8. "ANNE PAGE
The fifth in a series of
eight tapestry panels "The Merry Wives of Windsor",
which, with No.1 "Queen
made a total of nine, gold medal winning, exhibits at The Paris
Exhibition of 1878.
(though this tapestry is undated)
A rabbit leaps away into Windsor
Described in the WE as a love scene between Anne Page and Fenton,
this scene illustrates the underplot, the scheme of her father
being to marry her to Slender, and her mother tries to marry
her to Dr. Caius. Shakespeare did not include the scene depicted,
except by inference just before the final curtain after the pair
have married at Eton's ancient parish church, which has long
fallen into decay. They join the company who " ...are all
couched in a pit (dell) close to Herne's Oak", Slender finds
he has not married Anne but a postmaster's boy, while Dr. Caius
thinking "to take her in green", finds he has married
"un garcon", but Anne Page and Fenton, "long since
contracted, Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve them".
They walk holding hands, with Fenton's arm about her shoulders,
along the path, with the tower of the old church of Eton behind
them on the skyline. In front of them a rabbit leaps away into
the flowers and undergrowth of Windsor Forest.
ft. 3 in. high by 6 ft. 11in., plus blue binding (for hanging)
making the overall measurements 6 ft. 5in. by 7 ft. 2in.
16 per inch
young squire, Fenton, has a handsome crimson hat, and a red tunic,
with a brown cape over his shoulder. His breeches are striped
blue and grey, above grey stockings. Anne wears a light grey
gown, embroidered red along the hem, with light blue striped
sleeves, red shoes and a blue bonnet. The forest is russet tones,
greys and greens in the late summer evening light to the north-either
a late sunset or very early sunrise, with a red tinge to the
hazy clouds. There is a variety of woodland and meadow plants,
from the tall thistle, pink marjoram, red campions and blue speedwells
to the yellow hawkbits, dandelions, and pink sweet briars, and
the greens of the bracken and fern under the beech trees.
to "Ye Merrie Wives", a continuous chain of panels,
square at the angles, containing sprays of flowers, and similarly
at the centres of the sides, and on either side of the centre
panels at the top and bottom, with rectangles containing sprays
including red gooseberries, lilies, grapes, medlars and plums.
The title, "Anne Page & Fenton" is in deep reddish
purple on a wide ribbon with a blue background in the central
Windsor mark of a stylised crown above _I I_ is followed by "H.H.
& M.B. N 6". The initials are those of Henri C. J. Henry,
the Director, and Michel Brignolas, the weaver/dyer and manager
of the Windsor Tapestry Manufactory. N 6 is the tapestry number
in the series of 9, including the tapestry portrait of Queen
Sale prices: Not
Guildhall, December 1878.
Ownership: Commissioned by Gillow & Co.,
of Oxford Street, London. Bought complete with the entire decor
of the Prince of Wales' dining room in the British Pavilion at
the Paris Exhibition 1878 by Sir Albert Sassoon for the dining
room of his mansion at 25 Kensington Gore.
References: Furniture Gazette, 26 January and
7 September, 1878
WE, 7 December, 1878
Art Journal, 1879, p.64
The Windsor Express, 9 November, 1878, reported: "OLD WINDSOR
TAPESTRY WINS GOLD MEDAL... the award has given tremendous satisfaction
to Her Majesty who has now commanded that all the tapestries
at the Palace of Holyrood shall be sent to Old Windsor for renovation.
Many... are in a bad state of repair, some even falling to pieces."
to The Royal Windsor Tapestry Works
Index to the
Windsor History Zone
Windsor Home Page
To contact us,