Cope

Date: early 17th century

Geography: Iran

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Silk, metal thread

Dimensions: Textile: L. 57 in. (144.8 cm)
W. 123 1/2 in. (313.7 cm)
With fringe: L. 60 in. (152.4 cm)
W. 126 1/2 in. (321.3 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Woven

Credit Line: Anonymous Gift, 1949

Accession Number: 49.32.71

Description

This garment exemplifies the use of Iranian textiles throughout Europe. Worn in Christian liturgical services, it is made of several lengths of Safavid luxury silk adorned with metal-wrapped threads. The lattice framework of the design houses a symmetrical bouquet of poppies and tulips around a centrally placed iris in a vase. Additional flowers wind their way on a foliate vine throughout the lattice on a golden yellow ground. The cope is lined with red silk and would have been draped over the shoulders along the straight edge, with the golden fringe fluttering as the wearer walked through the processional. The garment most likely had a detachable hood that would have been fastened where the triangular areas are located.

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