11. "DR. CAIUS
The eighth 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.
Subject: Act II, Scene III, A field near Windsor. Enter Dr. Caius, the French Physician, and his
servant Rugby. Dr. Caius, expects to meet Sir Hugh Evans in a
rapier duel, and grasps the hilt of his sword, which he is about
to draw. "Take your rapier, Jack; I will tell you how I
will kill him", says the bellicose Dr. Caius. "Alas,
sir, I cannot fence", replies Rugby, his hands raised as
far as possible from the hilt of his sword. The scene is a path
by Windsor Forest, with great trees and an undergrowth of woodland
flowers and plants. Behind Caius a cock pheasant with its brilliant
plumage looks across to a hen pheasant in the centre background.
6ft. 4ins. high by 5ft 11ins. plus blued binding (for hanging)
making the overall measurements 6ft. 6ins. by 6ft.
per inch (part 18 per inch)
Caius is the dominant figure with his stern expression, crimson
hat edged with gold on his dark grey hair. He has a dark beard
streaked with grey, a cloak of grey trimmed with brown fur, brown
under-tunic trimmed blue, red and gold, buff at the waist and
lower edge. His sleeves are crimson, also his stockings with
brown garters tied at the knee. His shoes are slit to show his
crimson stockings and blue tops. The stage directions of his
"scarlet gown, furred well", appear to have been overlooked.
Rugby is dressed as a servant, with light red tunic and sleeves,
blue grey hat with brown leather earpieces folded upwards, brown
scalloped edge collar, white cuffs and a leather belt with a
brown sword sheath. His stockings show blue at his knees, also
at his ankles he has light colour greaves tied below the knee
and above his ankles.He has a worried expression. Behind him
are tall deep red flowers (not identified), and behind Caius
large wild roses, and wood violets by his feet, also wood anemones;
red campion is in the centre foreground. Light green willow saplings
are in the background, where the sky shows misty blue haze.
top border is (left to right) a long spray of grapes, a square
of five petal pink flowers, in the centre panel are cherries
on the bough, then a spray of small four petal white flowers
and a spray of apples, a square of cowslips, the central title
"Dr. Caius and Rugby" in deep reddish purple on a wide
ribbon with a blue background, then a square of red four petal
flowers and red plums on the bough bottom right.
W. Hay (left, by Dr. Caius's feet, in black), and on the right,
by Rugby's foot, the Windsor mark of a stylised crown above _l
l_ Windsor Tapestry 1878 N 8. H. Henry, M. Brignolas (in deep
Sale prices: Not
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.
26 January and 7 September, 1878
WE, 7 December, 1878
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."
Art Journal, 1879, p.64
||Additional tapestry descriptions
are under preparation
to The Royal Windsor Tapestry Works
Index to the
Windsor History Zone
Windsor Home Page
To contact us,