Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

18th-Century Embroidered Italian Chasuble.

Italian Chasuble.
Date: 18th-Century.
Culture: Italian, probably Sicily.
Medium: Silk, metallic thread.
Dimensions: W. 29 in. (73.7 cm); L. of shoulder to hem 43 3/4 in. (111.1 cm).
Classification: Textiles-Embroidered.
Credit Line: Gift of Catherine M. Randazzo Guirreri and John J. Randazzo,
in memory of the Saverio Randazzo Family, 1984.
Accession Number: 1984.462.1.

The following Text is taken from THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

According to Tradition and Testimony, this Chasuble — together with its matching Stole, Maniple, Chalice Veil, and Burse — was made in Sicily, as a gift from his Bishop for Nicolo Spedaliere (also recorded as Spitaleri), Head Priest of the Mother Church of Partanna, Sicily.

It is entirely feasible that the Vestments were made by a Women's Religious Order, or at a School, that practiced this type of Embroidery. The nearly symmetrical pattern of full-blown, semi-naturalistic flowers, small blossoms, curving leaves, and scrolls, is characteristic of the Late-Baroque Ornamentation that appears on some Sicilian Vestments and Italian Vestments from the Late-17th- to the Mid-18th-Century.

Similarly typical is the combination of Painterly Polychrome Silk Embroidery, worked in Long- and Short-Stitches and French Knots, with Metal Thread couched in a variety of Patterns. Although the Chasuble maintains its Traditional Surface Division into Central Orphrey and Side Panels, which previously may have been of different materials, there is no structural reason to do so, as the entire Decoration is Embroidered and the Pattern flows over these boundaries.

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