Two 'Mystery' Vestments

We live in a world of more available content than ever. In some instances this content comes full od detail, but in the age of the internet, some of it can come without much in the way of explanation or historical details and context. While this is regrettable for many of us, we are fortunate insofar as that doesn't negate our artistic enjoyment of it -- and plus it allows us to put our own historical knowledge to the test as we attempt to piece together the mystery.

Two such examples came to me recently that I wanted to share with LAJ readers.

The first is a mitre. Now speaking personally, I find myself not generally preferring figures or scenes on mitres. There are exceptions of course, but as a rule I myself prefer non-figurative designs, or at least figures that have been rendered in a very linear fashion (as for example the famed mitre of Pius IX showing the Immaculate Conception).  That said, something about this particular example struck me as highly interesting. The use of colour in a mitre is, of course, reasonably uncommon though not unheard of, and certainly that is part of its appeal as it has aged quite nicely. The figures included here, however, are of particular interest, especially in the high relief in which they were done. Very unique.  In terms of era, I would wonder about the later 17th to early 18th century given the design, from shape of the mitre, the decorative elements, the way the two saintly figures have been rendered (including their vestments and vesture)-- and given too that coloured mitres appeared more frequently at that particular point of history.

As for who is portrayed, it would appear to be Ss. Augustine and Jerome to my mind.

Our next 'mystery item' is a violet chasuble. The base textile appears to be a stamped velvet and the embroidered orphrey, which includes a crucifixion scene, two apostles, a bishop and one other medieval figure, would appear to be of late medieval or early renaissance origins -- quite likely pulled from another, earlier vestment.  The outer trim would appear to be a 19th century restoration, and the floral textile around the neck also appears to be of a different origin. In this regard we essentially seem to have a mix and match of various elements, taken from various periods, and quite likely a chasuble that was more ample in shape at one time. However, the end result is still extremely noble and beautiful.

If our readers have their own thoughts on these items -- or if anyone recognizes them from any collection and has tangible historical details -- please leave them in the comments on our social media page.

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