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  • Place of origin:

    Germany (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1250-1300 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered in gold and silk on blue silk satin

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This embroidered fragment is one of several related pieces in European museum collections. They are believed to have originally been part of a coronation robe donated by Richard of Cornwall among other objects to the coronation collegiate of Aachen in 1262.
In 1848 the fragments were separated from the robe in order to decorate a chasuble. The V&A acquired its fragment in 1863. In 1893, it underwent a restoration procedure used on a number of fragmentary historical textiles at that time, which had incomplete pattern repeats - it was glued to cardboard, and a watercolour painting was made alongside to indicate how the pattern would have looked if completed. The painting, commissioned from Blanche F Hunter, a professional artist, was skilfully done to imitate the texture of threads and stitches.

Physical description

worked in couched gold thread, and silk in split stitch, on silk satin. Design of winged griffin-like creature, and scrolling foliage.

Place of Origin

Germany (probably, made)


1250-1300 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Embroidered in gold and silk on blue silk satin


Height: 36.8 cm, Width: 44 cm

Object history note

The fragment was acquired from the Bock collection. It relates to the so-called Lucca Chasuble at Aachen Cathedral in Germany.The chasuble is believed to have been made up in 1848 from an existing garment which may have been one of two recorded as being donated by Richard of Cornwall to the cathedral in 1262. Richard's symbols include crowned lions and griffinns, which appear on the chasuble. Some fragments were left after the conversion into a chasuble, and over a period of 20 years Bock sold these to various museum collections. There are also now fragemnts in Aachen Suermondt-Ludwig, the Musée des Tissus in Lyon, and the Cluny Museum in Paris.

Descriptive line

blue silk, embroidered in gold, 1250-1300, German; joined to painted card 424-1893

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

Illustrated and described in Verlorene Schätze : Ehemalige Schatzstücke aus dem Aachener Domschatz , ed G Minkenberg and S Ben Kayed, 2014 , cat. no. 29, together with associated pieces from other collections.

Labels and date

EMBROIDERY, dark blue silk with pattern in gold of griffins and foliage. Greek. 12th centy. L. 1ft 4½in., W.12½ in.
Bought (Bock Colln). 8580-1863 [1863]
PIECE of dark blue silk, with embroidery of gold thread stitched down (irregularly couched), in a pattern of griffins with scroll and foliated tails. ?German. Early 13th centy. 1ft 4½in by 12½in. Bought (Bock Colln).
A more complete example of this kind of work and ornament may be seen in chasuble no. 673-1864. [1888]
FRAGMENT with winged griffins. GERMAN(?) 13th century. Couched gold thread, and coloured silks in split stitch on satin. The so-called chasuble of St. Bernard (1090-1153) at Aachen shows embroidery of identical character. From the Bock Collection.
8580-1863 [before 2000]


Silk; Gold; Satin


Embroidering; Couching

Subjects depicted

Griffins; Foliage


Ecclesiastical textiles; Embroidery


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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