Monday, October 20, 2008

The Treasure of Halberstadt II

Continuing our exploration of the Halberstadt Treasure, in the first picture (click to enlarge on all pictures, it's worth it) we have a very nice early 16th century red silk velvet chasuble with St Anthony the Abbot in relief embroidery (you can see his pig to the right) and the arms of the margraviate of Brandenburg and the House of Hohenzollern, this chasuble having also belonged to Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg. It is of course somewhat ironic to see these arms on such splendid a chasuble, when they have become in the course of later events so closely associated with the main power of German protestantism (after the lapse of elector Joachim II, nephew of Cardinal Albrecht, contrary to the testament of his father Joachim I who had been one of the staunchest defenders of the Catholic religion after the outbreak of the reformation).

To the right of this chasuble in the same photograph we see a rather splendid dalmatic of ca. 1470-1490. While it has no decoration in the form of embroidery or the like, its magnificence is due to the outstanding fabric, a northern Italian red silk damask broched with gold thread, which was used in such a way as to keep the pattern without break, causing much waste and making the vestment even more expensive.

Lastly, still in the same picture at the bottom, there is a very intersting pair of pontifical shoes: they are from ca. 1450-1475 and are in the form of so-called "cow-mouth shoes", popular in Germany at that time. I might add a better picture of them from a book tonight if there is interest.

On the next picture we have an example of something that NLM readers seem to be especially interested in: an apparelled amice of the 15th century. I would like to note two things about it: first, the linen amice itself is much larger than amices today, and second, the apparel is not, as is mostly the case with apparels made today, just a piece of silk sewn onto the amice, but is itself ornamented, in this case with stones and silver gilt disks.

To the lower right we see a pontifical glove of about the same time.

The third item we could already glean in the previous picture can be better seen in the next. It is one of two rather splendid early 15th century mitres. The intersting thing, of course, is that they are made of red silk velvet; while before, mitre had generally been made of white fabrics with only ornaments in colours, in the 15th century red and green mitres became popular, but went then out of favour again. The elaborate scrollwork was originally completely sewn with freshwater pearls. Again, should there be interest I could add a more detailed picture from a book tonight.

To the right, another instance of an apparelled amice.