Another exciting acquisition, some religious art and some Tudor textiles!

As I mentioned in my last post I have been collecting textiles from EBay and had just got some beautiful crewelwork. I was on EBay earlier on this week and one of my fave sites to go and browse on had the most wonderful item ever. Normally this seller Antique Textiles and More has some wonderful bits of goldwork and embroidery but this week she had a full priest’s cope in the most wonderful purple fabric with amazing flower embroidery. Well it was on Buy It Now and I had to rescue it ! Just look at these pics and you will see why I am so excited!

Cope 1

Cope 2

It has some wear to the lilies on the back of the cape that I will try and re-stitch but otherwise it is fantastic and I am so looking forward to it arriving – hopefully it will do tomorrow. It is obviously not medieval – the seller had it listed as 19th century and French – but it is still amazing. Most of the other things she sells are only pieces but a whole cope is fantastic. Do go and view her site and have a look as there are some wonderful examples of embroidery there. I can see I will be visiting again for more birthday and Xmas ideas!

I am very into ecclesiastical textiles as befits my role as a nun (see medieval re-enactment page for pics of me in role) and love visiting churches and looking at altar frontals and preists’ garments. This is of course if the children will allow me in churches – I sometimes get limited to one a day unless I can sneak off while they are not looking! As well as the textiles I love looking at the religious art – below is a fantastic piece which is is the cathedral in Oriheula, Spain.

Oriheula cathedral

This following picture was taken in the cathedral in Valencia, Spain which I visited last July.

Valencia cathedral

 As well as the wall art the cathedral in Valencia has the most wonderful ceilings with angels playing musical instruments. This photo only gives you a tiny impression of how magnificent it is.

Valencia ceiling

I bought some prints of the ceiling which I have hung in my bedroom. When we moved house a couple of years ago we decorated the room with a medieval theme so that we could display some of our wonderful textiles, boxes etc – I will post some pics of that at some point.

I have also seen some wonderful textile pieces in museums such as the famous Syon cope which is in the V and A museum in London. Below is a small picture of the cope which really does not do it justice at all.

Syon cope

I have spent some time this week looking for embroidery qualifications to do next year, once I am half time at work and I come back from my trip to Nepal. I have been trying for the last year to find a class that I can attend to do my City and Guilds’ embroidery but cannot find one close enough to home. So I have decided to do a distance learning course and have been doing some research on what is available. If anyone has done this and has any feedback on the course they did please leave a comment as that would be helpful – or if you know of somewhere that teaches it is West Yorkshire.I have found some Creative Textiles classes at local adult education centres that are just for leisure without exams that I will enrol on next year as I find it helps to work with others and share ideas.

I have also treated myself to a wonderful book about the textiles at Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire which I have visited many times. Hardwick was the home of Bess of Hardwick a contemporary of Elizabeth 1st and sometime stitching companion of Mary Queen of Scots and is full of the most amazing 16th century embroidery. My new book is a catalogue of the textiles – pic of the cover and link below. I have only just started reading it but it has a wealth of detail about the textiles.

The Embroideries of Hardwick Hall – Santina Levey

Hardwick hall textiles

I also have another book by the same author called an Elizabethan Inheritance which is about the general running of the household and the costs of the textiles. The pic below is just a small sample of the wonderful work that is in the hall so do visit if you can.If not the books are a fab present!

Hardwick Textiles

I have been watching ‘The Tudors’ on DVD which was an Xmas present and we went today to see ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ at the cinema. The costumes for both were so wonderful and I would love the chance to see them so if any knows of any exhibitions please leave a comment. I have just found this web site about ‘The Tudors’ series which has some wonderful images in the gallery if you are interested in this era of costume. I am thinking about doing a piece based around ideas of blackwork and Catherine of Aragon (who is credited with introducing it to England) so as soon as I get the huge pile of marking I have to do finished I will start on the research for that!

I will leave you with two final pictures – one of Maria Doyle Kennedy who I think is fantastic as Catherine of Aragon in the series –

Maria Doyle Kennedy

and one of the Queen herself.

Catherine of Aragon

What I always find rather pleasing (being a woman!) is despite Henry divorcing Catherine in his desperation to get a male heir his second daughter Elizabeth eventually gained the throne and reigned for a very long time, only superseded by Queen Victoria (another woman) who was of course recently beaten in that record by our present Queen Elizabeth. Kind of makes you believe in divine retribution doesn’t it girls!