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Textile fragments

Textile fragments

  • Place of origin:

    Lower Saxony (made)

  • Date:

    1150-1160 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen embroidered with silk and wool

  • Museum number:

    1252-1864

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

These two fragments are from a wall hanging or altar dossal, with a linen ground entirely covered with polychrome silk and wool embroidery in chain stitch. They show Christ in Majesty holding a book, and part of a border of angels. Other fragments that may be from the same original hanging or altar dossal are in the collection of the Musée National du Moyen Age in Paris, and the Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst in Vienna. There is one further larger fragment in the V&A.

The original composition of the panel may have been similar to that of a complete German painted altar dossal of about 1170-80, in which the figure of Christ in Majesty is flanked by two male and two female saints within Romanesque arches topped by buildings.

Place of Origin

Lower Saxony (made)

Date

1150-1160 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Linen embroidered with silk and wool

Object history note

Historical significance: The figures related stylistically and technically to a much larger fragment of another wall hanging decorated with scenes from the New Testament, which is now in the Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin: this has been dated to 1160-70 by comparison with illuminated manuscripts and, by the same comparison, the Museum's fragments have been dated slightly earlier.

Historical context note

The figure of St. John from the same panel is in the Cluny Museum, Paris, and a fifth incomplete figure is in the Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna. One further fragments (8713-1863) and two in Vienna probably from the same hanging. The original composition of the panel may have been similar to that of a complete German painted altar dossal of c.1170-80 (now in the Westfalisches Landesmuseum, Münster), in which the figure of Christ in Majesty is flanked by two male and two female saints within Romanesque arches topped by buildings.
The Museum's pieces, and those in Paris and Vienna, were acquired by Dr Bock from the Convent of Huysburg, near Halberstadt.

Descriptive line

Fragments from wall hanging or altar dossal, linen ground covered with silk and wool embroidery, showing Christ in Majesty and Angels.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Williamson, Paul (ed.), The Medieval Treasury: The Art of the Middle Ages in the Victoria & Albert Museum (London: V&A Publications, 1986)

Materials

Linen; Silk thread; Wool yarn

Techniques

Embroidering

Categories

Ecclesiastical textiles; Embroidery; Christianity; Images Online

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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