Nov 7, 2014

Orphrey Band: The Tree of Jesse

Orphrey Band: The Tree of Jesse

c. 1350

Silk, gold and silver thread, linen; embroidery: split and couching stitches

Overall: 85.7 x 18.1 cm (33 3/4 x 7 1/8 in.); Mounted: 109.2 x 28.6 cm (43 x 11 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1949.503

Location

Description

From the 1100s to the 1300s in London, both men and women worked as professional embroiderers. Here, the Tree of Jesse, a favorite medieval theme illustrating the ancestry of Christ, appears as a grapevine with three ancestors—Achim, Ezechias, and Eliud—seated on tendrils. Painters often provided embroiderers with designs, revealing a close relationship between the professions.

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