Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Imperial Coronation gloves

With Coronations in mind, and also the Holy Emperor Frederick II, about whom I have been teaching recently, I came across these splendid pictures recently on the internet and thought I would copy them for others to appreciate the craftsmenship involved and the ceremonial that workmanship served to augment.

Gloves of Frederick II

Gloves of Emperor Frederick II

The Insignia of the Holy Roman Empire preserved in the Schatzkammer in the Hofburg in Vienna is a set of various items of clothing collected and made over a period of many years that were used by various Emperors of the empire. The robes and other items were often used only on state occasions such as coronations.

These gloves were made in the early thirteenth century for the coronation of Emperor Frederick II in 1220. As with many of the other sumptuous garments that make up the Insignia of the Holy Roman Empire, the gloves were made in the Royal Workshops of Sicily.

The stitches and techniques involved include underside couching,surface couching and applied pearls, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and enamelled plaques. The materials used include red silk and gold wire embroidery, plus the pearls, saphires, rubies, enamelled plaques. The palms of the gloves are worked in the design of single-headed eagle, using gold thread, in underside couching.

Detail of glove

A detail of one of the gloves


Detail of palm of glove

Detail of the palm of a glove

Image and text sources : medieval.webcon.net.au

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