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PELENA (ONE OF A SET OF THREE)

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PELENA (ONE OF A SET OF THREE)

Made by: Unknown

Currently in storage


About this object

A pelena is a decorated cloth which is often hung beneath icons as an adornment. This cloth illustrates the lavish needlework that characterizes the finest examples of such cloths. It uses couching, an embroidery technique that permits various effects, such as ripples and zig zags. The cloth is bordered with an inscription in Chruch Slavonic that reads: "Protect us beneath the shelter of thy wings and expunge from us all demonic foes and evil." This cloth is bordered with inscriptions in Church Slavonic taken from the Psalms and Orthodox prayers. Some inscriptions have specific associations with Church holy days, such as the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God celebrated in October

.Embroidered three-bar cross on red silk ground. Cross is embroidered using a couch stitch in gold thread. Cross sits on three “steps” which are also couched gold thread. Flanking the cross is a spear (left) and a sponge (right). Below at the steps is a small irregularly shaped triangle which contains a skull leaning on its right side. Surrounding the cross are abbreviated inscriptions at top in Cyrillic letters: “црь слвы” (King of glory). Between the top bar and second bar of the cross: “ic xc ни ка” (Jesus Christ conquers). Further down: “копие” (spear) (left) and “трост^ь” sponge) (right), and “M” (left), “Л” (right), and “P” (left), and “Б” (right). Above triangular embroidery: “A,” “Г” (Adam’s grave). The entire panel is encircled with a gold embroidered band with couching.The central panel is surrounded by an elaborate viaz inscription in silver thread on a green silk background. At each of the four corners embroidered in gold thread is a six-winged seraphim. Each has a schematic face; brown threads form the hair and the eye pupils, and outline the nose and the eyes. Pale cream thread forms the face. At the outer edge, another gold embroidered border. On the reverse: lined with a faded blue silk, proper right in blue ink: R.(?) 182 struck through. C 1979 E (?).

Category:
needlework
Object name:
PELENA (ONE OF A SET OF THREE)
Made from:
Silk embroidered with gold-wrapped thread (central panel); silk embroidered with silver- and gold-wrapped silk thread -- lined with cotton
Made in:
Russia
Date made:
17th c.
Size:
65.4 x 45.7 cm (25 3/4 x 18 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
43.59
Class:
NEEDLEWORK
Signature marks:
tag UNIVERSITY 2810/E & E/ART/SHOP/621 Grove St. EVANSTON, ILL. Pasted to the back of the frame holding embroidery. This is a beige tag with a blue background. Removed 6-25-2001. inscription P182 (crossed out) Handwritten in purple ink, reverse, upper right. Written in Cyrillic. Presumably an old inventory number. inscription S19792 Handwritten in purple ink, reverse, upper right. Written in Cyrillic. Presumably an old inventory number. inscription 3 sht Handwritten in purple ink, reverse, upper right. Written in Cyrillic. It should be translated as '3 sht[uk],' or 3 pieces, indicating that this object was one of a set. inscription “Protect us beneath the shelter of thy wings and expunge from us all demonic foes and evil.” periphery front In Church Slavonic
Credit line:
Gift of Madame Augusto Rosso, 1970