For comprehensive discussion on the highly skilled and sought after English embroidered ecclesiastical panels, see English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum, edited by Browne, Clare, Davies, Glyn and Michael, M.A., with assistance of Michaela Zöschg, Yale Press, in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2016, to accompany exhibition: 1 October 2016 – 5 February 2017, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. For discussion of pieces produced at the time of the present examples, Chp. 6, Kate Heard, Ecclesiastical Embroidery in England from 1350 to the Reformation, pp.77-89, figs.85-88, pp. 85-86.
There are comparable very similar cross and pillar orphrey panels, circa 1400 – 1430, mounted onto a velvet chasuble, with the same format of motifs, and figural types, including with Christ, John the Evangelist and the Virgin Mary, located at Downside Abbey, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, and another similar cross orphrey panel, circa 1430 – 1460, in Towneley Hall Museum, Burnley (Mus.No. T140.1970), attached to a later altar frontal. Another cross and pillar orphrey panel, attached to a chasuble of Italian figured silk velvet with bouclé and allucciolato detailing, second quarter 15th century, is in the Cluny (Sommerard Fund: Mus.no.Cl. 1219). Interestingly there is a set of ecclesiastical vestments, with similar pillar orphrey panels, with single figures within the niches surmounted with fleur-de-lys motifs, mounted onto vestments of velvet with applied embroidered motifs, which are now in different collections: the Fogdö Cope, circa 1490, in the Statens Historiska Museum, Stockholm (Mus.no. 23128:15), and two dalmatics, one being in the Musée National de la Renaissance, Écouen (Mus.no. E.Cl.1821) and another similar, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Mus.no. T.49-1924).
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter, acquired in 2003, with the assistance of the National Art Collections Fund, a chasuble with a pre-Reformation English embroidered cross orphrey panel, circa 1500-1550, with individual motifs applied to modern silk damask. Along with the conventional cross, there is a figure of a prophet and another of St. Anne as a nun, with the infant Virgin Mary in architecturally crenellated niches below. There are also two angels flanking the cross as in the offered panel.
Staniland, Kay, Medieval Craftsmen: Embroiderers, The British Museum Press, London, 1991, for illuminating discussion on the production, design and techniques of the early embroiderers.
Synge, Lanto, The Art of Embroidery, The Medieval Period, Antique Collectors' Club, 2001, Chp. II, Mediaeval Period, pp.40-63, and pp.45-60, for discussion of Opus Anglicanum.
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