible behind her head. She wears a gold crown over
a lace head dress and jewellery. She holds a parchment scroll.
Border: None visible
Marks: P. Levin nach Angely 1877. Windsor.
H. Henry. M. Brignolas. (Henri C. J. Henry was the Director of
the Windsor Tapestry Manufactory and Michel Brignolas the Tapissier
Manager & Dyer). (Refs:
2, 4, 5, 13)
Sale prices: Valued at £200 before Sotheby's
sale 7 June 1968 (Ref:
Exhibited: Paris Exhibition 1878. Gold medal,
with "Merry Wives of Windsor" tapestries. Windsor Guildhall,
December, 1878 (Ref:
11) and May, 1977.
Ownership: Apparently commissioned by Messrs.
Gillow & Co. of Oxford Street, London with "The Merry
Wives of Windsor" (See nos .4-11 below) (9).
Purchased with the decor of the British Pavilion dining room
including the eight "Merry Wives' tapestries and a richly
carved and decorated mantelpiece and panelling (8, 10, 12) by
Sir Albert Sassoon for re-erection at his mansion, 25 Kensington
Gore, where the Queen's tapestry portrait continued to preside,
somewhat incongruously some thought, flanked by "The Merry
Wives of Windsor" above the dining table which was frequently
graced by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. (3, 5).
Between 1957 (approx.) and the auction sale in 1968 the Queen's
tapestry portrait hung in the office of Mr. Bryan Adams in Victoria
Street (7). Now owned by Victoria and Albert
Museum, (Gallery 95, Textiles).
(1) Letters of Queen Victoria. Second
series, 1862-1885, ed. G. E. Buckle, 1926., Guide
to Windsor Castle, 1909.]
(2) The Furniture Gazette, 18 August, 1877 and 26 January, 1878.
(3) Stanley Jackson, The Sassoons, 1968, p.61.
(4) Walter Henry Harris, Royal Windsor Tapestries, 1893 (privately
(5) [Victoria and Albert Museum Yearbook 1969, "A Windsor
Tapestry Portrait", Wendy Hefford, pp. 30-32.]
(6) Guide to Windsor Castle, 1909.
(7) The Times, 6 June, 1968
(8) Catalogue of the 1878 Paris Universal Exhibition (British
(9) Illustrated London News, 14 December, 1878, p.569
(10) Chefs d'oeuvre d'Art a l'Exposition Universelle, 1878
(11) WE 7, 14 December, 1878
(12) Royal Album of Art and Industries of Great Britain, Wyman,
(13) Historique de l'Art des Tapisseries en Angleterre. Foundation
de la Manufacture Royale de Old Windsor, Michel Brignolas, 1879,
Imprimerie Anglo-Francaise, Oxford St., London.
(14) Catalogue of Windsor Tapestries, pictures, Ancient and Modern
Carvings &c., &c., Exhibited Windsor, December 1878.
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