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Morse

  • Place of origin:

    East Grinstead (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1905 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Society of Saint Margaret (embroiderers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered silk, couched gold thread, seed pearls and semi-precious stones on a silk ground, satin stitched, plaited and canvas backing

  • Museum number:

    T.137-1985

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Morse of embroidered silk for church use. Pointed oval shaped motif showing the Lamb of God stitched with the inscription 'Ecce Agnus Dei' worked in silks, Japanese gold thread, seed pearls and semi-precious stones on a silk ground. The circular central motif shows the Lamb of God with banner worked in white and red silks on a blue ground. The surrounding circle, of couched Japanese gold thread with a line of green and blue silk over embroidered in blue and brown silk satin stitched with 'Ecce Agnus Dei'. Seven semi-precious stones in metal settings are worked over the couched Japanese gold thread and each with a plaited edging. The top of the motif shows a crucifixion within a radiating circle worked in white silk with sheafs of wheat in shades of orange, yellow and green all on a dark red satin ground. The lower section shows a chalice worked in couched gold threads and seed pearls with grapes and vine leaves in shaded purple and green silks also on a dark red satin ground. The stitches used in the motif are mostly long and short and satin stitches with couching, which have been worked through the silk ground and a canvas backing.

Place of Origin

East Grinstead (made)

Date

ca. 1905 (made)

Artist/maker

Society of Saint Margaret (embroiderers)

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered silk, couched gold thread, seed pearls and semi-precious stones on a silk ground, satin stitched, plaited and canvas backing

Marks and inscriptions

'Ecce Agnus Dei'
Embroidered inscription

Dimensions

Height: 13.5 in, Width: 7 in, Height: 34 cm, Width: 17.8 cm

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1984/2344. When acquired the motif was sewn to a modern plain white chasuble from which it has now been removed.

The Society of St Margaret in East Grinstead was founded in 1854 and the sisters of the order were famed for their embroidery worked from the designs of the leading church architects and designers of the day. An embroidery school, known as St Katherine's Convent, was set up in 1870 in Queen's Square, Bloomsbury. Here the sisters made and sold vestments, altar frontals and banners exhibiting at various exhibitions organised in conjunction with the Churches Congresses. The Queen Square community went over to Rome in 1908 but the convent in East Grinstead remained Anglican, continuing with its own embroidery.

Descriptive line

Morse of embroidered silk, made at the Society of Saint Margaret, East Grinstead, ca. 1905

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

Victorian Church Art. London, 1971, p. 84-5.

Materials

Silk (textile); Silk thread; Gold thread; Seed pearls; Semi-precious stone; Canvas

Techniques

Couching (embroidering); Plaited

Categories

Men's clothes; Christianity; Ecclesiastical textiles; Embroidery

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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