Venetian Lace Vestments of the Later 17th Century

The following vestment was made in Venice between 1670-695 and comes from the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  What makes this particular chasuble of interest is that it utilizes lace, rather than embroidery or brocaded fabrics, as its means of primary ornamentation. Lace, of course, is very typically associated with linen items such as albs, cottas and rochets, but this particular example demonstrates its wider liturgical use -- and, indeed, this is not the only such an example I have run into over the years.  Why lace then? The V&A provides some historical context:
Lace was among the most highly prized and expensive of all textiles in the 17th century. From the main centres of production in Italy and Flanders it was traded widely across Europe, and the industry responded quickly to changes in fashionable dress, as different styles came in and out of favour. In the 1660s, Venetian needle lace became the most fashionable lace, dominating the upper end of the market for both men’s and women’s dress. The industry also expanded rapidly through the patronage of the Catholic Church. Italian lace-makers exaggerated the three-dimensional qualities of needle lace, and developed the technique of dividing up large patterns into manageable sections, enabling the production of large-scale ecclesiastical items like vestments and church furnishings that were conspicuously extravagant.
Of course, the fundamental lesson here is that which was perceived as the very best was naturally perceived as befitting of the dignity of the sacred liturgy -- ad majorem Dei gloriam.

If anyone is wondering what some other examples of this sort of work might be, here are just a couple of other examples, first taken from the Met and also coming from Venice in the latter half of the 17th century:

Finally, one more, this time taken from the Museum of Palazzo Madama in Turin.

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