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ALTAR CLOTH (POKROVETS)

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ALTAR CLOTH (POKROVETS)

Made by: Unknown

Currently in storage


About this object

In the Russian Orthodox Church, altar cloths cover chalices and dishes used for Holy Communion. Covering these vessels emphasizes the sacredness of the consecrated Eucharistic gifts of wine and bread. The four flaps on this altar cloth make it easy to drape over the vessels.

This pokrovets made from a deep purple velvet is somewhat unusual in that its design deviates slightly from the standard format. Rather than being made in the form of a Latin or Maltese cross, its arms are scalloped. The entire piece is edged with a heavy gold fringe and each of the arm ends with a large tassel covered in gold-wrapped silk thread. Embroidered in the center of the pokrovets is a cross, also with scalloped edges on its arms. The center is outlined in a heavy satin stitch and the lines serve as the baseline from which radiates rays of embroidery and a profusion of unusually small gilt spangles. Within the center of each of these rays are rendered the Cyrillic letters BG" for Bog, or God, in silver. The reverse is lined with a light blue silk.

Category:
needlework
Object name:
ALTAR CLOTH (POKROVETS)
Made from:
Velvet -- silk -- gold-wrapped silk thread -- silver-wrapped silk thread -- gilt spangles -- wood
Made in:
RUSSIA
Date made:
Late 19th c.
Size:
55.9 x 55.9 cm (22 x 22 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
43.31
Class:
NEEDLEWORK
Signature marks:
LABEL Original description says that there was a paper tag with a price of ten rubles attached to back with a straight pin. It is no longer extant. inscription BG" Rendered in sequins on front four times. Translation: GD, or God in Russian.
Credit line:
Gift of Dina Merrill Robertson, 1977