ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History / cieta 2001 summaries of papers

19th General Assembly of Cieta, Lyon, France - 2001
From East to West, Oriental and Far-Eastern Textiles and their Influence on Western Textile Art. In Homage to Krishna Riboud.

Summaries of papers dealing with embroidery, by members of the embroidery group, and
papers dealing with the trade to India:

  - Hero Granger-Taylor & Frances Pritchard, London, Great Britain
The early 10th century embroidery from Llangors Lake, Wales
  In 1993, during excavations at the crannog or artificial island in Llangors Lake, Brecon, a lump of waterlogged and carbonised textile was discovered. Conservation has allowed the lump to be separated into its various layers and the fragments can now be seen to be the remains of a fine linen garment with panels of silk embroidery, probably on the shoulders and sleeves. The technique is best described as "stem stitch on counted threads". Of undoubted "Insular" execution, the embroidery has some local design elements but its animal and bird motifs seem to derive more from contemporary Oriental woven silks.
  This paper will be published in:
Pattern and purpose in Insular Art Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Insular Art
held at the National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff 3-6 September 1998
Publishers Oxbow Books, Oxford,
edited by M. Red Knap, N. Edwards, S.Youngs, A. Lane, J. Knight

as 8. A Fine Quality Insular Embroidery from Llan-gors Crannog, near Brecon

  - Margareta Nockert, Lidingö, Sweden
The Oseberg Textiles and the Orient
  The viking ship from Oseberg, Norway has, beside the well-preserved ship, sledges, a chariot and other interesting objects, including a certain number of textiles. Some of them are of local origin while others were imported. Among the more interesting local products are tablet woven bands and very narrow wall-hangings in tapestry weave. The pictorial world of the wall-hangings is difficutl to interpret but some motifs go back to the Nordic sagas. Approximately 100 strips of weft-faced compound weave silks and some silk embroideries are to be found among the imported textiles. One narrow tapestry weave, woven in the same way as the wall-hangings has a pattern derived from the silks.

  - Valérie Marcelli & Céline Wallut, Lyon, France
The Saint Lazare shroud: an hispano-mauresque embroidery recently restored.
  The Saint Lazar's shroud is an "hispano-mauresque" silk embroidery dating from 1007.
The design of sassanian inspiration is mainly composed of "sphinges" and riders enclosed in roundels with pearl borders. Another traditional motif: the eagle, takes place in smaller medallions.
This originaly quite long precious fabric was brought to France and used to wrap the saint Lazar's bones at Autun (Burgundy). During the french revolution, the holy tomb was desecrated and the inner contents disappeared. In 1803, the relic came back in three different pieces given to the bishop of Autun. Very little is known today about the restorations made on the fragments.

After water damage, the main piece which remained in Autun was entrusted to us for conservation treatment.
A study reveals the real state of the silk fabric worn and damaged as expected, but above all of a misleading appearance due to the previous conservation treatments. Around two main pieces, a multitude of small fragments are stucked on a support to simulate one-piece fabric. there are no valid reason to assume that this compact assemblage in a horizontal shape is the obvious one. A careful observation of the design composition led us to suggest a new one, which was accepted.

  - Ebeltje Hartkamp-Jonxis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Chintz images of a Dutch embassy at an Indian Court
  In 1614 the Dutch East India Company founded a commercial settlement in the city of Pulicat (Paliacatta) on the east coast of India. It soon served as an export centre for Indian chintzes, primerally intended for the Indonesian archipelago.
For obtaining export permission the Dutch sougth contact with the court of Goloconda, in which territory Pulicat was located. So-called embassis were sent to the kings of Goloconda on a regular basis.
A number of these stately visits is described in the letters sent by Dutch employees to the home country. On a large chintz in the Musée des Arts Décortatifs in Paris such an embassy is depicted, probably one to the court of Mir Jumbla in the years 1649 to 1652.

  - Christine Aribaud, Cornebarrieu, France
When the
turqueris crossed the church thresholds: the example of some textiles discovered in Corsica (17th - 18th centuries)
  In the 17th century and particularly in the 18th century, Europe let itself be seduced by the exoticism of Turkey. The exhibition "Topkapi at Versailles" of 1999 was dazzling proof ot this. The kings, courts, nobility and even the bourgeoisie succombed to the charms of the turqueries to the point of ridicule, which did not escape the mockery of Molière in "Le Bourgeois gentilhomme".

We hope to present here some chasubles recently discovered in Corsica. They bear witness to this passion for Turkish style which crossed the church thresholds in France and Italy, even climbing the choir step.

Nevertheless we will underline the paradox which lay for the priests in wearing chasubles made from Turkish fabric or of Turkish influence, when for the same representatives of the Church, the Turk is the enemy, the plunderer, the infidel....


  - Anne Wanner-JeanRichard, Rheinfelden, Switzerland
Embroidered white cotton fabrics - Indian or Swiss ?
  The exhibition "le coton et la mode" of the Musée Galliera in Paris (November to March 2001) (see book reviews 2001) showed mainly printed cottons, but there were also embroidered white fabrics from mid 18th century. The question arose, whether these fabrics were ornamented in India or in Europe. The paper points to Swiss merchants who traded all over Eruope whith cotton fabrics produced in Switzerland. Around the 1750s they were impressed by chainstitch embroideries made in Lyon by Asiatic women. It is said that these women showed the technique to St.Gallen embroiderers.
Embroidered examples of the St.Gallen Textile collection will be compared to ornamented Indian fabrics.

  - Christine Turgeon, Quebec, Canada
The taste for the Orient in the ecclesiastical textiles of the Ursulines convent in Quebec
  The collection of liturgical vestments held at the Ursulines monastery in Quebec is one of the oldest and richest collections of religious textiles conserved in situ by a religious community in North America.

This collection started in 1639 with the arrival of the first Ursulines who had come to Nouvelle-France, the French territories in Canada, to found a school with the aims of evangelising the American Indians and of educating French girls. Among its founding members, embroiderers like Marie de l'Incarnation produced liturgical vestments for their chapel and the surrounding churches.
Curiously, the designs used by the embroiderers were not drawn from the repertory of indigenous fauna and flora. Certain motifs came from the East via the Ursuliens of Tours or of Paris who sent their fellow sisters in Canada designs valued highly in the convents in France.

We will study this contradiction via the analysis of several liturgical vestments showing that the Ursulines of Quebec, sensitive to the taste for the East in fashion in Europe at the same time, ignored the exoticism of the fauna and flora all around them, favouring instead imported motifs and iconography.

  - Monica Paredis-Vroon, Aachen, Germany
Presented by Isabela Clara Eugenia
(see book reviews 2001)
  In 1627 the regent of the Spanish-Netherlands visited Aachen, the city where her ancestors were crowned. Two years later she presented a lavish gift to the cathedral consisting of vestments to be worn at religious festivals, coverings covers for the four great relics and a robe for the statue of the Virgin. Thanks to their storage in a shrine which is opened only once every seven years, the relic-covers now give a splendid impression of the sumptuous textiles that the 17th century European court had to offer.

During conservation a hypothesis was formulated about their provenance.

  - Marta Laguardia, New York, United States
The Art of Embroidery in Salamanca during the Sixteenth century*
  The presentation of this paper will be illustrated with examples of 16th century liturgical embroidery from churches and convents in the province of Salamanca. These pieces are part of my research in progress for my Ph.D. thesis* on Renaissance and Baroque liturgical vestments collections in the churches and convents of the Diocese of Salamanca.

Embroiderers were the Renaissance artists who decorated liturgical vestments. Liturgical embroidery was a form of art in high demand during the Sixteenth century, not only because of the great number of churches built but also because of the number of liturgical vestments required for each specific ceremony and individually for each participant of the ceremony, as well. Liturgical vestments observed a very precise dress code specific in colors, fabrics, embroidery and iconography. The number of embroiderers in Salamanca during the Renaissance was very hight and the quality of ecclesiastical embroidery at its highest point. Salamanca's liturgical vestments were embellished with the highest quality silk and gold threads. Massive use of gold threads for the background is characteristic of these embroideries.

Today, some of Salamanca's churches and convents still hold magnificent examples of ecclesiastical vestments made in local workshops. Besides the embroidered vestments found in the churches, the main source of information for the study of artistic embroidery is the historical documentation preserved in the archives. The extraordinary amount of artistic documents that I found in Salamanca's local ecclesiastical and civil archives confirms the high quality and richness that this art archieved in Salamanca; and the important role played, both artistically and socially, by the embroiderers. The documents are embroiderers' commissions, embroiderers' exams, apprenticeships' contracts, embroiderers' wills, and workshops' inventories. The names of 88 embroiderers that lived and worked in Salamanca from 1482 to 1635 have emerged from those documents.

  - Dela von Boeselager, Cologne, Germany
A commission for the imperial coronation of 1742
(see also newsletter 13, and book reviews 2001)
  Conserved in Cologne cathedral there are gold-embroidered church vestments. They were used for the coronation of the Emperor Charles VII in 1742 in Frankfurt. Previously unknown written sources attest the provenance of these vestments. The Prince Elector and archbishop of Cologne, when certain that his brother would be elected, commissioned more than 60 embroidered pieces in Paris. The lecture will present the vestments and the exceptional circumstances in which they were made. The Parisian embroiderers had to complete them within very tight deadlines so that they would be ready for the day of the coronation.

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