With the goal of progressing the technical examination of the Bodleian's Sheldon Tapestry Maps, the Conservation & Collection Care Department has set up a collaboration with The National Museums of Scotland, the University of Edinburgh, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The designer of the tapestries and the names of the weavers are unknown. Ralph Sheldon’s father had allowed a Flemish weaver, Richard Hyckes, the use of the family manor house at Barcheston, Warwickshire, in the hope Hyckes could train young men in a skill not previously practised in England – Hyckes’ name is woven into the Worcestershire tapestry, indicating his involvement as a master weaver. Experts in the analysis of dyes and mordants from our partner institutions will be aiming to answer technical questions that could bring us closer to understanding the provenance of the tapestries. We will also use the data obtained to inform the preservation plan for the Bodleian's tapestries, one of which (Worcestershire) is currently on display at the Weston Library in Oxford.
The investigation into the dyes used to produce these magnificent tapestries is the subject of a PhD, conducted by Lore Troalen, Analytical Scientist, National Museums of Scotland.