Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Cope

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1890 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Comper, John Ninian Sir, born 1864 - died 1960 (designer)
    Sisters of Bethany - Sisters of Bethany's School of Embroidery (embroiderer)
    M. Perkins & Sons Ltd. (weavers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk damask lined with silk, canvas covered with silk damask and embroidered with silk and gold threads, and trimmed with a fringed braid of silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Sisters of Bethany

  • Museum number:

    T.671-1974

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Over the course of seventy years Sir John Ninian Comper (1864–1960) was responsible for building 15 churches and for the decoration of scores of others. He also designed vestments, banners and windows for churches all over the world. It has been claimed that he was the greatest church furnisher since Wren, and Sir John Betjeman said of him that: ‘his ecclesiastical tastes are rococo; he is perfectly satisfied so long as gold leaf is heaped on everywhere’. Despite this critique, he did work firmly within the Arts & Crafts principle that functionality was paramount. Comper died on 22 December 1960. His ashes were buried beneath the windows he designed in Westminster Abbey, where he had been responsible also for the Warriors’ chapel.

The silk for this cope was designed by Sir Ninian Comper and woven by Perkins and Sons Ltd. The red silk was called ‘Cathedral Damask’, the green silk ‘Kensington’.

Physical description

Cope made of red silk damask and lined with green silk with twill weave, and with a hood and orphreys of canvas covered with blue silk damask and embroidered with floss silks and with gold thread in long and short, split satin and stem stitches with laid and couched work or nué. The hood is trimmed with a fringed braid of red, white and green silk.

The decoration on the hood is of the Pentecost.

On the right hand orphrey there are Saint David of Wales, Saint Hilda (Abbess), and Saint Columba of Scotland.

On the left hand orphrey there are Saint Edward the Confessor, Saint Margaret of Scotland, and Saint Patrick of Ireland.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

ca. 1890 (made)

Artist/maker

Comper, John Ninian Sir, born 1864 - died 1960 (designer)
Sisters of Bethany - Sisters of Bethany's School of Embroidery (embroiderer)
M. Perkins & Sons Ltd. (weavers)

Materials and Techniques

Silk damask lined with silk, canvas covered with silk damask and embroidered with silk and gold threads, and trimmed with a fringed braid of silk

Dimensions

Length: 58.5 in centre back, Width: 120 in outspread maximum, Length: 148.5 cm, Width: 304.7 cm outspread maximum

Object history note

The silk was designed by Sir Ninian Comper and woven by Perkins and Sons Ltd. The red silk was called 'Cathedral Damask', the green silk 'Kensington'.

Descriptive line

Cope made of silk damask, lined with silk and with a hood and orphreys of canvas covered with silk damask and embroidered, designed by Sir Ninian Comper, woven by Perkins and Sons Ltd., and embroidered by the Sisters of Bethany's School of Embroidery, London, ca. 1890

Labels and date

International Arts & Crafts
Comper was an architect and designer working in the Gothic style. He undertook a number of commissions for churches and designed richly decorative embroidery for vestments and altar frontals. Here the orphrey band is embroidered with figures of saints. The embroidery on the hood symbolises Pentecost, which for Christians is a day of hope. [17/03/2005]

Materials

Silk; Metal thread; Silk damask

Techniques

Weaving; Embroidery

Categories

Ecclesiastical textiles; Embroidery; Religion; Scotland; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.