Sometimes I've bought something simply because it is too beautiful a work to leave behind. This museum quality antique wall hanging of good size found its way into my heart and into the large bundle of my more usual buys in Fine French Aubusson, Flemish Verdure and Gobelin tapestry about 20 years ago. I knew enough to know it was something special! But not enough to feel confident about listing it. Send it to Sotheby's, I kept saying. And yet, here it still is. Comparables I can find at market right now, in this age and comparable quality, size, turned up only 2 others. One, lesser than mine, on 1stDibs in the $16k range. Another, in hands of a dealer in London who had put it into a frame, quotes a range (oddly) between 50,000 to 100,000 GBP. I've spoken with some of my Chinese customers about helping me with the signature, and both agreed it is a signature and the circle below notes it as 7, which suggested it might be the 7th silk art tapestry by this artist. Further, explaining that this theme is well-honored in China because the tiger brings good luck. Isn't it gorgeous! Hard to do it justice in photos, it's large and just stunning.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The main part of this large wall hanging is remarkably unscathed by time. For the photos, I have folded under the outer 4" or so (not included in the 34" x 59" measurement, either - see photos from backside) because the silk there is very thready and tattered. Not so with the actual tapestry. A framable 34" x 59", museum worthy silk on silk embroidery. I've rested a 20" Victorian Chinoise face screen on it in that final image to help give some sense of scale. Colors are rich, natural, and the artist's considerable skill has the entire scene ready to come alive. It's been wrapped in archival tissue/rolled, these past decades. I see one spot up to top right where it could use a very small repair from behind. No other splits nor degeneration of note. I handle it with such respect of its age, but I think it will outlive us all. I know I should send it to Sotheby's or Christie's. I'll leave that to you. I'll be happy knowing it is appreciated.
If you happen to know more about this old beauty, will you please email me? We have quite a few customers from China, and I would be grateful for more help, or for a more researchable signature determination. Thank you in advance!!!