Orphrey panel


The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Orphrey panel, originally from a chasuble of a cope, is of linen embroidered in silver, silver-gilt and silks in underside couching, split stitch and with a little raised work. Depicts a scene from the life of St Thomas of Canterbury, showing Thomas (after having fled from England in 1163) being received by Pope Alexander III. At the right is the seated figure of Pope Alexander with a triple pointed crown. His right hand is raised in benediction, and his left hand touches Thomas's right hand. St Thomas kneels before the Pope with his hands clasped together. Standing behind and to the left of Thomas is a deacon holding a crozier in his left hand and a book in his right. The figures are seen beneath a cinquefoil ogee arch with twisted columns and large crockets and finials.

The gold background is worked with a lozenge diaper pattern. Edged with woven metal braid (possibly 19th or 20th century) and mounted on backboard. Small areas have been re-embroidered in coarser embroidery thread and coarser stitches than the original.

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  • Title: Orphrey panel
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1380/1410
  • Location: England
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 33 cm, Length: 13 in, Width: 21 cm, Width: 8.375 in
  • Provenance: Purchased with the assistance of the Horn Bequest
  • Medium: Linen embroidered in silver, silver-gilt and silk threads, and edged with metal braid