Mortlake Tapestry Works
In 1629, Charles I granted ca.400 acres of Stoke Park at Stoke Bruerne in Northamptonshire, England, together with a manor house to Sir Francis Crane, director and founder of the Mortlake Tapestry Works established on John Dee's estate in Mortlake, in 1619, later the site of the Queen's Head pub.
The Mortlake works made use of the weaving skills of immigrant Flemish workers. These workers were highly skilled in depicting natural textures and effects such as flesh and water. The 17th century was when the works was at the height of its fame and production.
Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight
Lord Leverhulme acquired the Mortlake tapestry series in 1918. It was sold from Stella Hall, near Newcastle, by the family of the industrialist Sir Joseph Cowen (1800–73). The set may have been woven for the hall which was demolished in 1955. In the 17th century it was the home of the Tempests, a wealthy Catholic courtier family, loyal throughout the reigns of the Stuart kings.
The gallery owns a complete set of six of one of the most popular tapestry series woven at the Mortlake works. It illustrates the ancient Greek story of the tragic love of the priestess Hero for Leander. Leander swam the dangerous currents of the Hellespont, the straits between Europe and Asia at the Bosphorus, in order to see his love, but was drowned one stormy night.
An example is: The Meeting of Hero and Leander at the Temple of Venus, Sestos, ca. 1660-70, Woven in wool and silk, 286 x 311 cm, accession number LL5464, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, Merseyside
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mortlake Tapestry Works.|
- Leaflet provided as part of the English Heritage open access scheme to Stoke Park, 2008.
- "Barnes and Mortlake History Society". Retrieved 17 August 2008.
- "Collection of Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight". Retrieved 18 August 2008.