Secular ceremonies and rituals
ULITA in Leeds (UK) houses a formal agbada robe for a Yoruba man in Nigeria (c. 1940; 129 x 257 cm). Such a garment is related to the riga robe worn by the Hausas all over West Africa. The robe is made of 48 hand woven strips of etu ('guinea fowl', for the speckled appearance) cloth, which is the very valuable, dark-indigo dyed cotton or silk of the region, and which is characterised by the insertion of white warp (or weft) threads.
The West African country of Ghana is known for the production of banners and flags decorated with appliqué. These items are often associated with the Fante people, and in particular with the Asafo, military companies who live in the western coastal region of the country.
A panel with a length of 125 cm and with fine embroidery is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The panel is worked on a silk ground material with gold paper thread and silk thread. The panel was used for the over-robe of a Korean bride in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries. She would wear this over-robe at her entrance to her new husband's family home.
During their coronation, British monarchs are dressed in a series of specific garments. The order in which the garments are worn during the ceremonies is based on the Liber Regalis, a fourteenth century illuminated manuscript. The appearance of the garments has changed little since the seventeenth century. The following description of the garments is based on the investiture of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York houses a ceremonial woman's skirt (localled called lau hada) decorated with beadwork. It derives from the island of Sumba, in the modern province of East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, and dates to the early twentieth century. It measures 157.5 x 49.5 cm. It is made of cotton with a decoration made of nassa shells and glass beads.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York houses a ceremonial costume element with woven decoration and with beadwork. It derives from the island of Timor, in the modern province of East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, and dates to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. It is 44.45 cm wide and made of cotton.
Metropolitan Museum of Art online catalogue (retrieved 7 January 2017).
By the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Cloth of State in England was a set consisting of a canopy (called a ceeler) and a long back (tester) hung against the wall. The set above and behind the monarch's throne. It was often made of very rich damask, brocade or velvet cloth and embroidered with armorial (such as a coat-of-arms) designs.
The coronation dress of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain (1953) was worn by the Queen at her coronation in Westminster Abbey, London. The garment was designed by the royal couturier Sir Norman Hartnell. The dress is made of white satin and embroidered with gold and silver thread and pastel-coloured silks. It is further decorated with seed pearls and crystals, which create a glittering lattice-work effect.
The Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin holds a silk and gold and silver thread embroidered woman's cape from what is now Ethiopia. It appears to be one of a number of comparable capes commissioned by the Ethiopian emperor, Tewodros II (c. 1818-1868), from the Adwa workshops, as part of his overtures to Queen Victoria for the modernisation of the country and defence against the Muslim neighbouring states.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam houses a richly embroidered herald's tabard (Dutch: wapenrok) that was worn at the funeral of Prins Frederik Hendrik van Oranje Nassau (1584-1647), stadhouder of the Netherlands, in Delft on 10 May 1647. Four heralds were wearing such a tabard; a fifth was held up on a standard (see engraving). This is the only one still extant, and measures 90 x 120 cm.
The Hungarian Coronation Mantle is a semicircular cloak densely embroidered with gold and silk. It dates to the eleventh century. The mantle is part of the coronation regalia of Hungary since at least the thirteenth century. The mantle was last worn at the coronation of Charles IV in 1916. After the Second World War (1939-1945), the coronation regalia, including the mantle, were sent to the USA for safe keeping. They were returned in 1978.
The Imperial Gloves form part of the imperial regalia of the (German) Holy Roman Empire. The gloves date to before AD 1220. The gloves are believed to have been made in Sicily. They are made of red silk decorated with applied jewels and enamelled plaques. The front and back of the gloves are decorated with couched goldwork using a plate thread.
The Imperial Mantle is a large, semi-circular mantle or cloak worn by the sovereign during the British coronation ceremony. The Imperial Mantle is also known as the Pallium or the Dalmatic Robe. The design is based on earlier mantles and has its origins in a priestly garment (cope). Its form has not changed much since the medieval period.