America – A Brussels tapestry from the series of The Continents,
woven in the workshop of Jan Frans van der Borght, circa 1740s. Signed with workshop and Brussels initials. This tapestry series consisted of five panels, including Europe, Africa, Asia, America and a panel illustrating the four Continents together (Australia had, although the Dutch landed in 1616 and the British in 1688, not really been explored until after James Cook’s voyage in 1770) .It is believed that there were nine sets made, but the only one to survive complete is in the Austrian State Collection at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Other panels are at Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, The Royal Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and at Nostrell Priory, West Yorkshire, which was decorated by Robert Adam. The present tapestry is exceptionally rare as it is the only small version we have encountered and unlike the other example, is fully signed. Also in our collection is a larger version which once belonged to Henri de Rothschild, Chateau de la Muette in Paris.