Rorate Caeli

Chasuble of note

This beautiful chasuble was made in the early 20th century, but is a careful reproduction of the form of chasuble found in the Rhineland in the 15th century. The chasuble is made of crimson velvet on a base of straw-coloured silk twill. It is ornamented with extraordinary orphreys of woven silk, which are in places embroidered. The design is closely based on 15th century Rhenish models.

The photographs shew the back of the chasuble featuring the Gabelkreuz or forked Cross orphrey, depicting the crucifixion. A close-up shews the figures of Saint John and the Blessed Virgin at the foot of the Cross. The front of the chasuble is ornamented with a column orphrey in the same fabric, but ornamented with figures of the Passion and a phrase from Venantius Fortunatus' Pange lingua gloriosi. An embroidery from the front of the chasuble is also shewn.

The provenance of the chasuble is uncertain. It would appear to have been made for Feasts of the Holy Cross, since the basic colour of the fabric is a deep red.