Browsing History and Archaeology by Publisher "Cairn Info"
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Paris, Arras et la Cour : Les tapissiers de Philippe le Hardi et Jean sans Peur. 1363-1419The study of the delivery of tapestries at the court of Burgundy between 1363 and 1419 highlights a group of persons who mostly reside in Paris and Arras and are referred to as « tapestry-makers » or « merchants ». Among this group of professionals, one can make out those few who managed to carve themselves a position of regular suppliers of the dukes, some of whom being eventually granted the title of « valet de chamber » and occasionally carrying out the function of guardian of the prince’s tapestry, while the others remained occasional suppliers or experts in the repair, maintenance, conditioning and transport of the tapestries. They all shared the urge to seek the patronage of the duke of Burgundy, although the dukes’ orders were never sufficient to ensure their professional survival. And therefore this prince could not be their only customer : some of them worked for other courts (France, Anjou, Orléans, Berry) and all of them had clients among the urban elites. Besides, as can be consistently observed in Arras, the dukes of Burgundy’s tapestry suppliers diversified their activity, for example as cloth and wine merchants, sat on the échevins’ board and belonged to powerful social and professional networks. For them, supplying tapestries, even occasionally and at the risk of significant financial losses, was not an end in itself but a venture that could prove helpful in the pursuit of social and professional ambitions.