Magnificent Antique 19th Century French Stumpwork Embroidery Bejeweled Ecclesiastic Chasuble

SOLD An extraordinary example, it is embellished with glass stones, gilt and silver stumpwork embroidery and gilded brass cabochons. It originates from Normandy and dates circa 1860.

The gold fabric is interwoven with gilt metallic threads which gives a shimmering radiance. The metallic threads give the fabric a thick and substantial texture. The front has a wide panel which is adorned with stumpwork embroidery (cotton padding cut into specific shapes is placed on the garment first, with the embroidery encompassing the padding, resulting in a raised ornamentation). Yellow and blue silk threads serve create leaves and backgrounds. Gilt metallic threads form Maltese crosses. Violet chenille threads are sewn in curling vines. Brass cabochons accent tendrils of the vines. Three fine bezel set ruby glass stones are at the center of each gilt cross. Gilt studs and silver cabochon embellish the red borders and gilt metallic flowers.

The back panel repeats the embroidery work of the front in the form of a large and impressive cross. The central Christogram, JHS, is worked in a rosette medallion. There are six Maltese cross, each set with a central ruby glass stone. The letters of the Christogram are of very fine gilt metallic threads with red chenille borders. At the end of each cross arm are silver metallic thread arabesques. Each yellow leaf is accented with gilt metallic braid veins (braid missing and untwisting in some flowers). The textures of this cross are amazing, the softness of the chenille gives a smooth border; the heaviness of the metallic threads gives substance and form. Please study the photographs as the embroidery work is stunning.

The background is of red cotton. There is a 1/4" red and gilt metallic thread border along the edges of the entire textile. It measures: 42" x 27 3/4" at the longest and widest points. It is in amazing antique condition: some unraveling of metallic braid on leaves, slight fraying on upper shoulder seam; see photo.

It is a spectacular antique textile with the utmost in lavish adornment.

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