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Chalice Veil with Monogram of Christ

Chalice Veil with Monogram of Christ

1500s

Needle lace, mezza mandolina; bleached linen (est.) with red silk thread (est.)

Overall: 52.1 x 53.3 cm (20 1/2 x 21 in.)

Gift of J. H. Wade 1920.1156

Fun Fact

The monogram for Christ derives from the first three letters in his name in Greek – ΙΗΣΟΥΣ. The Greek letter Σ (sigma) is written as an “S” in English.

Description

This piece has been identified as a veil used to cover the chalice that holds the wine until the moment of communion in a Catholic Mass. The central monogram (IHS) abbreviates the name of Christ in Greek, surrounded by a circle of rays that indicate a holy symbol. The technique is of needle lace, knotted in an irregular pattern (mezza mandolina) and darned in two directions.

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