Sheldon Tapestry: Judith & Holofernes

Contributed by Forge Mill Museum

Sheldon Tapestry: Judith & Holofernes

It is thought this tapestry was made some time between 1575 and 1600. The tapestry depicts Judith holding the head of Holophernes, the commander of the Assyrian army. The story is taken from the Book of the Apocryhpa in the Bible.

It is said the Sheldons made tapestries in the St Stephens Gateway chapel of Bordesley Abbey after the Abbey was left to ruin following its closure in 1538.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 16:02 on 20 April 2012, fimac wrote:

    Derived from the Old Testament Apocrypha, printed after the Reformation only in Catholic Bibles, the tapestry is finely woven in silver-gilt, silk and woollen threads. It is based on an earlier German print.

    There is no certainty that it should be associated with the weaving venture planned by William Sheldon in 1570. The tapestry's whereabouts in the sixteenth century are unknown.

    The Sheldons did not own or lease any part of the dissolved abbey at Bordesley. None of the seventeenth or eighteenth-century historians of Worcestershire make any mention of the project.

    There is little documentary evidence for the project and none at all to establish its products.

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Bordesley, Redditch


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