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Het Tapissierspand: Interpreting the Success of the Antwerp Tapestry Market in the 1500s By Allison Evans
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During the 1550s, a warehouse was constructed in Antwerp with funds from both the city government and a private investor. This building, the Tapissierspand, became the global center for selling and... More > distributing tapestries of extraordinary beauty, exquisite craftsmanship, and exorbitant cost. The construction of the building indicates that the very nature of how tapestries were made and purchased was changing in the 1550s. At a time of upheaval and mismanagement, survival and financial success through the reduction of risk was of primary importance. Tapestry weaving carried inherent—and large—risks; raw materials were expensive, and workshops often did not have the capital needed for on spec weaving. For the buyer, the purchase of on spec tapestries without any guarantees of quality or origin was equally risky. The new Tapissierspand allowed buyers and sellers to minimize risk by facilitating exchange of knowledge, assessment of quality, negotiation of prices and commissions, and extension of credit.< Less