A Berlin tapestry with a motif by Watteau

A Berlin tapestry with a motif by Watteau - image-1
A Berlin tapestry with a motif by Watteau - image-2
A Berlin tapestry with a motif by Watteau - image-1A Berlin tapestry with a motif by Watteau - image-2

A Berlin tapestry with a motif by Watteau

Wool and silk on linen weft, lined. Depicting an elegantly dressed couple and a guitar player sitting beneath a tree in a panoramic river landscape flanked on either side by repoussoir trees. The border with blue and yellow acanthus scrolls on dark brown ground. Restored, minor filled areas within the sky. H 320, W 358 cm.
Berlin, manufactory of Charles Vigne, probably before 1745.

The first tapestry weaver recorded in Berlin is thought to be Jean Barraban (1647 - 1709) from Sedan, who learnt his trade in Aubusson. It is not known exactly when he moved to Berlin with his son of the same name (1677 - 1725). In the first monograph on Berlin tapestries, Hans Huth mentions that the son, Jean Barraband II, occupied "the old grotto building in the Lustgarten, later the stock exchange". Since he is known to have already delivered tapestries in 1699, he must have had a manufactory before this time about which nothing is known today. Barraband entered into a cooperation with the merchant and weaver Charles Vigne in 1699, who continued his manufactory upon Barraband's death in 1725. Vigne later moved into rooms in one of the side wings of the royal stables, running a workshop with 300 personell and 26 looms. He tried to convince Friedrich Wilhelm I to ban foreign imports and promote local products, but his plan was not a success, and he was forced to sell off his wall hangings in lotteries. Friedrich II approved the first of these lotteries in 1744. It featured 144,000 lots and 3,204 winners. These included two lots with five tapestries described as "haute-lisse tapestry hangings (...) in the new fashion with Indian trees and flowers as well as figures after Watteau". The present work could originate from one of these lots.


From the collection of a Rhenish industrialist family.


Cf. Göbel, Wandteppiche, III. part, vol. 2, Leipzig 1934, pp. 83 ff, Fig. 65.
Cf. Huth, Zur Geschichte der Berliner Wirkteppiche, in Jahrbuch der Preußischen Kunstsammlungen, vol. 56/1935, pp. 80 ff.
Cf. Horbas, Tapestries, in: Herrliche Künste und Manufacturen, Berlin 2001, p. 108 ff.
A tapestry from the same series verst. Lempertz Cologne auction 719 on 14 November 1995, lot 977.

Lot 134 Rα

15.000 € - 20.000 €

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