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Chasuble with orphreys

  • Place of origin:

    England (embroidered)
    Italy (velvet, made)

  • Date:

    1434-1446 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Body: Crimson velvet cloth of gold of tissue
    Orphreys: embroidered with silver-gilt and silve rthread and coloured silks in surface couching, split stitch and satin stitch on linen

  • Museum number:

    402-1907

  • 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 (embroidered)
Italy (velvet, made)

Date

1434-1446 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Body: Crimson velvet cloth of gold of tissue
Orphreys: embroidered with silver-gilt and silve rthread and coloured silks in surface couching, split stitch and satin stitch on linen

Dimensions

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

Object history note

The Revd E. Moore of Spalding (Lincolnshire), documented 1849 and 1866; Ralph Coker Adams- Beck, 1905; purchased by the V&A at the auction of the contents of Bookham Lodge (Surrey), 1907

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

Spring Gardens Sketch Book (1866–7), pls 12, 13; London 1905, cat. no. v
Browne, Clare; Davies, Glyn; Michael, M.A, English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum, exhibition catalogue, London, Victoria and Albert Museum (London, 2016), p.258.

Production Note

The shield of arms on the cross orphrey 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.

Materials

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

Techniques

Weaving; Embroidery; Couching

Subjects depicted

Griffins; Coats of arms; Eagles; Bears; Crucifixion; Shields

Categories

Ecclesiastical textiles; Embroidery; Heraldry; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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