About the Production
BBC2's historical drama Wolf Hall chronicles the rise of Thomas Cromwell, the son of a humble blacksmith who became King Henry VIII's chief minister, as he navigated the corridors of power in the Tudor Court. The acclaimed Hilary Mantel adaptation is BBC2's most popular drama since modern records began in 2002, with an average of 4.4 million viewers per episode.
Commissioned in 2014 by Company Pictures, Zardi & Zardi made reproductions of three celebrated tapestries from the historic collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. As a registered licensee of the museum we were able to work closely with the V&A who undertook a considerable amount of research to source each tapestry. Not only did the enormous textiles have to match the correct historical period (1510-1520) but they also needed to depict the mood of the production. The religious scene of Esther and Ahasuerus was selected from the V&A Collection, as well as two designs from our portfolio from the Devonshire Hunting series. In addition to these tapestries, Zardi & Zardi were also commissioned to replicate the famous Salomon et la Reine de Saba tapestry which we specially sourced from the Musée Grobet-Labadié in Marseille, France.
A major part of the project involved Zardi & Zardi re-designing the Ether and Ahasuerus tapestry to meet the requirements of Wolf Hall's Artistic Director. The tapestry plays a prominent part during a scene with Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII. The shot shows Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy) holding her hands in a clasp position; Zardi & Zardi edited the tapestry to portray Esther holding her hands in the same clasp, as well as editing her hair and eye colourings to mirror those of Anne Boleyn’s.