Lace, bobbin: linen
Average: 33.7 x 348 cm (13 1/4 x 137 in.)
Gift of Mrs. Edward B. Greene, G. G. Wade and J. H. Wade, Jr. for the Ellen Garretson Wade Memorial Collection 1923.997
Being the most prestigious material, lace was used extensively by the 1600s for altar linen and for trimming priest’s albs, often incorporating finely rendered religious images amid blossoming vines. This alb flounce depicts scenes from the Old Testament story of Joseph, whose jealous brothers sold him to a caravan bound for Egypt. Joseph later interpreted dreams of the pharaoh, who made him ruler. When famine in Canaan caused Joseph’s ten brothers to travel to Egypt in search of food, they bowed down to him. After he revealed his identity, he forgave his brothers and God saved the family.
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