This bookmark features The Unicorn in Captivity (South Netherlandish, ca. 1495-1505), one of seven individual hangings known as The Unicorn Tapestries. Among the most beautiful and complex works of art from the late Middle Ages that survive, each is luxuriously woven in fine wool and silk with silver and gilded threads and vividly depict scenes associated with a hunt for the elusive, magical unicorn. In The Unicorn in Captivity, the unicorn probably represents the beloved tamed. He is tethered to a tree and constrained by a fence, but the chain is not secure and the fence is low enough to leap over, which would allow him to if he wished. Clearly, however, his confinement is a happy one, to which the ripe, seed-laden pomegranates in the treea medieval symbol of fertility and marriagetestify.
Gold-plated brass, with decal. Length 2 3/4 in., width 2 1/8 in.