Thursday, March 1, 2012

Peek-a-Boo embroidery design


They are embroidered with gold
thread and silks of different colours or shades,
although the whole has now become almost
a uniform brown. Full-length figures of
Apostles and Prophets are separated by plain
straight bands. Some of the names may
still be read : they are BARTOLOMEVS,
IHOAN (sic), [Ia]COBBVS, ANDRE[as],

Two other fragments are of similar
work (Plate 3). On one is the seated figure
of a king, with crown and sceptre, the name
ADELBERTVS being inscribed above.
It probably represents St. Ethelbert, King
of the East Angles, and patron of Here-
ford Cathedral, who was beheaded by King
Offa, of Mercia, in 794. The other figure
is that of a bishop in alb, chasuble, and
mitre, holding a pastoral staff of primitive
form. The inscription NICO[la]VS appears
to indicate that this figure represents St.
Nicholas of Bari, a saint who, as patron of
children (" Santa Claus "), was popular in
England as elsewhere throughout Christen-
dom. The figures are attenuated and ex-
pressionless, and do not compare favourably
with the earlier work at Durham.

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