The coat-of-arms of the Galilei family of Florence is represented by the small ladder with three rungs under the cross in the center of the velvet. Along the bottom is part of a scroll that, if complete, appears to have read "Benedetto Ghalilei." This velvet, with its particularly lavish use of gold metal thread and the incorporation of the cross, may have been used in a set of ecclesiastical vestments for a family chapel.
Inscription: (on cross) INRI (across bottom of piece) [B]enedett[o] Ghalile[i] (Galilei)
[ Giorgio Sangiorgi , Rome, until 1946; to Loewi ] ; [ Adolph Loewi , Los Angeles, 1946; sold to MMA ]
Date: 15th centuryMedium: Cut voided velvet on satin foundation weave (warp: silk dyed in dark blue, reeled, no twist/S plied, 9 per cm; warp pile: silk dyed in dark blue, reeled, no twist/no ply; weft: silk dyed in dark blue, reeled, no twist/no ply, 25-29 per cm)Accession: 08.109.21On view in:Gallery 599