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Made by: Sergei Ivanovich Vashkov

Currently in storage

About this object

Vestments worn by Russian Orthodox clergy are magnificently embellished to emphasize the glory of the kingdom of God, which the Orthodox believe is encountered within the mystery of the church. By the turn of the 20th century, Russian manufacturers of vestments were hiring professionally-trained designers to create patterns for their fabrics. The pattern for this vestment was based on Italian and Turkish textiles used by the Muscovite court during the 1600s.

Although the felon' resembles older garments made from a variety of fabrics, the entire felon' (with the exception of the apparels) was woven as a single piece and sewn in the front. The garment's pattern is rendered in multi-colored gold accented with silver, black, and dark blue (the silk chenille). In places, orange silk is visible where the metallic-wrapped threads have broken down. These traces of orange would not have been apparent when the fabric was first woven. The bold pattern is made up of large and highly stylized palmettes, pomegranates, and leaves. The large scale of the pattern recalls the sixteenth and seventeenth-century Italian velvets and Ottoman silks from which older Russian vestments were often made and is most likely meant to evoke these historic prototypes. As is typical of felon'y, there are two wide, apparels (decorative bands) applied. Those on this garment are extremely plain, woven bands of gold. A similar, thinner band is sewn into the hem at the neck and around the bottom. Applied to the back of the garment, as is also typical on a felon', are a large, Latin, or equal-armed cross (near the top) and a large star (near the hem). Both are rendered in heavy stumpwork of gold-wrapped thread. Both forms are generalized and less ornamented than earlier examples in the collection, suggesting an attempt by the designer to match the more modern, stylized forms of the fabric.

Object name:
Made from:
Silk -- cotton -- silk chenille -- gold-wrapped silk thread -- silver-wrapped silk thread -- silver gilt buttons
Made in:
Moscow, Russia
Date made:
ca. 1900
139.7 cm (55 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
MARK; INSCRIPTION at hem: number 10359 pH; silver filigree buttons: AT
Credit line:
Gift of Dina Merrill Robertson, 1977