Embroidered Cope by Unknown Artist

This cope is one of the very finest surviving church vestments of English mediaeval workmanship.

Details

Medium:
Velvet, gold thread, pearls, & green beads
Art Fund grant:
£5,000 ( Total: £33,000)
Acquired in:
1955

It is fan-like in shape, decorated with Gothic arcading and scenes of the Coronation of the Virgin, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Annunciation. At some time the cope was cut up, then reassembled in 1854. Exquisite needlework was produced in England long before the Norman invasion. Constant reference is made in medieval chronicles and inventories to 'English work' - Opus Anglicanum- in connection with the most sumptuous embroideries. Popes and Princes sent to this country for their most magnificent garments and gifts of English needlework were considered a mark of special favour.

Provenance

By descent through the Butler - Bowden family since the Reformation; Col W. Butler Bowden.

Venue details

V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) Cromwell Road, London London SW7 2RL 020 7942 2000 www.vam.ac.uk

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

Daily, 10am – 5.45pm (Fri until 10pm)

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