The Syon Cope from Syon Abbey, Middlesex. Made between 1300 and 1320, the cope would have been worn by a high-ranking priest or bishop.
- silk thread in Split Stitch
- gold thread in Underside Couching
- Linen ground
Stitches and Techniques
- Split Stitch
- Underside Couching
The Syon Cope has embroidered on it scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary, with figures of the apostles. It is worked in costly silk, silver-gilt and silver thread, which entirely covers the linen background material. The figures are framed in overlapping units, based on the quatrefoil (a form with four lobes).
The identification of some of the heraldic shields in the cope's borders (orphreys), which have been found to relate to families in the area around Thetford, in Norfolk, suggests that it may have been made for a religious order in that area, but this is by no means certain.
- Large Image of the Syon Cope - http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/bbchistory/object_hotspot05.htm
- Detailed Article on the Syon Cope - http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/bbchistory/object_text05.htm
- The History, Making and Images of the Syon Cope - http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/state/church_reformation/nations_britain_01.shtml