Millefleurs Tapestry with a Lady's Coat of Arms (a fragment from a series of armorial millefleurs hangings)

Late 15th or early 16th century

Object Place: France or the Franco-Flemish Territories


115 x 111 cm (45 1/4 x 43 11/16 in.) (detail shown)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tapestry weave (wool warp; wool and some silk wefts)

Not On View


Textiles and Fashion Arts



This fragment once formed part of a larger panel whose right half showed an armorial shield, with crest and mantling, supported by a wild man and wild woman. What remains is a lozenge-shaped armorial shield with unidentified arms impaled with those of turquant, set against a dark blue ground strewn with small flowering plants. The initials N and M tied together by a looped cord appear twice, and small flowering plants are scattered on the ground. The arms are those on M.F.A. 49.505.


Before 1922, Charles D. Barney (b. 1844 - d. 1945), Philadelphia. Probably by 1922, French and Company, New York [see note 1]; 1952, sold by French and Co. to the MFA for $3000. (Accession Date: May 15, 1952)

[1] This was the left side of a larger tapestry depicting, at the right, an armorial shield supported by a wild man and wild woman. This tapestry was illustrated as intact in the exhibition catalogue French Gothic Art of the Thirteenth to Fifteenth Century (Detroit Institute of Arts, November 16-December 6, 1928), cat. no. 100 (lent by French and Co.). However, it had already been divided by this time, as the two pieces, called "Fragments of an Armorial Tapestry," were catalogued separately. The right-hand fragment had been exhibited by itself in the Retrospective Loan Exhibition of European Tapestries (San Francisco Museum of Art, 1922), cat. no. 9 (lent by French and Co.). Whether French and Co. owned the MFA panel in 1922 as well is not certain, though probable, as both fragments came--according to the 1928 catalogue--from the collection of Charles D. Barney. The fragment exhibited in 1922 was, likewise, said to come from the collection of C. D. Barney.

Credit Line

Charles Potter Kling Fund