Animal patterns in European velvets were rare during this period, which suggests that the unusual design of this polychrome silk velvet was a special commission and may depict the device of a particular family or individual. The unidentified birds facing each other (perhaps swans or herons) are skillfully detailed by fine lines of contrasting color. The silk pile of this chasuble is composed of fours colors: two shades of green, punctuated with a deep vivid pink and off-white. The white is almost completely gone—probably due to the corrosive effects of the bleaching process necessary to achieve this color.
Count and Countess De Kermaingant (until 1926; sale, American Art Association, November 1926) ; Ann Payne Blumenthal (until 1941; to MMA)
Artist:Date: ca. 1730–35 Accession Number: 25.134.1a, b Date:ca. 1730–35Medium:Pine; carved, painted, gilded, and varnished linden wood decorated with colored decoupage prints; mirror glass; the inside of the fall front lined wiht silk not original to the secretaryAccession:25.134.1a, bOn view in:Gallery 507