Woven textile

ca. 1870-1872 (made)

Sapognikoff, A & V

Length: 3.5 ft, Width: 2.5 ft

692-1872 T&F

Woven textile, in metal thread and polychrome silk, by A & V Sapognikoff, Moscow, ca. 1870-1872

Brocade woven with silver and three different qualities of gold thread, pink, purple and dark blue and two shades of green. Colours on back show how badly faded the pink and purple are. The pattern comprises geometric shapes (circles, crosses), roundels with Greek crosses, alternating with small roundels with a device, and with Latin crosses. A yellow satin band at the top and the bottom has woven lettering in brown with the name of the company and the symbols of the double-headed and single-headed eagle.

The brothers Alexander and Vladimir Sapognikoff or Sapozhnikovy were descendents of an ancient Russian merchant dynasty which founded a textile firm in 1836 in Moscow. Gold and silver textiles produced there won grand-prix and gold medals several times at international and World exhibitions in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. In 1852 Sapognikoff became official suppliers of the Russian Imperial court, their textiles being used for upholstery, window curtains and draperies in Imperial palaces and in the mansions of the Russian aristocracy. They also supplied the army with flags and standards, the Russian clergy with fabric for vestments, and the court with ceremonial garments. Sapognikoff silks and gold brocades were well known for elaborate patterns, vibrant colours and superior quality. Given its Greek cross pattern, this piece was probably woven for use in an ecclesiastical vestment, perhaps as a phelonion, worn by a priest of the Eastern Christian tradition. It is worn over the priest's other vestments and is the same as the chasuble of Western Christianity.

Location: In Storage

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