Polychrome velvet: cut pile and voided; Embroidery: silk, gold and silver thread; split and couching stitches
Overall: 119.4 x 74.9 cm (47 x 29 1/2 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1950.85
The chasuble is the main sleeveless outer vestment
worn by priests while officiating during Mass. By
the 1400s, the chasuble became highly ornamented
with embroidered decorative bands called orphreys,
often in the shape of a cross, as seen here. This
luxurious Italian example features velvet of three
colors with lush pile. In Graz, Austria, it was
embellished with a locally embroidered orphrey
featuring crowns, haloes, and backgrounds of
scenes formed with gold thread. The Virgin and
Child, and Saints Catherine, Dorothy, Ursula, and
Barbara are featured.
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