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

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.




Exhibitions at V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum)

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