Antique Seventeenth Century Italian Velvet and Embroidered Ecclesiastical Textile

A glorious work of fine silk and metal thread embroidery, this exquisite textile would have once graced an ecclesiastical cope. It is Italian, most likely Venetian and dates towards 1690.

It has a beautiful medallion shape so very typical of late 17th century Italian needlework. The background is of rich crimson velvet. Embroidery fills the entire field of velvet, the arabesque, scrolls, leaves and cartouche are each worked in mustard, creme, deep blue silk threads. This work is accented by rows and outlines in gilt metallic thread and cording. There is a 1/2" wide metallic braid which edges the work; to this is joined a braid with metallic fringe (most of the fringe has worn back to the braid. There is a fantastic hand made tassel at the bottom center. The top has three crowning horizontal braided band ( hand made braids worked in silk.....absolutely incredible work). The central medallion features the Christ Child. Of the original embroidery only the hair and slight facial details remain (the silk fabric onto which the embroidery was worked has worn away with passage of time as is typical with these very, very old works). The backing is of mustard colored linen (not from the 17th century).

It measures: 19 1/2" long (not including the 4 3/4" tassel), 16 1/2" wide. The central medallion is 5 1/4" in diameter. It is in very good antique condition considering it's age of over 300 years. There is loss to the nap of the velvet, wear to the silk and metallic threads. Wear at seam to velvet across horizontal top (threads coming apart in places where you can see the backing through it. Wear and loss of thread to tassels. Please look at the photos carefully as they are the best description. We are happy to furnish additional photos.

Related Items