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07 February 2017 @ 12:04 pm
What a well-dressed 15C priest wears…  
It's a pity we never really get a description of Claude at Mass – because surviving examples of 15C vestments are stunning.
The Whalley Abbey vestments, in Towneley Hall Museum, Burnley (possibly visitable for you, aleksdesilesia?), and the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, are superb:
Chasuble (back view)
Dalmatic
Dalmatic in Glasgow

The Victoria and Albert Museum has some gorgeous examples, too, and has just finished an exhibition on Opus Anglicanum, the embroidery style that makes so many mediæval vestments so dazzling.
I like this chasuble with comical-looking wee camels in the brocade; this funeral or Good Friday one which re-uses the monogrammed funeral pall of the Abbot of Jervaulx in Yorkshire (17C style garment, but the fabric is pre-Reformation); this silk velvet dalmatic; and this chasuble made of cloth-of-gold and black Italian cut velvet.

There is also, in Towcester, a tomb of a 15C Archdeacon, William Sponne, in fur-trimmed robes. In 18C, it seems to have been painted to look like ermine but I suspect that may be creative licence. Monumental brasses are also quite good in depicting ecclesiastical dress.

Of course, there would be different colour-schemes for the different phases of the liturgical calendar and feasts. Frankly, on a tall, dark young man, the effect must have been… impressive, to say the least. The weight of the garments probably contributed to his broad shoulders – a chasuble alone can be about 2kg, and the whole outfit of multiple layers would be heavy.
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Sadieakkismos on March 5th, 2017 12:19 am (UTC)
Bless you for this post. I spent three days trying to unearth what fifteenth century cassocks might've looked like (more specifically, in France) with no luck whatsoever. This is brilliant!
silverwhistle: Claudesilverwhistle on March 5th, 2017 02:37 am (UTC)
Thanks!

I'm a mediæval historian and art historian by education, and have a long-standing interest in brasses and tombs. I've also had a passion for Claude since I was in my mid-teens, about 37 years ago…

Ecclesiastical dress in 15C Western Europe was fairly standardised: the decoration might be slightly different but most was similar (opus anglicanum was an English embroidery style, but was exported). Unfortunately, the French Revolution led to the loss of a lot of mediæval French examples of dress.
silverwhistle: Claude b/wsilverwhistle on March 5th, 2017 07:02 pm (UTC)
The Flemish painters of the 15C are useful, too. Van Eyck's St Jerome is in Cardinal's red robes, but his study, with astrolabe and writing equipment, is very Claude… And here we have a bishop-saint in cope and mitre, and a canon, with spectacles, as donor.