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Pulpit hanging

Pulpit hanging

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1633 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Dark purple silk velvet embroidered with silver gilt thread in raised and couched work

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Peter Barker Mill

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Dark purple silk velvet embroidered with silver and silver-gilt thread and cord, spangles and red silk cord in raised and couched work, with small pieces of velvet applique on the coat of arms. Edged with a silver-gilt fringe, narrow at the top and sides and with a deep trellis at the bottom. In the centre are the arms of Sandys of the Vyne, with crest and elaborate mantling. The rest of the field is filled with cherubs' heads and wings arranged in rows within an elaborate symmetrical arabesque ornament of scrolls, formal leaves and shells. The ground is powdered with spangles and small rosettes.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1633 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Dark purple silk velvet embroidered with silver gilt thread in raised and couched work

Marks and inscriptions

'Aide Dieu'
Located in the centre of the Arms of Sandys within a strapwork cartouche

Located in the centre of the Arms of Sandys within a strapwork cartouche


Width: 208 cm embroidery, Length: 140 cm embroidery, Height: 1530 mm, Width: 2280 mm, Depth: 13 mm

Object history note

Registered File number 1963/854

Historical context note

The hanging was made for the Chapel of the Holy Ghost at Basingstoke which was believed to have been set up by Sir William Sandys at the site of an earlier chapel built during the reign of Henry VIII. The chapel, which is now in ruins, was the burial place of the Sandys family. At the time when the hanging was made, the head of the family was Henry Sandys 5th Baron, who was killed in a Civil War skirmish in 1644. When the Revd Joseph of Basingstoke described the hanging in 1819, it was in Mottisfont House in Hampshire, where it belonged to Sir Charles Mill Bartholemew, a descendent of the Sandys Family.

The remainder of the chapel fittings are also enumerated, from a description given by the steward to the Mottisfont Estate, Thomas King. They consisted of an altar frontal embroidered with the Last Supper, some pieces of purple velvet with the initials IHS, a desk hanging of purple velvet embroidered in gold and silver with the arms of Sandys, two book covers and a folding cushion with the letters 'THS' on the outside and the arms of Sandys on the inside. The four corners of the cushion are flanked by cherubs.

Descriptive line

Embroidered pulpit hanging, English, 1633

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

Patricia Wardle, The King's Embroiderer: Edmund Harrison (1590-1667). Part II. His Work , Textile History, Vol. 26: 2, autumn 1995, pp. 167-8
Joseph of Basingstoke rev. The History of the Holy Ghost Chapel, Basingstoke, Jefferson, 1819

Production Note

Attributed to the King's embroiderer Edmund Harrison by the textile historian Patricia Wardle.


Velvet; Silver thread



Subjects depicted

Helmet; Coats of arms; Putti


Textiles; Ecclesiastical textiles; Embroidery; Heraldry


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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  • Copyright: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2017. All Rights Reserved

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