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English Tapestry

YOU ARE IN: Art and Design; European Decorative Arts and Design; European Tapestry English Tapestry

Glasgow Museums has a collection of 22 English tapestries which date broadly from the mid-16th to the early 17th century, all of which form part of the Burrell Collection, donated by Sir William and Constance, Lady Burrell to the City of Glasgow in 1944.

This collection includes tapestries that vary greatly in size, subject-matter and quality. Two fine and impressive heraldic tapestries woven for Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, may have been woven in England, but could possibly have been imported from Flanders. Other items, such as 'The Luttrell Table Carpet', several cushion covers including a set of six depicting the biblical story of 'Susannah and the Elders' and some small panels and hangings are much more likely to have been woven in England. The collection includes many tapestries believed to have originated from the enigmatic tapestry workshop known as 'Sheldon', which was most likely founded around 1570, at Barcheston in Warwickshire. However, while some may have come from the workshop, recent research suggests that many were probably woven by immigrant weavers who had trained on the continent. Indeed, many such weavers are documented as working for master weavers or owning their own workshops in England during this period.