Blue Tunicella or Dalmatic

Image of Blue Tunicella or Dalmatic

Blue Dalmatic from Sicily

Background

This garment forms yet another part of the Insignia of the Holy Roman Empire. This tunicella is from the Roger II period, also from the Royal Workshops of Sicily.

Stitches and Techniques

Design and Materials

The embroidery on the cuffs of the sleeve of the Tunicella, which was worn under the Alba, is unusual. Rows of pearls form palmettes that are decorated with small threaded tubes of gold. After application, these fragile tubes were flattened, and some are lost. This unusual decoration has so far remained unique. The neck is framed by three centimetres wide tablet weave, which is itself framed by indiidually applied pearls. It is similar to the decoration used on the Alba.

The body of the dalmatic is made from a deep purple silk. The apparels (cuff and lower border) were made from what appears to be red silk twill - similar to the materials used in the construction of the Coronation Mantle of Roger II of Sicily. The cuffs have extensive pearl work with the gold on this section being made up of extremly small gold tubes couched down to the ground fabric.

Materials include blue and red velvet, gold embroidery, gold appliqués with cloisonné enamel and filligree, pearls; l. 141,5 cm, 343 cm wide at hem

Links

Sources for Further Information

  • Schuette, Marie and Muller-Christensen, Sigrid, The Art of Embroidery, (London: Thames and Hudson, 1964)
Detail of cuff from Blue Dalmatic

Detail of cuff from Blue Dalmatic

Images kindly provided by Prof Michael Greenhalgh

Detail of lower border from Blue Dalmatic

Detail of lower border from Blue Dalmatic

Images kindly provided by Prof Michael Greenhalgh