Object type



Wildman Guarding a Coat of Arms

Place Associated

France (probably) (place of design); France, Paris (probably) (place of manufacture) or Southern Netherlands, Spanish Netherlands, Flanders, Bruges (probably) (place of manufacture)


circa 1485


wool (warps), wool (wefts), silk (wefts), 5 warp threads per cm, 3 ply S Z


overall: 3100 mm x 3050 mm 13400 g


Tapestry woven with wool wefts and wool warps depicting a Wildman Guarding a Coat of Arms. Fenced enclosure in centre surrounding a tree stump with a coat of arms quartered with an inescutcheon of a seated dog for the Brachet family, the gate guarded by a Wildman. Set against a red field of mille-fleurs. Border with initials ‘M I’ with knotted cordeliers in the corners, the arms of Brachet family of Orleans, Cotereau family of Blois, Berthelots family of Orleans, Le Rebours family of Orleans, Le Cirier family of Le Mans, Cherbaye family of Blois, Villebresme family of Blois and Jarry family of Anjou, with the motto 'Vaille que vaille, lors se verra' ('Come what may, we shall see').

Elizabeth Cleland states that: 'The person who, almost certainly, commissioned both the Burrell’s Wildman Guarding a Coat of Arms and the pendant piece in [the Institute of Arts] Detroit was a member of the Orléans-based Brachet family. Their armorial of a seated dog is included in each tapestry: in the keystone position of the border, and in the combined coats of arms within the enclosure at the centre. Thanks to the French heraldry expert Philippe Palasi, almost all of the other armorials included in both tapestries have been identified. The families honoured at the centre of the Burrell tapestry are the Cot[t]ereau family from Blois, the Berthelots from Orléans, the Le Rebours from Orléans and the Le Cirier family from Le Mans. Those at the foot of the tapestry are the Cherbaye and the Villebresme families, both from Blois. Only part of the heraldry at the sides has been identified: the rampant lion on the fleur-de-lis belongs to the Jarry family of Anjou. Palasi has shown how, by going back four generations into the early fifteenth century, almost all these families were united at one time or another by marriage. Certainly, their close geographic proximity would have meant considerable interaction, and most held positions at the court of the Duke of Orléans, the future King Louis XII of France. [...] The motto which encloses both the Burrell Collection’s Wildman Guarding a Coat of Arms and the companion piece in Detroit can be translated as a plucky ‘Come what may, we shall see.’ This was not the particular motto of any of these families and instead seems to represent the state of mind shared by all the families, perhaps holding some special significance for the, as yet uncertain, catalyst for the tapestries’ production.' (Cleland, E. and Karafel, L., (2017). Glasgow Museums: Tapestries from The Burrell Collection, 237)

Provenance: Made for a member of the Brachet family, Orléans; Count of Charencay; Mortimer L. Schiff, New York; his sale, Catalogue of fine decorative furniture, important objects of art, tapestry, sculpture and rugs, being a part of the collection formed by the late Mortimer L Schiff, now sold by order of John Mortimer Schiff of New York City, USA, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 22–23 June 1938, lot 163 (illus.); from where Purchased by Sir William Burrell, for £1,627.10.0.

Credit Line/Donor

Gifted by Sir William and Lady Burrell to the City of Glasgow, 1944


Burrell Collection: European Tapestries

ID Number



Burrell Collection East Galleries

Related Objects

Related Natural History

Related People

Related Media