French, Northern France - Tambour, late 15th century - early 16th century

French, Northern France

Tambour, late 15th century - early 16th century

Carved wood, 328 cm (129 1/8 in.) high

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Object details

Accession number

F30e3

Provenance

Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the collector Émile Peyre (1828-1904), Paris for 16,825 francs in 1897, through Fernand Robert, her regular agent in Paris.

Bibliography

Catalogue. Fenway Court. (Boston, 1925), p. 32. (as French, dated 15th century)
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 261.
Betty Chamberlain. “Gothic Room” in Alfred M. Frankfurter (ed.). The Gardner Collection (New York, 1946), p. 7.
“Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 6, no. 44 (30 June 1963), p. 2.
Stephen Z. Nonack. "Some Observations on a Fourteenth-Century 'Battente di Ferro.'" Fenway Court (1983), p. 39.


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Commentary

This tambour (French for “drum”), or vestibule, may have enclosed a stairway. Woodland scenes on the panels include strange, hairy-legged wild men, which were thought to ward off evil and intruders.