The Elopement
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Can you help us solve this mystery? What is the origin of this tapestry and what story is it from? These photos were sent to us by John Fraser who says that ...

 I believe this is a tapestry that depicts the scene of the elopement of the Countess of Cassillis and the Gypsy King. It was given to my father by his Aunt from Scotland.  We can follow it back about 80 years or so. She told him it was called the Elopement. What I was wondering, was how old it might be and where it came from. For instance, were tapestries of this scene common place in the shops of Maybole ? If you could help me, or you know of some one who could it would be greatly appreciated. We live in Sydney, Australia. My father seems to think that it was given to his mother by her sister who's surname was Marsh in the late 40's early 50's. Mr. Marsh was a wealthy architect. The Marshes also lived in Australia. It was always referred to as "THE ELOPEMENT TAPESTRY" and was said to quite valuable.  As to where it came from, or how it came into the Marshes possession we cannot say. John Fraser

Click on the images below to view details of tapestry.

Elopement Tapesty

Detail 1 Detail 2 Detail 3

This tapestry may tell the story familiar to many citizens of Maybole. James Gray gives the tale in his book. Maybole - Carrick's Capital.

Every Minnieboler is reared to believe that the King of the Gypsies eloped with a Countess of Cassillis and after the enraged Earl caught up with the elopers he hanged the gypsy and his followers on the Dule Tree at Cassillis and imprisoned his errant spouse in the old castle at the foot of the High Street for the rest of her life and the room with the oriel window facing up the street is pointed out to this day as the "Countessís Room".

While confined to Maybole Castle, she is said to have wrought a prodigious quantity of tapestry, so as to have completely covered the walls of her prison; but no vestige of it is now to be seen, the house having been repaired (otherwise mined) a few years ago, when size-paint had become a more fashionable thing in Maybole than tapestry.

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