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  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1370-1400 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered linen

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Panel of a white-on-white, linen on linen embroidery that once formed part of a frieze-like border of one end of the lectern cover preserved in Wiesenkirche in Soest, Westphalia (Germany). Worked mainly in chain stitches with coarse thread, in a well-distributed pattern of leafy formal scrolls, trees and groups of figures, its embroidery depicts two scenes iconographically linked to the subject of the Holy Hunt of the Unicorn. The composition is partially split into two scenes by a tree which is approximately placed in the middle. On the left part, a man is seen leading three horses, while on the far right is a hunter with a hare hung on a stick slung over his shoulder. He is turned forward a maiden seated with the unicorn's front hooves on her lap.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


1370-1400 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Embroidered linen


Width: 699 mm, Height: 339 mm, Length: 33 cm

Object history note

Purchased by the V&A from Canon Franz Bock, a German collector of medieval textiles. This object was originally part of a larger textile (a lectern cover) from the Church of St. Mary in the Meadow in Soest, Westphalia.

Descriptive line

linen; hunting scene; 1370-1400, German

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

Margarete Wagner, Sakrale Weißstickereien des Mittelalters, Esslingen, 1963, p. 34, figs. 30, 34.
Ich, Maria von Geldern: Die Herzogin und ihr berühmtes Gebetbuch (1380-1429), ed. Johan Oosterman, Nijmegen, 2018, p. 242 (cat. 14; illustrated)
Book of Beasts. The Bestiary in the Medieval World, ed. Elizabeth Morrison (with the assistance of Larisa Grollemond), The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2019, p. 194-195 (Cat. 44), illustrated.
J. Aldenkirchen, Früh-mittelalterliche Leinen-Stickereien, Jahrbücher des Vereins von Alterthums-Freuden im Rheinlande, vol. 78, Bonn, 1884, pp. 256-72 and plates.
Ludorff, A., Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler von Westfalen (Die Bau-und Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Paderborn), Münster, Kommissions Verlag, 1899, p. 140 and pl. 110.
Gräbke, H. A., Eine westfälische Gruppe gesticker Leinen-decken des Mittelalters, Westfalen, vol. 23, no. 3, 1938, pp. 179-194, pls. 38-46.
J. W. Einhorn, Ein jungst aufgefundenes Fragment der Soester Lesepult-Decke im Victoria and Albert Museum London, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, vol. 34, no. 1, 1971, pp. 47-58.
J. W. Einhorn, Spiritalis Unicornis: Das Einhorn als Bedeutungs-träger in Literatur und Kunst des Mittelalters, Münsterische Mittelalter-Schriften, vol. 13, Münich, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1976, p. 354.





Subjects depicted

Women; Hunters; Hunting; Hounds; Unicorns; Men; Hares; Horses


Textiles; Embroidery; Myths & Legends


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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