Friday, 24 October 2008

Comper high mass vestments at St Mark's Philadelphia

I'm not going to comment on the fabulous photos Davis has posted on his Flickr stream, I think these Comper vestments speak for themselves. The vestments are at St Mark's Philadelphia amd according to the commentary Davis has included with each photo, they were commissioned in 1904 by Rodman Wanamaker in memory of his wife Fernanda. They were worked in London by the Sisters of Bethany.

Detail of the chasuble:
Our Lady on the front of the Chasuble from St Mark's Philadelphia

Tunicle:
Comper Dalmatic from St Mark's Philadelphia

Cope hood:
Cope Hood 1904 St Mark's Philadelphia

7 comments:

Evan McWilliams said...

I'm at a loss for words.

Allan Barton said...

That was my general feeling too.

davis d'ambly said...

They represent, in my opinion, a high point in ecclesiastical embroidery, due to at least three reasons: Comper's designs; the stunning skill of the embroiderers; and an unlimited budget.

Allan Barton said...

They are a high point. My question is why are we not producing this sort of timeless quality now? Perhaps we may start to as people begin to reprioritise their lives.

davis d'ambly said...

Alan, the reason this isn't happening now is money - pure and simple. Yes, some lovely things do get done but the costs are overwhelming. In the St Mark's case there was no limit at all to the budget.

Allan Barton said...

Yes I'm sure you are right Davis. I think the money is there, or has been there. There is simply a reluctance to spend money on the requirements of worship. I see in this country a anything is good enough attitude to the decoration of churches, coupled with neo-puritanism -which results in zero being spent on church decoration. Interestingly they won't spend thousands on vestments, but they would spend thousands on a new church carpet!

davis d'ambly said...

More churches have been ruined by carpeting and over lighting than anything in my view. Yes, it's partly the will to offer such things to God but in my professional life I'd venture that such a set of vestments today could cost two hundred thousand pounds or more were there enough expert embroiderers available and were they paid properly for their time.