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  • Place of origin:

    Italy (damask, made)
    England (orphreys, made)

  • Date:

    1375-1399 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    silk damask with embroidered silk orphreys

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Chasuble of brocaded damask, woven in red silk and silver-gilt thread. The orphreys on the front and back are embroidered in coloured silks and silver-gilt and silver thread on linen.

Pattern of lopped wavy stems arranged diagonally; between them are floral devices and leafy stems on which birds are perched. The cross-shaped orphrey on the back contains pairs of figures under foliated Gothic canopies, supported by interlaced columns. At the top is represented the risen Saviour meeting St. Mary Magdalene in the garden; on the left arm are two figures - a saint holding a cross and a book, and a female saint with a book; on the right arm is a saint holding a pillar and a female saint with a sword and a book. The figures on the lower shaft of the cross are as follows:
1) an archbishop, possibly St. Thomas Becket, and a female saint with a saw and a book
2) St. Lawrence and a crowned abbess, possibly St. Etheldreda
3) St. Simon

Place of Origin

Italy (damask, made)
England (orphreys, made)


1375-1399 (made)



Materials and Techniques

silk damask with embroidered silk orphreys


Length: 124 cm neck to hem, Width: 82.5 cm across shoulders

Object history note

Purchased from Monsieur Vitall Benguiat, Savile Row.

This chasuble together with the altar frontal (817-1901) are said to have come from Sawston Hall, Cambridgeshire, the seat of the Catholic family of Huddlestone.

Descriptive line

woven silk, 1375-1499, Italian/English; Red brocaded damask. English orphreys 1375-99, arms

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

Kendrick, A.F., English Embroidery, (George Newnes, New York, 1904)


Silk damask; Silk; Gold


Weaving; Embroidering

Subjects depicted

Flowers; Birds; Saints


Embroidery; Ecclesiastical textiles; Christianity; Textiles


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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