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Chasuble with orphreys

  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (embroidered)
    Italy (velvet, made)

  • Date:

    1434-1445 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven silk velvet, with embroidery in silk, silver-gilt and silver thread

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The chasuble is the main vestment worn by a priest when celebrating Mass. This example is of great historic interest as the orignal owner, the Duke of Warwick (d.1445), can be identified by the heraldic devices on the coats of arms applied to the orphreys.

Chasubles and other church vestments made of rich and fashionable materials were often used to symbolise the status of the owner or donor, as in this case, as well as to show his or her devotion to the church.

Physical description

Chasuble of crimson pile velvet, embroidered with silver-gilt and silver thread, and coloured silks, in split stitch and couched work on linen. On the orphrey are two identical shields of arms, each bearing the impaled arms of Henry de Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick, and his wife Cicely. The orphreys show the crucifixion of Christ with God the Father above, angels with heraldic shields, and saints.

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (embroidered)
Italy (velvet, made)


1434-1445 (made)


Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Woven silk velvet, with embroidery in silk, silver-gilt and silver thread


Height: 120 cm, Width: 86 cm maximum, Weight: 1.4 kg

Production Note

The shield of arms on the cross oprhrey denotes that the chasuble belonged to Henry de Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick ( who died in 1445) after his marriage to Lady Cecily Neville in 1434.


Linen; Silver thread; Silver-gilt thread; Silk velvet; Embroidery silks


Weaving; Embroidery; Couching

Subjects depicted

Jesus Christ; Coats of arms; God; Shields; Eagles; Griffins; Bears; Crucifixion; Saints


Ecclesiastical textiles; Embroidery; Heraldry; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection code


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