ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  Chalice veils / St Gallen

Chalice veils of St.Gallen
79 chalice veils
of which 43 embroidered, 5 lace, 31 fabric
22 Italian, 16 French, 1 Spanish, 12 Swiss, 1 German, 2 Austrian, 1 Russian,
1 East European, 1 Flemish, and some with unknown origin

chalice veils with dates:
no chalice veil with date

The following 16 examples from the Textilmuseum St. Gallen were exhibited at the meeting of the CIETA embroidery group in September 1999:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

project of chalice veils:

At the meeting of the CIETA embroidery group in September 1999 at the Textilmuseum St.Gallen we decided to start a special project. Many members agreed to study embroidered chalice veils in museums collections. It would be interesting to know about collections who have such veils, how many pieces, country of origin, date, embroidery techniques, ornaments. Another aim is to show on this website some special examples.

In her book Raiment for the Lord's Service, Chicago 1975, page 27, Christa C. Mayer-Thurmann, describes Chalice Veil as follows:

The function of the chalice veil is to cover the chalice and the paten until the moment of communion and thereafter. Based upon the dimensions of surviving 17th and 18th centuries examples it was an accessory which fell generally between the dimensions of 50-60 cm in a square. The introduction of the calice veil in its 17th - 18th century, appearance goes only back to the 16th century, although the so-called offertorium, also known as mappula, sindon, sudarium, mantile and palla was in existence around the 13th century. Its function differed slightly from the 17th - 18th century chalice veil's use.

In comparison to the burse, which had to be lined with linen and the corporal which always had to be made of linen, the chalice veil had to be made of silk and could be further decorated with gold and silver metal threads either through brocading or embroidering, according to the writing of Saint Charles Borromeo. In some places it was not accepted immediately. Cologne had to pass a decree in 1651 which finally introduced the chalice veil: "OMNES SACERDOTES DEINCEPS VELUM AD COOPERIENDUM CALICEM ADHIBEANT".

Latin: Velum, German: Kelchvelum, English: Chalice Veil, French: Voile de Calice, Italian: Velo del Calice, Spanish: Velo para Caliz, Polish: Velum

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