A Mortlake ‘Bacchanals’ Tapestry, London 1678-1688.

The Discovery of the Infant Bacchus, 324cm high by 244cm wide.

The tapestry has the Mortlake shield and the elaborate borders carry the arms of John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700) and his wife Anne (1649-1703).

The 1688 Burghley Inventory records: ‘The Bedd Chamr next ye Gallery Roomes….3 peices of ye Baccanells Tapistry hangings’ and… ‘The Wardrobe…. 1 peice of ye Baccanells hangings, Mortlake.’

The Mortlake tapestry works was established at Mortlake, close to the River Thames in 1619 by Sir Francis Crane, at the suggestion of James I.

It enjoyed royal patronage, particularly under both James and his son Charles, the future Charles I, and continued to manufacture tapestries, later sometimes under difficult conditions, until it finally closed in 1703.


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