7th May 2023

Extant secular ceremonial mantles: 1014 - 1275

by Yannick Koch

Ceremonial mantles were a sign of power and wealth from the early middle ages on. They were made from expensive fabric such as brocade or silk samit and adorned with gold embroidery, stones, pearls, enamel and other precious materials.


This article has the goal of compiling all extant secular ceremonial mantles from the 11th century, starting with the Star mantle of Henry II, who was made in 1014,  until the 13th century, ending with the mantle of Fernando de la Cerda who was buried in 1275.


All purely liturgical copes were excluded. I exclude them because the corpus would become too large for a coherent study.


I also included a few fragments which are believed to belong to mantles (13.1 - 13.3)


1 - The Star mantle of Henry II


1014 - 1024 / 1453-55


Material and Technique:

Fabric : The original silk fabric was of a dark violet colour partly remaining on the back of the embroidered elements. The embroidered inscriptions and motifs were cut out and resewn to a blue Italian silk during the 15th century to "restore" the worn-out original fabric.

Embroidery: Gold Thread (very fine gold strips twisted around a reddish yellow silk core), white, blue, green and red silk thread.



Height: 154cm

Width: 297cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: Italy

Embroidery: Regensburg or Bamberg


Holding Institute:

Diözesanmuseum, Bamberg, Germany

Inv. N. 2728/3-6


The Star Mantle © Yannick Koch

The Star Mantle is one of the earliest extant medieval ceremonial mantles. Thje origin of the mantle can be taken from the inscription on the lower right edge :



" Peace be to Ismahel who commissioned this " 


It was gifted to Henri II in 1020 by Duke Melus of Bari who tried to gain Henry's support for his uprising against the Byzantines.

The dedicaction on the lower hem proves that Ismahel had intended the mantle for the emperor :



" Ornament  of Europe, Emperor Henry, you are blessed. May the king who rules for ever increase your realm "


However, Henry ultimately refused to wear the mantle and instead donated it to Bamberg Cathedral after having another inscription with the wish for devine favour embroidered below the Christ square : 



" May this gift of the emperor be welcome to the highest being "


The pictorial programme of the regalia, which is literally covered with gold embroidery, can be taken from the inscription on the lower left edge :



" Description of the whole world "


A majestas domini aplliqué with Christ enthoned the mandorla, sorrounded by the four beings of the Apocalypse, occupi4es the most prominent positionin the centre of the upper back of the mantle. Christ is flanked by Sol, the personified sun. Luna, the moon, A cherub, a seraph as well as Alpha and Omega, the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet as a symbol for the beginning and end of the world. The world, which is cimpletely subordinate to Christ, is represetned by Mary the Mother of God, John the Baptist, two holy bishops and siy nimbed seated figures, while thc zodiac signs and the two hemispheres stand for the entire universe. The numerous, extremely elaborately crafted depictions are each sourrounded by likewise embroidered aphorisms, which were based on the Phanomena (celestial phenomena ) of Aratos, a doctrinal poem written in the third century BC, some of which were incorrectly translated into Latin. 

The Starmantle of Henry II © Diözesanmuseum Bamberg

2 - The blue mantle of St. Kunigunde


c. 1012  / 1437-1441


Material and Technique:

Fabric : The original silk fabric was á blue silk samite although, as with the Star Mantle of Henry II, the original ground fabric was "restored" in the 15th century and swapped with a blue silk satin

Embroidery: Gold Thread (very fine gold strips twisted around a redddish silk core), white, light and dark blue and red silk threads in steam stitch. In the 15th century the goldthread embroidery was outlined with red silk thread



Height: 158cm

Width: 286cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: Italy

Embroidery: Regensburg or Bamberg


Holding Institute:

Diözesanmuseum, Bamberg, Germany

Inv. N. 2728/3-5


The blue mantle of St Kunigunde © Yannick Koch

The blue mantle of St. Kunigunde is the oldest preserved ceremonial mantle with a pictorial programme filling the entire surface.

The mantle's main motif is near the top of the centre back, formed from a mandorla framed by twelve overlapping parti-circles. This motif is sourrounded by framed and itnerlinked circles arranged in six horizontal and a maximum of 12 vertical rows, each ecnlosing a scene or figure. 

Most circles are turned so that the scnees contained within them would be vertical when the mantle was worn.

The space between the circles is filled with gold embroidered foliate ornament in cruciform pattern.

Narrow bands embroidered with plant ornaments inhabited with birds and beasts with backwards turned heads edge the garment on all sides.

The transfer of 1437-1441  was carried out in a manner that approximately preserved the original. However, this transfer and its restoration in 1951-1953 made the mantle about 14cm longer.

The blue mantle of St Kunigunde © Diözesanmuseum Bamberg

3 - The white mantle of St. Kunigunde


1014-1024 / 1440-1442


Material and Technique:

Fabric : The original silk fabric was white, partly remaining on the back of the embroidered elements. The embroidered motifs were cut out and resewn to a salmon red silk damaksk during the 15th century to "restore" the worn-out fabric.

Embroidery: Gold Thread (very fine gold strips twisted around a reddish silk core), black and red silk threads.



Height: 158cm

Width: 273cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: Byzantium

Embroidery: Southern Germany


Holding Institute:

Diözesanmuseum, Bamberg, Germany

Inv. N. 3.3.0002


The white mantle of St Kunigunde © Yannick Koch

In its present form, the rob apears as a white semi-circular mantle with a total of 71 identical figures arranged at tight angles. The gold and silk embroideries show a bearded ruler enthroned with a pendyle crown, a loros, the globe in his legt hand and the labarum in his right.The embroidery work is executed in appliqué technique and individual details have been worked out in red and black silk.

The figures are offset in rows and were probably connected with Latin verses, but most of the inscriptions have been lost and their content is unknown.

The original base fabric was a white silk fabric from Byzantium, dated around 1000. The origin of the embroidery is assumed to be the beginning of the 11th century in southern Germany.As the arrangment of the gold embroidery is unusual for a semi-circular cloak, it is assumed that it was originally rectangular or square in shape. One possibility would be as a chlamys for Henry II. The reference to the emperor is corroborated by the fact that a mantle inscription could be identified as HEINRICI. Another use could be as cover for the emperor's tomb. In the cathedral treasure register of 1127, two blankets at the emperor's tomb are mentioned as " PANNUS SARRACENUS ET ALIUS ACUPICTUS AD SEPULCRUM IMPERATORIS."

When Henry's tomb was remodelled, there was perhaps no longer any use for a blanket; the embroidery was cut out and applied to a new fabric. When or why the attribution to the empress was made remains unanswered. There are two written sources that refer to a red Kunigunde mantle, but it connot be clearly determined whether this is the identical garment. During the restauration work between 1440 and 1442, the figures were transferred to a salmon red silk damask, which had the shape of a choir mantle. Several images of emperors were joined together to form a staff in the middle. In addition, the figures may have stood vertically below each other, and the inscription may have been placed below that figure.  The backplate with St. Kunigunde was made in 1422, the inscription, meanuing "Cloak of Kunigunde"  was embroidered later.

The white mantle of St Kunigunde © Diözesanmuseum Bamberg

4 - The Rider Mantle


1002-1024 / 16th century


Material and Technique:

Fabric: The original silk fabric was a dark blue silk samite partly remaining on the back of the embroidered elements. The embroidery was cut out and resewn to a blue atlas fabric during the 16th century to "restore" the worn out original fabric.

Embroidery: Gold Thread (fine gold strips wound around white and orange-red silk cores) and silk thread



Height: 156cm

Width: 307cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: Sicily or South Italy

Embroidery: Sicily or South Italy


Holding Institute:

Diözesanmuseum, Bamberg, Germany

Inv. N. 3.3.0003 


The Rider Mantle  © Yannick Koch

The half circle mantle was once made from a dark blue silk samite (Some fabric remains on the back of the embroideries) andd was most likely made in Southern Italy or Sicily.

In the 16th century, the embroideries were transferred to a new ground made from a dark blue atlas fabric.

Thriteen large medallions, each 48cm in diameter, cover the mantle in horizontal rows.

Five of the medaillons are partially overlappped by the rim. The embroideries are made in a appliqué technique with gold and coloured silks.

A ruler on horseback with crown and sceptre and a falcon in his hand is depicted. Under the horsse lie three pierced warriors, while a predator attacks from the front. The areas between the medallions are filled with vine work, as well as birds and panthers.

There is also a Kufic inscription on the lining at the hem " al-mulk li Llāh" with the additions "aš-šukr" underneath "baraka", which means: "The dominion is due to God - thanks – blessing ".

The Rider Mantle © Diözesanmuseum Bamberg

5 - Coronation Mantle of Hungary




Material and Technique:

Fabric : The ground fabric consists of a byzantine silk twill, now of an indeterminable dark colour. It is variously described as dark blue (maybe once green), dark purple or red. It is pattterned with tiny green rosettes.

Embroidery: Gold Thread (fine gold strips wound around a yellowish silk core), couched with silk, majorly red but sometimes dark blue, in a vast variety of patternms. Red, brown, blue and green silk threads



Height: 135cm

Width: 268cm


Place of Production:

 Most likely southern Germany


Holding Institute:

National Museum of Hungary, Budapest



The coronation mantle of Hungary

As a part of the hungarian coronation regalia, the semi-circular mantle is closely related to King Stephen and his wife Queen Gisela. This realtion is strengthened by the lation inscription which runs horizontally round the middle of the cloak : 




" This chasuble was made and given to the church St Mary located in the city Alba in the year AD 1031 in the 14th indiction by King Stephen and Queen Gisela "


"The church St Mary" was the royal chapel located in "Regia Alba" or Székesfehrérvár, founded by King Stephen's father in 972 and was the royal residence and capital city of Hungary dunring the middle ages.

As the inscription indicates, the manle was made 30 years after the coronation of King Stephen and was first meant as an ecclesiastic vestment, a chasuble.

It was likely changed to a mantle during the 13th century.

The first known coronation, where it was used, is the coronation of King Andrew III in 1290 and it was last used for the coronation of Charles IV in 1916.

It has been suggested that the motifs of the garment reflect the ´Te Deum', a well known 4th century prayer praising God and enumerating all who venerate him, inculding Angles, Prohets, Apostles and Martyrs and mentioning both the Majesty of the Lord and Christ's future coming in judgement.

The mantle was restored during the 16th century and attached to a new base, fortunately the original fabric was not removed.

The Hungarian Coronation Mantle © Hungarian National Museum

6 - The mantle of Roger II of Sicily





Material and Technique:

Fabric : Red, patterned, silk samite (dyed with Kermes). Brocaded tablet woven band around the lower edge.

Lining: Pink linen, no details published ( ? original since it lies beneath al others?

12th century tapestry-woven lining made of red, green, blue, yellow-ochre, white, black and purple silk, gold thread around silk core.

13th century lining made of near eastern, green, silk lampas.

15th century lining made of Italian, red, silk lampas.

Embroidery: Gold Thread, red, yellow, dark brown or black and light blue silk threads. Pearls, cloisonné enamel plaques and gemstones.



Height: 146cm

Width: 345cm

Weight: 11kg 


Place of Production:

Silk: Probably Byzantine (Allthough Palermo might be possible aswell as mulberry trees were cultivated in Calabria during the 11th century)

Embroidery: Nobiles Officinae, the royal workshops in Palermo


Holding Institute:

KHM, Vienna, Austria

Inv. N. WS XIII 14

Fragment of the lining:

Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK

Inv. N. T.2007.11


 The Mantle of Roger II of Sicily © KHM and Whitwoorth Art Gallery

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, was a strategic position for both warfare and trade. It has been ruled by Byzantine Emperors since the mid-6th century, so its culture was mainly greek when it was attacked by Muslims in the mid-9th century and slowly conquered until the early 10th century, though Chistians, were allowed to practice their religion. Latin Christianity spread after the conquest of Sicily by the Normans, though Greek orthodox Christianity, as well as Islam was tolerated. All this made it a melting pot of various cultures.

King Henry VI of Germany married Roger II's daughter Constance. Due to that marriage, the mantle come into the possesion of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Kufic Inscription around the lower edge of the mantle testifies that it was made in Palermo during the reign of Roger II :


"This belongs to the articles worked in the royal workshop, (which has) flourished with fortune and honour, with industry and perfection, with might and merit, with (his) sanction and (his) prosperity, with magnanimity and majesty, with renown and beauty and the fulfilment of desires and hopes and with felicitous days and nights without cease or change, with honour and solicitude with portection and defence, with success and certainty, with triumph and industry. In the (capital) citiy of Sicily in the year 528 "


It is often mistakenly called "The coronation mantle of Roger II" which isn't quite right as Roger II was crowned in Palermo Cathedral on Christman Day 1130 whereever the Kufic inscription of the mantle states the year 528 of the Hegira which is 1133-1134 in the Gregorian Calendar.

During the 14th century it became the coronation mantle of the German Emperors and was last used during the coronatino of Emperor Franz II in 1792.

The base textile is a high quality, monochrome, deep red, Kermes dyed, incised silk samite. It is richly embroidered with gold thread, worked in underside couching, and some coloured silk threads. Almost all the edges of the embroidered elements are outlined with double rows of pearls. There are over 100.000 pearls on the mantle. On the orphrey at the top straight border of the mantle are numerous cloisonné enamel plaques and gemstones sewn to the silk. As the inscription is Kufic, the embroidery is assumed to be made by arabic craftsmen working in the Nobiles Officinae.

The Tree that divides the mantle in middle is mostly interpreted as the tree of life or a date palm. On either side of the tree/palm is a lion attacking a camel or dromedary. This motif is of middle eastern origin and woven designs of lions feature some of the most prestigious silks reaching the west as diplomatic gifts from Byzantium. However, the design is often interpreted as a symbol of the victory of the Hauteville Dynasty over the Arabs.

The straight border is decorated with quatrefoils containing Fleur de Lys alternating with gold lozenges.


The mantle of Roger II of Sicily © KHM 

7 - THe mantle of Emperor Otto IV


c. 1200


Material and Technique:

Fabric: Kermes dyed silk samite

Lining: Tabby woven linen

Embroidery: Gold and silver-gilt threads (fine gold and silver-gilt strips wound around an undyed silk core). Brownish-black and white silk threads



Height: 133cm

Width: 314,5cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: Byzantium

Embroidery: possibly English


Holding Institute:

Herzog Anton-Ulrich Museum, Braunschweig, Germany

Inv. N. MA.1



The Mantle of Otto IV © Bildindex

The mantle was found by accident in 1858, as one of the wrappings of scientific instruments of the Collegium Carolinum in Braunschweig. When its medieval embroidery was recognised, it was given to the museum. That it was not, as formerly thought, an altar cover, was recognised by Dr Carl Schiller in 1876 who had it reconstructed to its semi-circular form. Schiller believed the combination of Lions and Eagles showed connections with the Empire and the Guelphs.

The embroidery consists of three surviving eagles, with spread wings, in a vertical row down the middle. On both sides are seven rows of prancing lions alternating with stars and crescent moons.

On the straight edge are on one side the enthroned Christ, blessing with his right hand and holding a book with his left and on the other side the Virgin Mary, also enthroned, crowned and holding a flower. Below on each side are four angels (the lowest on the left side is missing).

The embroidery is done with gold thread, black and white silk. The white silk was used for hands, faces and feet. Details and outlines are done in black silk.  

The mantle of Emperor Otto IV © Herzog Anton-Ulrich Museum

8 - The mantle of Philip of Swabia


c. 1200


Material and Technique:

Fabric: unpattterned light silk samite

Lining: Tabby woven linen

Embroidery: Gold thread, brown and purple silk thread



Height: 140cm

Width: 305cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: Byzantium

Embroidery: possibly English


Holding Institute:

Historisches Museum der Pfalz, Speyer , Germany

Inv. N. D 332


The Mantle of Philip of Swabia © Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer

At the discovery of the mantle in 1900, it was described as a silk garment in the form of a cope, with a gold embroidered edging around the neck and embroidered discs on both right and left breast, laid over the body.

In the first restoration the found fragments were applied to a yellow silk taffeta. Due to the poor survival qualities of this support, the remains were transferred, with some corrections to the initial layout, to a brownish cotton ground in 1960. The whole was then covered in crepeline.

The original mantle was determined to be of an either golden-yellow or a bright light-beige silk although now in poor condition and brownish in colour.

There is evidence for a ca. 5.5cm wide edging strip of the same colour silk and there is a small, 6cm long fragment of a fringe, on a tablet woven border sewn around the bottom edge.

Probably the most interesting fragment are the two discs which are appliqued onto the samite ground at around chest height. They are of a similar silk but woven finer and embroidered with gold and silk thread.

The disc on the left side shows the Christ, blessing with his right hand and carrying a book with his left hand. The disc on the right side shows the Virgin Mary.

The Mantle of Philip of Swabia © Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer

9 - The Eagle Mantle from Metz




Material and Technique:

Fabric: unpatterned, red, kermes and madder dyed, samite

Lining: Tabby woven linen

Embroidery: silver-gilt thread (fine silver-gilt strips wound around a bright yellow silk core) White, yellow-green, blue-green, green, blue, red, purple, dark-brown and black silk thread.



Height: 143cm

Width: 301cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: Most likely Sicily

Embroidery: Most likely in the Nobiles Officinae


Holding Institute:

Trésor de la Cathédrale de Metz



The Eagle mantle from Metz © Anthony Caprio

This mantle is probably the least known of all the imperial mantles. It is often referred as

“la chape de Charlemagne” – “the Cope of Charlemagne” which is obviously not the case.

The mantle was first shown to the wide public in the exhibition “Die Zeit der Staufer” in 1977 in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Orphrey on the straight edge and the cappa are a 16th century addition.

The main elements of the embroidery are the four, nimbed, eagles with outspread wings and tail. Crescents and floral elements fill the spaces between the eagles. Both side-eagles have discs with animal embroidery in their wings.

Due to the symbolism of the embroidery, the Hohenstaufen used the eagle as their heraldic symbol, it is commonly accepted that this mantle was made for one of the coronations of German Emperor Frederic II. This places the mantle clearly into the early 13th century.

The assumption of Sicily as the place of origin is backed by a few other specimens which were produced in the Nobilies Officinae. The nimbed eagle on the glove of Frederic II resembles quite a lot the eagles on the mantle. The silk samite of the mantle is very similar in the weave to the samite of the blue tunicella of Roger II and to the samite of both the chausses and shoes belonging to the imperial coronation regalia.

The Eagle Mantle © Trésor de la Cathédrale de Metz

10 - The Parrot Mantle from Vicenza


Prior to 1261?


Material and Technique:

Fabric: unpattterned, red, samite (Kermes dyed?)

Embroidery: silver-gilt thread (fine silver-gilt strips wound around a bright yellow silk core) ocre, teal, green, white and black silk threads



Height: 131cm

Width: 293cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: ?

Embroidery: Cyprus or Sicily


Holding Institute:

Museo Diocesano, Vicenza, Italy



The Parrot Mantle from Vicenza © Museo Diocesano

The parrot's mantle has been handed down since the 16th century as a gift from Louis IX King of France, to Bishop Bartolomeo da Vicenza, who is said to have passed the mantle on to the Dominican Convent of Santa Corona in Vicenza in 1261.

At the end of 1259, Bartolomeo da Vicenza actually stayed at the court of Louis IX in Paris, where he received a thorn from the crown of thorns of Christ and a relic of the cross as gifts from Louis.

At the beginning of 1260, he returned to Vicenza with the relics and, in analogy to the Sainte-Chapelle built by Louis IX in Paris, began the construction of the church and conventual building of Santa Corona, to which he donated the thorn relic.

Previous research assumes neither the inventory of Bartolomeo da Vicenza's personal property of the 14th May 1260 nor the deed of donation to Santa Corona of the 14th March 1261 mention the parrot mantle and conclude that the donation of the mantle cannot be historically documented.

Among the items listed in the inventory of 1260 the parrot mantle is indeed not to be found among the four pluvials mentioned. These are described at the beginning of the inventory for the regalia consisting of several liturgical vestments. In a later place, however, a red chasuble is mentioned that was adorned with golden "auxelli": "ITEM UNA PLANETA RUBEA COM AUXELLIS AUREIS".

The term "auxellus" could be a spelling variant for "aucellus/avi- cellus" (small bird).

The fact that the wheel-shaped mantle is classified as a chasuble is not unusual and could be explained by the identical section of the medieval bell chasuble and the semi-circular pluvial.

In any case, the parrot mantle, which has been in the possession of the church since 1504, was counted in local sources since the end of the 16th century among the gifts of Saint Louis to Bartolomeo and venerated as a (secondary) relic.

The fact that Louis the Saint combined donations of relics with cloaks possibly from his personal use is documented in the case of another donation of a thorn relic and a cloak to the Dominican convent in Liège for the year 1267.

It can be assumed that, after the late 14th century, the ruler's mantle was reworked into a liturgical pluvial after the donation to Santa Corona


Another possible theory is that the mantle was actually made in the royal workshops in Palermo and then gifted to Ezzelino III. da Romano by Frederic II, German Emperor, and then transferred to the commune, and later to the convent of Santa Corona, after his death in 1259.

In fact, Frederick II had close relations with the Ghibelline Veneto, especially with Ezzelino, who had ruled Vicenza since 1236 and was allied with Frederick.

The Parrot Mantle from Vicenza © Museo Diocesano

11 - The mantle of Fernando, Son of Alfonso X


c. 1250


Material and Technique:

Fabric: Silk Brocade with gold and silver thread



Height: 89cm

Width: 193cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: Al-Andalus


Holding Institute:

Las Huelgas, Burgos, Spain

Inv. N. 00650508




The mantle of Fernando, Son of Alfonso X © Vestiduras Ricas

This mantle for Fernando, son of Alfonso X, who died as a child in the mid 13th century, was made of a green brocade with a geometric alternation of eight-pointed stars with floral patterns and quatrefoils with griffins facing the tree of life. These main motifs are connected by squares with four-petal flowers.

The gold used for the embroidery is of a very high purity.

The green silk threads of the brocade were dyed with reseda and woad.

The mantle of Fernando, Son of Alfonso X © Vestiduras Ricas

12 - The mantle of Fernando de la Cerda


Prior to 1275


Material and Technique:

Fabric: Silk Samite with gold and silver-gilt thread.

Lining: Rabbit Fur



Height: 122cm

Width: 390cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: Al-Andalus


Holding Institute:

Las Huelgas, Burgos, Spain

Inv. N. 001/008 M H






The mantle of Fernando de la Cerda © Vestiduras Ricas

The mantle of Infante Fernando de la Cerda appears to be made of one single piece of fabric although the lower part of the curved edge has been destroyed by the decomposition of the body and is now replaced by a more recent fabric.

Mantle is covered with heraldic motifs (the Coat of Arms of Castile) and was in the same fabric as Fernando’s Saya encordata and Pelotte. In contrary to most other mantels, the pattern is not designed so that the shields all face the same direction when worn symmetrically. When worn, on the right front, the shield would the upright and on the left front side, the shields would be upside down.

Like Fernando’s Pelotte, the mantle had been lined with rabbit fur.

Two tablets woven bands, with fringes at the ends, used to close the mantle, were one attached to it. On the reconstruction they were reattached to the straight edge about a quarter from each end which is most likely not the correct placement.

In the Libro de los Juegos of Alfonso X. (f. 71r), 2 similar mantles can be spotted.

The bands have symmetrical decoration in rectangular panels, with lions alternating with castles, in blue, yellow and red, on a base of a red herringbone pattern. 

The mantle of Fernando de la Cerda © Las Huelgas

13 - Fragments

13.1 - Fragment of the mantle of Fernando III


Prior to 1252


Material and Technique:

Fabric: Silk Brocade 



Height: 45cm

Width: 35cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: Sevilla


Holding Institute:

Armeria del Palacia Real Madrid

Abegg Stiftung

Inv. N. 3967


Fragment of the mantle of Fernando III © Armeria del Palacia Real Madrid

This fragment shows the coat of arms of Castile-León: a red lion on a white ground (León) and a golden castle with three towers on a red ground (Castile). The King´s mantle would have consisted of countless such fields arranged in an chessboard pattern. This exceptionally finely worked tapestry was probably made by Muslim weavers in the service of the Christian kings.


It is probably this strip belonged to the lower end of the mantle, since it includes a portion of the broder, formed by a series of horizontal stripes of blue, yellow, red and gold.


In the Libro de los Juegos, Alfonso X. is depicted wearing a similar mantle.

Fragment of the mantle of Fernando III © Abegg Stiftung

13.2 - Fragments of the coronation mantle and dalmatic of Richard of Cornwall



Prior to 1257


Material and Technique:

Fabric: Blue Silk Samite

Embroidery: Silver-gilt thread (fine strips of silver-gilt wound around an undyed linen core)



Cluny a:

Height: 21,2cm

Width: 9,8cm

Cluny b:

Height: 9,3cm

Width: 12,2cm


Height: 36,8cm

Width: 44cm

Domschatzkammer Aachen:

Height: 112cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: ?

Embroidery: German or English ?


Holding Institute:

Musée de Cluny

Inv. Nr. Cl.13275a,b

Victoria and Albert Museum

Inv Nr. 8580-1863

Domschatzkammer Aachen







Chasuble from Aachen © Bildindex

Fragment of the mantle of Richard of Cornwall © V&A

These gold-embroidered pieces of silk and chasuble (made in 1848) are supposedly fragments of the coronation dalmatic and cloak donated by Richard of Cornwall among other objects to the coronation collegiate of Aachen in 1262.

The Cluny Fragments are showing scrolling foliage and crowned lions embroidered to the silk samite.

The Victoria and Albert Fragment shows winged griffins and scrolling foliage.

The chasuble from the Domschatzkammer in Aachen is the most complete “fragment”. The decoration is exactly the same as on the fragments from Cluny and the V&A only that one can now see lions and griffins on one piece.

There is another fragment in the Musée du Tissus in Lyon but i couldn't find any information about it.

Fragments of the mantle of Richard of Cornwall © Musée de Cluny

13.3 - Fragment of the mantle of Infante Don Felipe of Castile


1250 - 1274


Material and Technique:

Fabric: Silk Brocade 



Height: 33,9cm

Width: 12,1cm


Place of Production:

Silk Fabric: Al-Andalus


Holding Institute:

Cooper Hewitt Collection

Inv. N. 1902-1-978


This Fragment was discovered in the tomb of the Infante Don Felipe of Castile at the church of Santa María la Blanca in Villalcázar de Sirga, Palencia.

Felipe famously led a noble rebellion against his brother Alfonso X, king of Castile, and eventually decided to seek asylum in the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada.

Felipe may have acquired this sumptuous mantle while residing at this center of silk production.

A tunic with a similar geometric pattern was also found in his tomb.

The pattern of this textile consists of bands of ornamented rosettes and a central row of Kufic script reflected over a horizontal axis. This stylized inscription may repeat the word “barakah,” which invokes blessings.

Fragments of the mantle of Don Felipe of Castile 

© Cooper Hewitt Collection


-Kleidung im Mittelalter - Katrin Kania - 2010

-Clothing the Past - Elizabeth Coatsworth & Gale R. Owen-Crooker - 2018

-Textile Kostbarkeiten staufischer Herrscher - Imgard Siede, Annemarie Stauffer - 2011

-English Medieval Embroidery - Clare Brown, Glyn Davies, M.A. Michael - 2016

-Die textilen Geschenke Papst Bonifaz' VIII an die Kathedrale von Anagni - Christiane Elster - 2018

-Il Piviale dei pappagalli. Dal trono all'altare - Museo Diocesano Vicenza - 2014

-La Espana del sigle XIII leída en imágenes - Gonzalo Menéndez-Pidal - 1986

-Vestiduras Ricas, El monasterio de Las Huelgas y su época 1170-1340 - Concépcion Herrero Carretero, Joaquín Yarza Luaces - 2005

-Herrschermäntel im Früh- und Hochmittelalter unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des römisch-deutschen Reiches -

Christl Götz-Schmerschneider - 2017

-Nobiles Officinae : Die königlichen Hofwerkstätten zu Palermo zur Zeit der Normanen und Staufer im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert - Wilfried Seipel - 2004

- Des Kaisers letzte Kleider: Neue Forschungen zu den organischen Funden aus der Herschergräbern im Dom zu Speyer - Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer - 2011

- Die Bamberger Kaisergewänder unter der Lupe - Norbert Jung, Holger Kempkens  - 2021