A rare late 15th/early 16th century English embroidered orphrey cross designed with the Crucifixion of Christ
Lot 343
A rare late 15th/early 16th century English embroidered orphrey cross designed with the Crucifixion of Christ
Sold for £5,000 (US$ 8,404) inc. premium
Lot Details
A rare late 15th/early 16th century English embroidered orphrey cross designed with the Crucifixion of Christ
Embroidered in coloured silks and applied gold threads, designed with Christ on the cross below the dove and with an angel either side, with Saint Peter holding keys and Saint Catherine with a palm frond below, each set under a pierced arch supported by a pair of columns, on a geometric floor, later mounted on a linen covered board, 109cm high.

Footnotes

  • This orphrey is likely to belong to a group of vestments made in London workshops before the Reformation, and compares favourably with those of the orphreys of the Skenfrith cope, noted below.

    The Tudors are known to have employed their own embroiderers: for instance an embroiderer called Robynet was housed and boarded at the expense of Queen consort Elizabeth of York (1466–1503). Records show he was allowed £2 per year house rent and received 1s. 4d. a week board wages. Robynet also hired and paid other embroiderers.

    For comparison of orphreys see:
    (i) The Skenfrith cope of St. Bridget's Church in Skenfrith, Monmouthshire by Kirstie Buckland, The Textile History Journal, number 14, pub. 1983
    (ii) High Fashion in the Church by Pauline Johnstone, page 48, fig. 53, pub. 2002
    (iii) Imagens em Paramentos Bordas, seculos XIV - XVI by Teresa Alarcao and Jose Alberto Seabra Carvalho, pages 152 - 155, pub. 1993
    (iv) The Adler Collection, Sothebys, 24th Feb 2005, lot 67.

    Related Literature: The History of English Secular Embroidery, M. Jourdain, E.P. Button & Co., New York.
    The Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York, ed. Nicholas Harris Nicolas.
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  1. Bruce Addison
    Specialist - Costume and Textiles
    Bonhams
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    United Kingdom
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