A mystery tapestry–Perhaps with Princesses?

Smart readers! Who can help with this mystery tapestry? Recently I was asked:

 I have a tapestry that is about 135cm x 105 cm which I received it from my mother whose Norwegian father collected fine pieces of porcelain and occasionally tapestries. This one I believe is called The Three Princesses, and I have sent photos to others who cannot decide if it is of the Scherrebek weaving school, or by Frida Hansen, Gerhard Munthe or Van der Velden! I know nothing of any of these people, except that William Morris may have been an influence possibly to one or more of them?

Neither Laurann Gilbertson (Curator at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum) nor I felt this is a Munthe cartoon, nor by Frida Hansen. The Scherrebek School? Well, perhaps, from the extremely little I know about that school. The tapestry that I love by Otto Eckmann, from that school, is this swan tapestry. The amount of abstraction and the feel of it seem similar to the princess tapestry above.

But I found nothing online to help me research much of anything about the Scherrebek Weaving School. And the books I identified were not in any nearby research collections (not that the libraries are open, anyway). But all three books I identified were held at the Royal Kongelige Bibliotek in Copenhagen. It was not open, but I wrote anyway and asked for help. You never know! I was a librarian and in my career spent many hours helping researchers from around the country (and even abroad) scour old Minnesota state documents and digitize them when needed. I was right about librarians: Erik Nielsen at the Royal Danish Library checked all three books. Sadly, the mystery tapestry was not in any of them.

Title:  Scherrebeker Bildteppiche
Author:  Ernst Schlee
Publisher:  Neumünster : Wachholtz, cop. 1984.

Title:  Billedtæpperne fra Skærbæk : den glemte verdenskunst
Publisher:  [Sønderborg] : Museet på Sønderborg Slot, [2004]https://soeg.kb.dk/permalink/45KBDK_KGL/1pioq0f/alma99122156921305763

Title:  Scherrebek : Wandbehänge des Jugendstils ; Museumsberg Flensburg 01.12.2002-19.01.2003 ; Deutsches Textilmuseum Krefeld 02.02.2003-21.04.2003 ; Museum Künstlerkolonie Darmstadt 09.05.2003-31.08.2003 ; Altonaer Museum in Hamburg 17.09.2003-30.11.2003
Author:  Dorothee Bieske; Museumsberg (Flensburg)
Publisher:  Heide : Boyens, 2002.

So now I am throwing this out to all my tapestry contacts. Is anyone familiar with this tapestry or the cartoon?


  1. Wow!  Love it!  You are so *lucky*.  Hope you unravel the mystery (but not the tapestry.Is your mom 1st gen US?  In other words, her father was always living in Norway? Martha

    Sent from AT&T Yahoo Mail for iPad

  2. This tapestry certainly looks like a Scherrebek weaving, but has no mark (the tapestries from this workshop are always marked in either the left or right corner with a small “flag” in blue, white and red. I also think it could be Swedish…

Leave a Reply