Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Some Beautiful Stitching (Picture Heavy)

Gentle Friends, Sunday afternoon we drove over the Bay to Berkeley to see a small show of antique liturgical vestments.  The show was at ...

These lovely things came from a bequest of a Dominican Father who had been collecting for years.  Although there was not much history or provenance about each piece they are very accessible to the viewing public.  Only a few of the more delicate pieces are behind glass, the others are displayed well and open to close inspection....  so here are quite a few snaps .....

One side...

... a detail shot

... the other side

... and a detail...



... at first, I thought these were seed beads then I looked closer and saw that they are all knots...



These pieces are all greys blacks and tans...Memento Mori (remember you will die)  these textiles were created for funeral liturgies.

This antependium created to adorn the alter features the letter A;pha and Omega which make reference to a vision of John and the promise of a new and eternal life (Rev. 21)

This vestment fragment is gold thread on Chinese silk from Ayacucho Peru and dates to the 1750s.  Created by cloistered nuns of the Disclased Carmelite Order.  The central image of the pelican represents the self-offering of the Suffering Christ.

... another silk on silk fragment showing the Annunciation.


This chasuble features the Baptism of the Lord is made of silk and comes from the Rheinland ca 19th century.  The cross orphrey (central band) includes the text in Latin from Matt. 3: 17: (back)  Hic est filius meus dilectus; (front) in quo mihi bene complacui..."This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased..."  The text "reads" back to front because the backside of the chasuble is most visible to the people attending Mass.  Once they read the first few words, memory would recall the rest of the phrase (on the front).  Some detail shots...


This Dalmatic is made of silk and is also 19th century and from the Rheinland.  The orphreys include the text in Latin from Isaiah 12: 5-6.... Cantate Domino, quoniam magnifice fecit; notum sit hoc in universa terra.  Exsulta et lauda, quae habitas in Sion. quia magnus in medio tui Santus Israel.

"Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.  Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel."



Off of the gallery was one of the classrooms... what a great place to study or listen to a lecture.
If you are anywhere near Berkeley and can get to this jewel of a show I would highly recommend it!!

There you go sports fans, thanks again for stopping by do stop again!!
Good Thoughts! Good Words! Good Deeds!


  1. Exquisite. I recall viewing a Bishop's embroidered glove in Judy Chicago's Dinner Party exhibit, where the placard stated that the
    Bishops name was known but we will never know the name of the embroiderer....so often the case. Imagine the myriad cloistered nuns
    who have gifted the world with such dedicated stitchery. Many thanks,
    Edgar for sharing this inspiring exhibit.

  2. Dearest Edgar: What a beautiful post, thank-you for sharing such a beautiful display with us.
    I love the Vestments of years ago, some Priests still wear the Funeral Vestments, it is amazing how much work goes into such beautiful works.

    Gods Blessings

  3. Thank you so much for taking us along to see this exhibit!

  4. What beautiful weaving/needlework. Were all of the vestments created within Orders? One of my favorite novels is "In This House of Brede" by Rumer Godden. There is quite a bit of description in the book about the weaving of vestments for congregations around the world. Thanks for sharing this show. The next time I read the book this is what will be pictured in my mind.

  5. Thank you so much Edgar for sharing these beautiful things with us. They are truly magnificent! Aside from the beauty that they represent, any needle worker would be very impressed.

  6. Omgosh Edgar, these are beautiful! So happy to see these majestic pieces of art.
    Donna Bennett

  7. I'd like to go! I found the school but can't see a listing for the event. I need to confirm that the show is still on before making the trek! Thank-you for the inspiration!

  8. Wow. So impressive. Thanks for sharing. AriadnefromGreece!


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