9. "ANNE PAGE
The sixth 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.
T. W. Hay
in the WE as "Anne Page inviting Slender into her house",
this tapestry has not been recorded since it hung in the dining
room of Sir Albert Sassoon at 25 Kensington Gore in the 1880s.
Slender with his "virtuous mind", as Sir Hugh Evans
says, is not for Anne Page to wed, but in their poetic alliance
they are inseparable. This scene, set in the streets of Windsor,
is of obvious importance.
similar to "Anne Page & Fenton", "Sir H. Evans
& Simple", and "Dr. Caius & Rugby", about
6 ft. 4 in. high by 6 ft. wide.
similar to the others in the series, about 16 per inch
along the top and bottom only, as indicated in the engraving
of the Prince of Wales' dining room in the British Pavilion [above]
at the Paris Exhibition of 1878, where, by process of elimination,
it can be considered to be the tapestry drawn as being on the
end wall of the salon. (Chefs d'oeuvre d'Art a I'Exposition Universelle
1878, p.186). This may not be entirely reliable, as this and
other engravings show certain tapestries in the series which
are known to have borders at the sides, e.g. "Ye Merrie
Wives", hung without the side border showing contrary to
at least one engraving. As these borders are only sewn on, and
not woven integrally with the picture, this may have been an
intention of design, to facilitate hanging in spaces of different
size. Thus the border would a be a continuous chain of panels
consisting of sprays of flowers (in squares) and longer branches
of fruit or flowers (in rectangles) alternately, with squares
at the angles, the title being on a wide ribbon in the central
lower panel. The strips of border are about 82 in. wide.
known, but probably the Windsor mark of a stylised crown above
JL followed by H. Henry and M. Brignolas, (or their initials
H.H. and M.B.) and the series number, N 7.
Windsor 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.
Furniture Gazette, 26 January and 7 September, 1878
WE, 9 November and 7 December, 1878
Art Journal, 1879, p.64
Knight, Charles, Virtue's Imperial Shakespeare Diu. 1, The Merry
Wives of Windsor (Illustrations i
& Supplementary Notice, pp. 100-107) g
Chefs d'Oeuvre d'Art a l'Exposition Universelle 1878, p.186
An engraving in Chef d'Oeuvre d'Art a l'Exposition Universelle
1878 indicates the general arrangement of the subject of this
tapestry, with Slender on the left, Anne Page on the right of
the scene with her dog-or a cat-behind her, in this street scene.
It has the usual border arrangement at the top and bottom.
Addendum: It was thought that apart from
the tapestry portrait of Queen Victoria none of this series had
survived, but seven of the missing eight were collected by Messrs.
Christies (Christie, Manson & Woods Ltd., St. James's, London)
in preparation for auction later in the autumn of 1978. This
only became known in September 1978 when the text of this volume
had already gone to press. Previously little information and
only shadowy vague outlines could be gleaned from the above accounts
and from rare engravings showing the Prince of Wales's dining
room at the Paris Exhibition of 1878, and the Exhibition at the
Town Hall, Windsor, in December 1878.
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