May 17, 2016

Priest's Red Cope, Orphrey and Hood

Priest's Red Cope, Orphrey and Hood

late 1500s - early 1600s

Cope: damask weave, silk; Orphrey and hood: brocade, silk and silver

Overall: 124.5 x 276.9 cm (49 x 109 in.)

Gift of the Swetland Family 1995.106



Liturgical copes are used for processions especially by those who assist the celebrant. They evolved from a secular outer garment with a hood to protect the wearer from wind and rain. Hoods remained although they became decorative and nonfunctional. This Italian silk damask features large symmetrical bouquets in urns within curved lattices bearing crowns flanked by birds. The French orphrey band, or ornamental border, along the front edges and hood incorporates small ornament associated with prestigious lace amid the formal foliate design.

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