|ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History / book reviews, articles|
Capella Clementina, Kurfürst Clemens August und die Krönung Kaiser Karsl VII, text in german, by Dela von Boeselager, in: Studien zum Kölner Dom, vol. 8, edited by Barbara Schock-Werner and Rolf Lauer; 475 pages, 167 colour and black and white photos, 85 colour plates, 4 black and white plates
Verlag Kölner Dom e.V.,
|Dela von Boeselager deals in
her publication with liturgical vestments worn for the coronation
of Karl Albrecht of Bavaria. This elector was
expected to become the successor of the late emperor, who
had died on 20th of October 1740. As soon as the
elector's brother Clemens August archbishop and elector
of Cologne realised that the majority of votes were for
Karl Albrecht, he ordered the vestments for the
This ceremony took place on the 12th of February 1742 in Frankfurt, Germany. The vestments were given later to the cathedral of Cologne..
Today most of these textiles are still preserved. There
are 44 items, among them 22 robes with gold
embroidery and a beautiful seat of coronation. The
vestments were worn by all priests involved in the
|Besides of an inventory
written at the time of the donation, there are several
publications which describe the vestments. The present
publication is based on documents which were up to now
unknown. The author discovered them in archives of Paris:
the written order sent by the
french deputy Mr. de Sade from Bonn to Paris in
October 4th 1741,
|The author is interested
whether it was possible at all to work the embroideries
in the very short period of only three months.
she studied accurately the oganisation of art
embroidery of the 18th c. in France, her basis
being the well known documents:
Also important were the new regulations of the corporation of embroiderers of 1719 with 46 articles. Here the quality standard as well as the conditions for a mastership were layed down. The regulations deal with the duration of the apprenticeship and with the materials that had to be used.
4 masters of the corporation observed whether the
regulations were needed or not.
Not all the embroiderers were masters. The so called
"compagnons" had learned an appropriate time
but they were not allowed to have their own workshop.
Outside the corporation it was possible to embroider in special localities or in houses of priviledged people, but these workmen were not allowed to sell their work in the shops of Paris. In women's convents rather silk- than gold embroideries were produced.
Priviledged embroiderers worked for the king who always needed a great number of embroideries.
from 1735 to1745 were: Germain Benjamin Dallemagne of Rue
Saint Denis, Pierre Davaux, Denis Nicolas Desprez and
Nicolas Desprez, Pierre Michel of rue Saint Paul, Gabriel
Guillaume Prado and others.
The author found several letters which prove that the deputy asked permission to occupy those embroiderers because of the very short time at disposal. At least 60 more craftsmen were engaged in this commission. The author believes that 100 or even more embroideres were working at the same time and that several workshops were occupied with the vestments.
According to Dela von Boeselager embroiderers in question could be Nicolas-Vincent Dutron or Louis Jacques Balzac. This later worked together with the dealer Boursier and the name Boursier occurs in one of the 3 accounts from 21st of december 1741, 3rd march 1742, and 6th march 1742 that are preserved, unfortunately these accounts do not tell the exact amount of cost for the vestments and there are no embroiderers names.
In appendix 1 of the publication the
names of the 21 craftsmen found in the accounts, are
enumerates alphabetically. The author here publishes
their wage claims and identifies them with the help of
other sources. The tailor "Sieur Passot
Tailleur" e.g. also was a dealer. He delivered gold
fabric at 170 "Livres" per "Elle",
silver fabric at 145 , velvet at 33 to 35, and also
buttons at 3 to 6 "Livres" according to their
The accounts also show, that Grimberghen was responsible for all the costs and only in October 8th 1742 all the debts were payed off.
|As similar vestments have
been burnt during the French Revolution, the Author
compares the embroideries with secular works of
art, like for example the embroidered saddle in
Dresden, worked from 1715 to 1718 in Paris, a velvet coat
belonging to a men's wear in the museé de la Mode et du
Costume in Paris, a velvet waistcoat in Los Angeles
County Museum of Art, and parts of a costume of Madonna
in Heimathaus Münsterland, Telgte. This last embroidery
was ordered by Clemens August. And some other examples.
author believes that the most important evidence for the
datation and the stilistic classification are two
embroideries for the archbishop of Uppsala for the coronation
of King Adolf Fredrik and Queen Lovisa Ulrika.
These works with very similar ornamentation were ordered
|With her already well known
accuracy the author also analyses the materials
and techniques used.
At the time of Louis 14
gold as a material was held in very high esteem. This
precious material was connected with the idea of status
and power. The king very often gave gold embroidered
presents to foreign sovereigns.
The vestments are embroidered on a silk fabric with gold thread and also with flat metallic wire (in german "Lahn", in french "lame"). D.v.Boeselager very precisely explains the different kinds of gold embroidery, with all the very special and almost forgotten terms.
|The gold may lay on the
surface only (applied
technique or couching), but the tread can also go through the
fabric and be visible on the back side as well. In
fact this latter technique is responsible for the very
good preservation of the vestments.
Besides of the golden thread there were also paillettes or spangles (small disks of shiny metal) and cantilles (very this wires wound in spiral line). In 1741 embroidery with spangles already was a fashion in Paris. Goldlace was used for the chalice veils, trimmings and tassels can be found on copes, dalmatics and also on cushions.
In the appendix of the book all the special expressions used are explained. Drawings show more clearly where words are less suited to explain.
|A separate chapter of the
book is dedicated to the seat of the consecrator:
with exact descriptions of type, embroideries, style,
In the catalogue part every piece of the vestment is presented individually, again with precise examination and research, and with plates in full colour.
The appendix consists of 4 chapters:
|Last revised February 3rd, 2004||
For further information contact Anne Wanner email@example.com