Vestments of Cardinal Gian Carlo Bandi, Nephew of Pope Pius VI

Today we are looking at two copies and chasubles which are dated in manufacture to the second half of the eighteenth century. These vestments were made for Cardinal Gian Carlo Bandi (1709-1784). a nephew of Pope Pius VI, assistant to the papal throne and elevated to the rank of cardinal in 1775. 

If you look at enough vestments over the years, you'll start to pick up on the fact that very frequently when someone became a prelate, frequently multiple vestments would be commissioned that utilize the same design and similar materials, but in different colours.  That is mainly the case here as we see a red and a white cope, both of which are made from a gold thread silk lamé, the one in red/gold and the other in white/gold (I specify this for reason that, while lesson common, silver was another option for lamé).  However if you look at the embroidered designs on the hood/shield of the cope and the orphreys, you will see that the design is identical.  What this tells us is that they were no doubt ordered at the same time -- namely when Bandi was elevated to the cardinalatial dignity -- and from the same workshop.  

The chasubles for the cardinal likewise employ the same designs as the copes, at least for the chasuble itself.

Interestingly however, for the secondary parts of these sets, a decision was made to opt for a much simpler design on the stole, maniple and burse of the red set. (This no doubt also carried over to the chalice veil as well, but regrettably no image of these has been forthcoming.)  While this might have been a planned design choice or even a cost saving measure, that seems unlikely given that the chasubles themselves are identically ornate. Far more likely is that this was done so as to expedite the process and make the red set, which was likely the secondary set in priority since a cardinal would find greater frequency of use for a white set, more quickly available for his liturgical use.

Apparently even the workshops of the eighteenth century had to put up with the time demands and pressures of their respective clients. 

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