While most folks in the textile-related blogosphere were watching the Royal Wedding yesterday to catch a glimpse of The Dress, I admit, I was looking for something else: the clerical garb. I figured there’d be a good chance to see some beautiful examples of ecclesiastical embroidery.
The dress was stunning – really beautiful. But did you catch the cope?
Soon as I saw it, I said to meself, “Ahhh. Watts & Company.” The clue is in the trimming! Watts & Co are one of the few ecclesiastical accoutrement suppliers out there who use these glorious trims and fabrics that are reminiscent of Pugin and his buddies. So I jumped over to their website, and sure enough, there were the details.
The description on the Watts & Co website:
The Archbishop’s cope is made from a length of specially woven velvet cloth of gold.
The embroidery of the angel belongs to the Archbishop who asked that it be incorporated into the design. The angel carries a scroll in Latin “Da Gloriam Deo” (Give Glory to God).
The clasp is made of two large amethysts and dates from the early 19th century. It belonged to Archbishop Howley 1828-1848
Well, of course the dress is beautiful – and it has certainly received mounds of media coverage – but I thought the cope was pretty impressive, too. It definitely deserves a mention!
Incidentally, the embroidery looks older – probably removed from another vestment or church good, and appliquéd onto the cloth of gold. This is done frequently these days, when clergy desire a traditional-looking vestment. They find antique vestments or vesture and salvage the embroidery. Although we have plenty of skilled needleworkers in the world today and we have all the necessary supplies to recreate this kind of embroidery, today’s aesthetic in design and execution is not quite the same.
I’d sure love to see that piece up close, wouldn’t you?
Enjoy the weekend!