Three Vestments of Velvet from Italy

Our friend and colleague in liturgical studies, Nicola de Grandi, has recently sent in a few examples of some beautiful vestments, each made of velvet. Let's take a look at them.

The first is a chasuble found in the cathedral of Aosta, Italy. The velvet is of later vintage, coming from the seventeeth or eighteenth century while the orphrey is dated to the latter half of the fifteenth century. The chasuble comes with the unusual characteristic of having arms located to either side of the ophrey.

The next example is a chasuble coming from the church of San Martino di Rasal in Seren del Grappa in Belluno. The embroidery is what is of particular interest here, coming from Hyeronimo's workshop in Venice at the San Lio Bridge, dating to the first quarter of the sixteenth century. As a point of interest, the reason the precise dating and manufacture of the embroidery is know is due to a backing paper that was dsicovered inside the chasuble which said: "To my honourable father, ms. Hieronymo / recamator. tien la botega la ponte / di san Lio in Venetia."

Our final parament is the "Parato di San Sisto" from the Cathedral of Savona. Of particular interest in this instance is the velvet, an example of finest quality of velvet coming, it is thought, from Florence and dated to the second half of the fifteenth century. The name of the vestment comes form the fact this example was found (only in the year 2000 in fact) in a box containing the relics of St. Sixtus. Essentially this is a compilation of materials coming from unused vestments that was created to cover a figural reliquary of the same sainted pope.

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