Thursday, March 1, 2012

Edge of the Forest embroidery design

Edge of the Forest

Copes of this
type are preserved at Toledo, in St. John
Lateran at Rome, at Bologna, and at Pienza.
Another, in fragments, was formerly kept at
Mount St. Mary's College, Chesterfield. It
has in the middle the following subjects :
our Lord and the Virgin Mary enthroned (at
the top), the Adoration of the Magi (in the
middle), and the Annunciation (below). The
arcades on either side are formed of inter-
lacing oak stems with masks, and enclose
figures of saints and apostles, with angels in
the spandrels. On the embroidered orphrey
are figures of episcopal and royal saints.
This cope belongs to the early years of the
fourteenth century.

The fine cope in Toledo Cathedral (Plates
10, 11) is said to have belonged to the Cardi-
nal Gil de Albornoz (d. 1367), and is appa-
rently referred to in his will (plumale . . . de
opere Anglicano). It is earlier than his time,
however, and must have been embroidered in
the later years of the thirteenth century. The
design is in gold thread and coloured silks
on a gold-embroidered ground. On a vertical
band in the middle are the Annunciation, the
Nativity, and our Lord enthroned with the
Virgin Mary.

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