Aubusson Tapestry Signed Manufacture Royale, XVII Century

Exceptional and rare Aubusson tapestry representing Godfrey of Bouillon  , King of Jerusalem, Duke of Lower Lorraine, commander of the French army crossed in a flowery  marked on the bottom right edge of the braid: IO MRDB (Manufacture Royale Aubusson) .

Second half of the seventh century
Height 250 cm Width 470 cm
Provenance: Thevray castle in Normandy, Monrocq family, lithographers printers nineteenth century

An object similar to ours, with exception of the signature, it was sold on April 2nd, 2003 by Christie' S, King Street, Salle 6752 / Lot.38.


Aubusson The brand:
It is accepted that the Aubusson tapestries have an edge blue.
Similarly, it is traditional to say that the works of the workshops of Marche in the first half of the seventeenth century are to mark a lily between A and B and that since the creation of the Royal Manufactory, they feature the brand of the city: MANUFACTURE OF ROYALE AUBUSSON or BUSSON.
This inscription, woven into the lower edge is often abbreviated MRDB or MRD. Licier name or initials are often attached to the brand of the city.
The workshops of Marche have always been private companies that Benefited from 1665 for their tapestries, a royal guarantee of quality: a lead to the arms of the king and those of the city affixed by the jury guards on structures they controlled.

Godfrey of Bouillon :
Godfrey of Bouillon (c. 1060 – 18 July 1100) was a medieval Frankish knight who was one of the leaders of the First Crusade from 1096 until his death. He was the Lord of Bouillon, from which he took his byname, from 1076 and the Duke of Lower Lorraine from 1087. After the successful siege of Jerusalem in 1099, Godfrey became the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, although he refused the title "King"; as he believed that the true King of Jerusalem was Christ.
Godfrey of Bouillon was born around 1060 as the second son of Eustace II Count of Boulogne and Ida, daughter of Godfrey, Duke of Lower Lorraine and his wife, Doda[1]). His birthplace was probably Boulogne-sur-Mer, although one 13th-century chronicler cites Baisy, a town in Lower Lorraine (Belgium).[2] As second son, he had fewer opportunities than his older brother and seemed destined to become just one more minor knight in service to a rich landed nobleman. However, his uncle on his mother's side, Godfrey the Hunchback, Duke of Lower Lorraine, died childless and named his nephew, Godfrey of Bouillon, as his heir and next in line to his duchy of Lower Lorraine. This duchy was an important one at the time, serving as a buffer between the kingdom of France and the German lands.

In fact, Lower Lorraine was so important to the German kingdom and the Holy Roman Empire that Henry IV, the German king and future emperor (ruled 1084-1105), decided in 1076 that he would place it in the hands of his own son and give Godfrey only Bouillon and the Margraviate of Antwerp as a test of Godfrey's abilities and loyalty. Godfrey served Henry IV loyally, supporting him even when Pope Gregory VII was battling the German king in the Investiture Controversy. Godfrey fought alongside Henry and his forces against the rival forces of Rudolf of Swabia and also took part in battles in Italy when Henry IV actually took Rome away from the pope.

At the same time, Godfrey was struggling to maintain control over the lands that Henry IV had not taken away from him, as his uncle's widow, Matilda of Tuscany, was claiming them. Another enemy outside the family also tried to take away other bits of his land, and Godfrey's brothers, Eustace and Baldwin, both came to his aid. Following long struggles, and after proving that he was a loyal subject to Henry IV, Godfrey finally won back his duchy of Lower Lorraine in 1087. Still, Godfrey would never have had much power in the German kingdom or in Europe if it had not been for the coming of the Crusades.


Sources :
Versailles, Hall of the Crusades - CH. Gavard Street Editor Marché Saint-Honoré Paris IV .

Dominique Chevalier, Pierre CHEVALIER, François-Pascal BERTRANT, Tapestries Aubusson and Felletin, 1457-1791. Solange Thierry Publisher, 1988.

Certificate of Authenticity with photos
Certificate of Fine Arts in Florence


Sergio Schina 
Member of CINOA - FIMA Italy


click on the thumbnails to enlarge pictures



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Price: � 28000

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