Pallium with psalm, 19th century

3 November 2011

Dimensions: of the polos, diameter: 13 cm., appliqués: 20 x 20 cm., inscription: 21 x 7 cm.

This is a small pallium with two appliqués and the polos at the neck. A narrow band runs once round the vestment from end to end. This has on it narrow S-shaped decoration in sea-blue, as does the background of the pallium. On the polos, in rays, Christ is portrayed as the Good Shepherd, with the lost sheep in his arms. The appliqués form laced rhombuses which at their four angles terminate in triangular protrusions bearing heads of angels adorned with a single ring of stones. Also decorated with stones are the two Evangelists on the rhombuses: Matthew with his symbol, the angel, and John with the eagle. The two longitudinal appliqués on the hem also end in angels’ heads and have embroidered on them, instead of a dedicatory inscription or, as is usual in the case of pallia, the name of the embroiderer, the beginning of the Psalm 50 (51 in the Hebrew numbering): “HAVE MERCY UPON ME O GOD / ACCORDING TO THY GREAT MERCY”. The verse is framed by a spiral vine tendril, which ends in two angels’ heads.

The Evangelists are shown seated in front of a reading-stand, with their symbols next to them and holding a Gospel in their hand, open in the case of John at the beginning of his Gospel, and in that of Matthew at Matt. 21: 46. Above the head of each is the initial of his name.

The whole of the background is embroidered in gold thread, and the garments of the Evangelists and of their symbols in sea-blue silk. The appliqués have a gold background, while the tendril is in green with black. The faces have the appearance of having been painted. The composite design of the cross-shaped appliqués, the plethora of stones around the angels, and the embroidery itself do not indicate a particularly advanced workshop.