Italian 17th century cope vestment from Italy with a 15th century French embroidered orphrey, lined. The cope is made up from six lengths of ferronnerie deep green silk velvet with lobes containing stylized artichokes and pomegranates. The Orphrey: Orphrey bands use a mix of Disciples, Saints and Mary holding Jesus, as does this one. The figures were typically chosen according to the church they represent. This orphrey band has 8 males, 2 females and 8 have halos and the needlework consists of silk, wool, linen and metal thread. All the figures stand on patterned floors beneath Gothic arches resting on columns in the ten narrow rectangles of the orphrey band. The Fleur-de-lis, symbolic in French heraldry, on the Gothic arch is one clue used to discern that this piece was made in France. Condition: The cope, silk velvet has typical rub from being worn but overall excellent condition. The orphrey, missing areas of needlework with exposed linen ground and loose threads, typical of something over 500 years old. Common to have two different aged pieces married together. The clasp in front is a replacement.
"Provenance: From the Collection of Sallie Casey Thayer of Kansas City. In 1917 Ms. Thayer offered her collections to the University of Kansas Museum of Art that established a wing in 1928 solely for these collections. This piece was purchased as a deaccession. A similar cope with the same orphrey pattern can be seen in the book: European Textiles in the Robert Lehman Collection, page 74, item 22. The Bernheimer Collection in Munich has two chasubles and a dalmatic with similar patterned silk and orphrey.
Condition: Wear consistent with age and use.