Chasuble

Chasuble

1500-1520

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

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Description

After centuries of elaborate work, the English adopted a simpler style of embroidering vestments suitable for mass production around 1500. Isolated motifs, often floral, were embroidered on a plain linen cloth, cut out, and appliquéd on velvet; their edges were then concealed with couching stitches, as in this ecclesiastical chasuble. The orphrey 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 colored silk thread passing over it in different densities to create the effect of modeling, a technique known by its French name or nué, or shaded gold.

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