Most Holy Virgin Gown
I, too, am looking for a bibliographical citation. The "files"
section contains a Virgin Gown folder with wonderful scans of the
gown details. From what book did these come? The poster's e-mail
address is private, so I am unable to contact her directly, and no
details seem to be in the archives at the time the folder was
- At 11:33 AM +0000 2/4/05, silverloon2001 wrote:
>I, too, am looking for a bibliographical citation. The "files"I recognize that, and I even know what book she scanned it from.
>section contains a Virgin Gown folder with wonderful scans of the
>gown details. From what book did these come? The poster's e-mail
>address is private, so I am unable to contact her directly, and no
>details seem to be in the archives at the time the folder was
This is the "dress of the Virgin" from the Liebfrauenkirche (Our
Lady's Church) in Trier. It has been in Trier at least since before
1513, since it's shown on the front cover of a booklet printed at
The information on it comes from _Textile Conservation and Research_
, by Dr. Mechtild Flury-Lemberg, published by the Abegg-Stiftung Bern
in 1988. The ISBN of the English edition is 3-905014-02-5. I know
several people on the list have this book, and it was still for sale
(but only directly from the Abegg Institute) just a few years ago. I
bought my copy used, and it was still well over $100, but it's
Apparently what's going on here is that the original silk fabric
scraps were found inside the portable altar of St. Willibrordus in
the very early 1500s. They were already described as "very thin,
delicate and soft" at that point and are now extremely fragile. In
the 1500s they were stitched onto the existing linen tunic, together
with a silk 'veil' to protect them. The back has several large
fragments, covering perhaps 90% of the back of the linen tunic, and
the front has mostly disintegrated into nearly 800 tiny fragments,
many of them fingernail-sized or smaller.
What's in the book is the account of how this was taken apart,
conserved, and re-assembled in 1984. The scraps of "dress" fabric
were carefully removed one by one and sewed between two layers of
silk crepeline to make a separate sort of "over-tunic", since the
silk scraps and the linen tunic need different cleaning methods. Both
were carefully washed and then hung together, with the linen tunic
inside, for the new display.
The "Virgin's dress" fabrics include a couple of different woven
patterns, at least one of which is an 11th/12th century silk that may
have come from Byzantium or elsewhere in the Middle East.
The linen tunic is also lined with green silk taffeta, but by the way
it's stitched, this must have been done _after_ the dress fragments
were attached to the outside. The green lining is not part of the
original Virgin's dress but is an addition, probably from the 1500s.
I think I know who originally posted these photos and can probably
put you in contact with her if you need it.
O (Lady) Christian de Holacombe , Shire of Windy Meads
+ Chris Laning <claning@...>
http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
- Thank you, Chris, for that wonderful account of the dress. I will try to ILL
the book. It has been mentioned so many times recently it has been pushed to
the "must see" list.
We used the method this weekend to create a Manesse Codex style sleeveless
overgown. The stuffed pleats worked beautifully and use scrap pieces of fabric
remaining after cutting the body pieces. I had found no other method to
adequately replicate the look.
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