Unique 16th Century Chasuble from Downside Abbey: The "Glover" Chasuble

Amidst the various important holdings of Downside Abbey are a series of antique vestments dating from the medieval and recusant period. I thought it would be of interest to our readers to take a look at some of these, beginning today with the early 16th century "Glover" chasuble.

The Glover chasuble is comprised of red, green and white silk for its various parts and represents a transitional cut between the fuller gothic forms and later baroque.

The chasuble has a very interesting and unique design to it, needless to say, covered as it is with gloves; the letters "P" and "R" also figure prominently throughout the design.

Readers will take note of the text within the horizontal bar of the cross. While difficult to make out from the image, it apparently reads: "Pray for the soul of your servant P (Glove) R."

One school of thought around this is that "P (Glove) R" is a coded reference to the benefactor/donor of the chasuble.

In all of my years considering vestments and their design, this must be one of the more unique that I have come across.

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