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Friday, November 27, 2009

The Burgos Cope



An angel holding instruments of the Passion.
Detail from the embroidered orphreys of the Burgos cope, 1437
Embroidery in silk and gold thread
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


This is part of a cope that once belonged to Don Alfonso of Cartagena.

He was born of a converted Jewish father who had risen rapidly in the Spanish church. He was Bishop of Burgos from 1435 to 1456. While attending the Council of Basel, he expanded his power and prestige. This particular cope, along with forty others in a series of which twenty-four survive, is thought to have been presented to the Cathedral of Burgos by the bishop upon his return from Basel in 1437