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geborduurde mantel

The cope of Nonnemielen

geborduurde mantel

The cope of Nonnemielen
Artisan unknown
England, ca. 1500
Red silk velvet, linen, glass pearls, silver and gold thread
MAS, AV.1906.001
Bought in 1906

Luxurious embroidery

Catholic priests wore this impressive liturgical robe in the form of a cape at solemn moments, such as ordinations or processions. The decoration is an example of what was called opus anglicanum, luxurious English embroidery in silver and gold thread that was highly renowned in the late Middle Ages.

You can see the Assumption of Mary, the mother of Jesus, depicted in the centre. The shield on top of the cope shows her on her deathbed, surrounded by the twelve apostles. One of them is bearing a burning candle, a symbol of God's presence and of belief in the resurrection. The richly embroidered aurifries, which is the elongated band on the front of the cope, depicts eight saints. Saint Catherine can be recognised by her sword and book, Saint Peter by the key to Heaven in his hand and Saint Thomas by his spear.

The robe originates from the former Benedictine nun's abbey of Nonnemielen, near Sint-Truiden. It entered to the City of Antwerp's collection in 1906.

See also

Masterpieces from the Governement of Flanders

Flanders possesses a magnificent collection of movable cultural heritage. With the 'Masterpieces Decree', the Flemish government wants to protect these unique cultural objects. Based on the decree, a list of rare and indispensable objects was compiled. Some of them are part of the MAS collection.

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