Requiem Vestments from the Imperial Treasury, Vienna

We have already featured some of the vestments found in the collection of the Imperial Treasury of Vienna and LAJ is pleased to be able to show you some more thanks to a kind submission by one of our readers.

Today I wish to specifically focus on two black sets.  Both sets are quite unique for reason of their ample use of additional colours such as white and gold. As I was looking at these, it struck me that these may well serve as a kind of template for our own day insofar as they present a compromise between the contemporary trend for white funerary vestments, and the venerable tradition of black.  In dioceses where this is still a matter of particular debate, this may well present a reasonable compromise position.
The first set I wish to show I, unfortunately, have little information about. The set is 18th century and has a very nice texture to them. I find this design to be particularly well balanced and of the two sets we will look at today, this is the one I believe to be the most striking and best executed.

Here is a detail from the base of the chasuble to give you a better sense of the quality and textures of this work:

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This next set was donated by Maria Theresia, daughter of the Habsburg Emperor, Charles VI. The set was made in Vienna in 1776. To put that into context, that was the same year that thirteen colonies of America declared independence from the British empire. In this instance, white has replaced gold, with the white/black damask nicely complimenting the black/silver, giving it a kind of mirroring effect.  The gold trim helps to visually outline and tie the whole set together. 

I would note that this is actually an edited version of this photograph as the original had part of the cope blocked out. 

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