Coronation Mantle of Roger II of Sicily

Coronation Mantle of Roger II of Sicily

Background

The Kufic text around the bottom border of the mantle inform us that the mantle was made in the Palermo work shops of the Norman King, Roger II of Sicily between 1133-1134. The mantle now forms part of the Insignia of the Holy Roman Empire.

Stitches and Techniques

Design and Materials

The mantle is a semi-circle of red silk twill. The centre motif is a Tree of Life pattern with stylized animals on either side - a lion attaching a camel (the Normans attacking the Muslims). Height: 146 cm, Width: 345 cm

The embroidery is mainly goldwork, done in underside couching with some details made in polychrome silk of red, light blue, yellow and dark brown. The inner drawings of the palmettes was originally done in silk in chain stitch (it is now replaced by gold). Most patterns are outlined in a double row of pearls.

Links

Sources for Further Information

Detail of Mantle

Detail of Mantle showing enamel

Images kindly provided by Prof Michael Greenhalgh

Detail of Goldwork of Mantle

Detail of Goldwork of Mantle

Images kindly provided by Prof Michael Greenhalgh