Friday, 7 November 2008
Medieval English embroidery good enough for the Holy Roman Emperor
Does anybody fancy buying a piece of medieval English embroidery, I certainly would if I didn't have a wife and children to support? Well an Italian dealer, Piselli Balzano, have a panel of late medieval embroidery for sale on their website. They claim the piece was made for the marriage of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian I to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. The double-headed eagles on it are of course the badge of the Holy Roman Empire, so its plausible, although this is a motif that exists on other medieval English textiles. I quite like the idea that English embroidery was good enough for the Hapsburg family. The dealers website doesn't say any more about the provenance, or even whether it was part of a vestment or a domestic hanging. The thing that caught my eye was that apart from the eagles, other design elements on the panel bear a striking similarity to the Careby cope fragment featured earlier in the week, particularly the seraphs on wheels and the central image of the Assumption.
Mary of Burgundy
BTW have a look on the rest of the dealers website they have some rather lovely medieval and renaissance silks and voided velvets.