German; From the convent of Altenberg
Linen embroidered with satin, chain, chevron, and Romanian stitches
156 x 47 1/4 in. (396.2 x 120 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1929 (29.87)
The Adoration of the Magi appears on one end of this exceptionally large, well-preserved altar covering from the convent of Altenberg, not far from Trier in Germany. Among other figures represented in richly textured embroidery are Christ as judge; Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and Thuringia, mother of a thirteenth-century abbess of Altenberg; and Saint Nicholas, patron saint of the convent. A monk in their company kneels on a coat of arms identified as that of Henricus de Cronenberg.
An inscription in Latin names the nuns who served as needleworkersSophia, Hadewigs, and Lucardisand invokes Jesus with the prayer that their work be acceptable to him.