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We are delighted to welcome the Devonshire Hunting Tapestries back to Chatsworth. The 500 year-old tapestries, one of the largest pictorial representations of any kind from the medieval period and the only surviving 15th century hunting tapestries, depict scenes of fabulously dressed noble men and women who are engaged in hunting in imaginary landscapes.
The two tapestries on loan to Chatsworth show falconry and the hunting of swans and otters, all of which were very important to princely and noble life in medieval times. The dress, jewellery and interactions of the figures explore status, court etiquette, social lives and fashions of the time and intriguing details tell us very human stories.
The tapestries belonged to the Cavendish family for nearly 500 years and were surrendered to the Treasury in lieu of tax in 1957. They have been housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) ever since. We have worked with the V&A to redisplay these huge, 11x4 metre, tapestries in the Sculpture Gallery for the whole of 2021.