Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Stirling Unicorn Tapestries

 These magnificent hand woven tapestries hanging in the Queen's Inner Hall have taken 14 years to weave with the final tapestry completed just last year.

There are seven tapestries in all and they tell the story of a unicorn hunted and killed by a group of huntsmen and dogs, and are based on a set of Renaissance tapestries woven around 1500 and held at the Cloisters Museum in New York.

The Unicorn was an important  mythical beast believed to be both powerful and pure, and could only be tamed by a maiden, In the late medieval period the unicorn was adopted as a supporter of the Scottish royal coat of arms and it was known that JamesV owned several sets of tapestries depicting unicorns.
These tapestries have been woven by hand over the 14 years, using traditional techniques dating back to the 1400s and are absolutely beautiful.

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