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1946Re: [WKneedle] Request for Research Help

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  • Yvianne
    May 4 5:27 AM
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      Greetings from Yvianne

      The original post for information gave me the perfect opportunity to
      procrastinate on going to the gym ;-)

      I did a Google image search on medieval napkin which turned up a chalice
      veil that intrigued me


      Of course I had to follow up by searching the collections at the Met and V&A
      for ...chalice veil. I found a few but the one that excited me the most was
      this awesome description, unfortunately there's no image :-(

      Chalice veil
      Place of origin: Italy (made)

      Date:16th century (made)

      Artist/Maker:Unknown (production)

      Materials and Techniques:

      Linen embroidered with coloured silks, and couched silver, silver-gilt
      thread and purl, glass beads and pearls and lined with silk taffeta

      Museum number:


      Physical description

      Chalice veil of finely woven cream linen backed with cream silk taffeta, and
      principally embroidered with silver-gilt thread but with small areas in
      coloured silks. Embroidery details in purl, silver and silver-gilt and
      pearls. The metal thread consists of flat strips wound round a silk core.
      Where used to fill-in part of the pattern, the metal threads are couched
      down in pairs with yellow silk, and the couching threads are stepped along
      each adjacent line of metal threads so as to form a brick pattern. A woven
      silver-gilt braid is sewn round the edge of the veil. The linen is edged
      with a scrolling foliage pattern, and in each corner there is a foliate and
      floral motif. Both edging and corner motifs are in couched gold thread with
      silver-gilt and silver purl with in-fills of coloured silks in yellow,
      salmon pink and blue.

      In the centre is a chalice of couched gold thread, gold purl, pearl and
      coloured glass beads from which the figure of Christ emerges showing the
      wounds of the crucifixion on hands and chest (only waist upwards are
      visible). The figure is embroidered in split and straight stitches in
      pinkish flesh colours to create realistic contours for the body, hair and
      beard, and the wound made in his left chest and for the drops of blood from
      his hands. The nimbus round His head is in red and gold. His eyes are black.
      The figure is surrounded by an oval 'wreath' of interlinked ribbon and
      stylised floral devices and two grotesque masks. Sprays of scrolling foliage
      spring from the sides of the oval. The bottom spray shows a heraldic device
      depicting a lion rampant in coloured silks. The lion is black on a yellow
      ground under a canopy of red and blue. The embroidery on the lion is

      I'm a great visual thinker, but my mind is numb right now.

      Yvianne de Castel d'Avignon
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