Aubusson tapestry weaving has been happening in the picturesque town of Aubusson in France for over five centuries.
It is widely thought that tapestry production emerged in Aubusson over 600 years ago with many historians quoting the date of 1457. The heritage is celebrated today in the Aubusson Tapestry Museum and the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie Aubusson, where you’ll discover an incredible collection of old and new tapestries. The Aubusson tapestry manufacture of the 17th and 18th centuries managed to compete with the royal manufacture of Gobelins tapestry and the privileged position of Beauvais tapestry. Tapestry manufacture at Aubusson, in the upper valley of the Creuse in central France, may have developed from looms in isolated family workshops established by Flemings that are noted in documents from the 16th century.
Typically, Aubusson tapestries depended on engravings as a design source or the full-scale cartoons from which the low-warp tapestry-weavers worked. As with Flemish and Parisian tapestries of the same time, figures were set against a conventional background of verdure, stylized foliage and vignettes of plants on which birds perch and from which issue glimpses of towers and towns.
Aubusson weaving today
In order for a tapestry to be considered an Aubusson it must be woven within the Creuse area. The two main areas are Aubusson and Felletin. Only a small group of weavers work in Aubusson today weaving bespoke commissions for as much as 2000 - 3000 euros a square meter taking many months if not years to complete.
Hines Tapestry Collection
At Hines of Oxford we have 14 Original Aubusson Tapestries in our Antiques collection. Many pieces in our collection have been in a private French collection for many decades and not been out of the country before Hines aquired them. As such the quality is very good to excellent.