A Nineteenth Century French or Belgian Easter Chasuble

While I regrettably do not have any historical information on this particular set of vestments, given that it comes in a style we have not frequently shown here it seems worthwhile to look at it all the same. What I can say, just by virtue of looking at the style, materials and decorative forms of the set, is that this was likely made in France or Belgium in the second half of the nineteenth century. The style of embossed embroidery seen here certainly speaks to that, as does the cut of the chasuble, the spade-ended stole and maniple, and not least of all, the Latin cross with Agnus Dei designs found on the back. 

The design is really quite stunning in how it balances its embroidered and non-embroidered spaces. In many ways it reminds me of the lighter, more delicate design qualities of seventeenth century vestment work, merged with the bolder, heavier designs of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. One can well imagine how these beautiful, embossed gold embroideries would have caught the candlelight and sunlight -- the only sources of light that would have illumined the churches of the time. 

The set was quite likely intended for liturgical use at Easter.

Chalice veil, stole and maniple

The burse

Here are just a few more details for those interested in looking more closely at the design, beginning with the spade end of the stole and maniple. These contain a highly stylized Greek cross:

This detail of the back reveals floral decorations and Eucharistically-themed shafts of wheat:

Finally, a detail of Lamb of God with the Cross and the seven seals mentioned in the Book of Revelation:

Do you like Liturgical Arts Journal's original content? You can help support LAJ in its mission and vision to promote beauty in Catholic worship either by: 

You choose the amount! Your support makes all the difference.

Join in the conversation on our Facebook page.