Apr 13, 2021
Apr 13, 2021

Chasuble with Orphrey Band

Chasuble with Orphrey Band


Silk, gold thread, sequins; appliqué, embroidery: couching stitches Velvet: solid pile, silk; embroidery: or nué

Overall: 122.5 x 74 cm (48 1/4 x 29 1/8 in.)

Gift of Walter C. and Alvin W. Littwitz in memory of their father, Max Littwitz 1947.2



The English adopted a simpler style of embroidering vestments suitable for mass production around 1500. Isolated motifs, often floral, were embroidered on plain velvet, as in this ecclesiastical chasuble.

The orphrey, or embroidered band, in the center depicts Saints Peter, John the Evangelist, and Andrew, identified by their names and attributes (top to bottom). Most of the surface is covered with gold thread sewn down by silk thread passing over it in different densities to create the effect of modeling. Silk thread was also used to embroider areas of skin and hair (mostly disintegrated).

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