A Large Tapestry
Lot 27*
A large Flemish mid to late 17th century tapestry circa 1650-80,
Sold for £48,000 (US$ 79,659) inc. premium
Lot Details
A large Flemish mid to late 17th century tapestry circa 1650-80,
depicting an episode from the Old Testament story of Esther, 636cm wide, 269cm high, (250" wide, 105.5" high).

Footnotes

  • The subject was a favourite theme, particularly amongst tapestries of the 15th-17th century. It is the central scene in a complicated story of love, death, virtue, intrigue, power and social status.

    The story takes place in the fortress of Susa, an ancient city in the Persian empire. The silhouette of the fortress is partly depicted in the background of the tapestry. The powerful King of Persia, Ahasuerus, also known as Xerxes, has dismissed his wife Vashti because she offended him by not appearing at a feast. In her place, the King chose Esther, a young Jewess who had been brought up by her cousin, Mordecai. Unaware that Esther is a Jewess, King Ahasuerus asked her to be his wife.

    Shortly after their marriage, the King's chief minister Haman convinced Ahasuerus to distrust the Jews and to decree that all the Jews living in the Persian empire should be slaughtered. Mordecai pleaded with Esther to intercede with the King on behalf of their people. She agreed with full knowledge that to appear unbidden before the King, was to risk death. After three days of fasting, Esther entered the King's chamber. She can be seen swooning on the arms of one of her handmaidens at the lower right- a reaction to the King's initial rage at appearing before him unsummoned. Although her courage was strong, Esther was weakened by lack of food and fainted. The King took pity on her and holds out his golden sceptre to welcome her forward and show her that she is not to be punished.

    The far right of the tapestry shows King Ahasuerus in his bed as he was suffering from insomnia. To help him sleep, the court records are read to him. During this time he learns of the services rendered by Mordechai and discovers a previous plot by two courtiers to assassinate Ahasuerus. He is told that Mordechai has not received any recognition for saving his life and then instructs Haman to dress Mordechai in the King's royal robes and to lead him around on his royal horse.

    In due course, Haman was hanged and the Jews were spared. The repeal of the decree and thus the salvation of the Jews, is celebrated each year as the festival of Purim.
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
* Import low rate

VAT on imported items at a preferential rate of 5% on Hammer Price and the prevailing rate on Buyer's Premium.

Contacts
  1. Fine Furniture (UK)
    Auction Administration - European Furniture and Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
  2. Jackie Brown
    Auction Administration - European Furniture and Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8204
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8208
  3. Fergus Lyons
    Specialist - European Furniture and Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8221
  4. Camille Mestdagh
    Specialist - European Furniture and Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8234
    FaxFax: +44 20 8963 2807
  5. Francois Le Brun
    Specialist - European Furniture and Works of Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8251
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8208