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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered canvas in silks and metal threads, and silk

  • Credit Line:

    Given anonymously

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Burse of canvas embroidered with silks in red, pink, shades of blue, cream, beige, light brown, black, yellow, green, white, silver-gilt and silver thread in tent stitch, laid and couched work. Half-length figure of Christ with his right hand raised in blessing and his left hand holding an orb with a crucifix. The crucifix and orb are embroidered in laid and couched metal thread. Christ is wearing a cloak fastened at the neck, worked in metal thread and silk, with an oval shaped ornament and below wears a robe in the same colours as the cloak in red, pink, blue and brown with outlines of folds of drapery in black. His robes are embroidered in silk with the edges in couched metal thread. The outline of the figure was entirely worked in black silk.

Tongues of flame appear at the sides and above the head of Christ. The ground surrounding the figure is worked in silver thread couched down with silk and with a curved sprig of flowers on each side of the figure. The flowers, which may be pansies or violas, are worked in a style similar to that found on caskets/slips and other 17th century English secular embroidery.

The burse is edged at the front and back with metallic braid, with some of the metal wound on a core and the rest as flat metal strips. At the four corners are applied four 'leafed' stylised flowers in blue silk and metal thread.

The back is made from a woven silk in blue and a yellowish cream. The back and front are lined with yellow silk and stiffened between the layers, possibly with paper or card. The side pieces are made of greenish-blue silk, which is shattering at the top edges.

Place of Origin

England (made)


17th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Embroidered canvas in silks and metal threads, and silk


Height: 9 in front and back panels, Height: 23 cm front and back panels, Width: 7.75 in front and back panels, Width: 19.8 cm front and back panels, Height: 9 in side pieces, Height: 23 cm side pieces, Width: 2.75 in at top, side pieces, maximum, Width: 7 cm at top, side pieces, maximum

Object history note

Registered File number 1987/1098.

Burses are used during the Christian liturgy as a receptacle for the corporal, which is a linen cloth used during the celebration of mass.

Descriptive line

Burse of canvas embroidered with silks, England, 17th century


Silk (textile); Silk thread; Metal thread; Canvas



Subjects depicted

Flowers; Orb; Crucifixes


Ecclesiastical textiles; Embroidery; Religion


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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