The 1758 Cope of San Juan de Dios, Granada

The following cope is dated to 1758 and presents a fairly rare example of an eighteenth century vestment that includes explicitly religious symbols in its design. Most vestments from this particular century, not to mention much of the previous century, did not contain figures of saints or the like; instead they were characterized by their use of naturalistic motifs such as flowers, vines and the like. This particular cope generally follows that same design trend but, as you will see, also includes an image of a saint on the hood of the cope -- which is quite likely San Juan de Dios (St. John of God) as this cope is found in the treasury of the basilica dedicated to him, the Basilica of San Juan de Dios in Granada, Spain.  Indeed, the cope was actually used for the dedication of the church further confirming this likelihood.

While the cope is thought to be of Neopolitan manufacture, one will see that its form is certainly Spanish in style -- namely the pointed hood hung from the broad orphrey.  The cope includes gold thread embroidery set upon a silvery white silk, making for a solemn and festive display worthy of the basilica's patronal saint. 

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