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Tapestries once at Chastleton House and Their Influence on the Image of the Tapestries Called Sheldon: A Reassessment

  • Hilary L Turner (a1)

The intentions expressed in William Sheldon's will of 1570 suggest an attempt to introduce tapestry weaving at Barcheston, Warwickshire. Interpreted in the 1920s as resulting in a commercial venture – the only production centre in Elizabethan England – tapestries were attributed to it without documentary evidence, without stylistic comparison with continental work and without study of the records of émigré Flemish weavers settling in London from 1559 onwards. Their presence and more easily available comparative material, in both documentary and tapestry form, combine W question the previous picture, never revised. On re-examination, the historical evidence used to link tapestries found at Chastleton House with Sheldon's enterprise appears weak. Challenging the time-honoured belief that those tapestries should be regarded as key pieces in the Sheldon corpus also calls into question subsequent attributions made by association, and opens the way for a new exploration of the tapestry industry in sixteenth-century England.

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T P Campbell 19951996. ‘Problems of terminology’, Stud Decorative Arts, 3, 2955

S McKendrick 1991. ‘The Great History of Troy: a reassessment of the development of the secular theme in late medieval art’, J Warburg Courtauld Inst, 54, 4382

V Morant 1951. ‘The settlement of Protestant refugees in Maidstone during the sixteenth century’, Econ Hist Rev, 2nd ser, 4, 211–17

M Roethlisberger 1967. ‘La Tenture de la Lincorne dans la Collection Borromée’, Oud Holland, 82, 85115

E A Standen 1962. ‘The Carpet of Arms’, Bull Metropolitan Mus Art, 20, 221–31

H L Turner 2002b. ‘Finding the weavers: Richard Hyckes and the Sheldon tapestry works’, Textile Hist, 33, 137–61

H L Turner 2003. ‘The Sheldon tapestry maps: their content and context’, Cartogr J, 40, 3949

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The Antiquaries Journal
  • ISSN: 0003-5815
  • EISSN: 1758-5309
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquaries-journal
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