Fayrey Pall

The Fayrey Pall, c. 1500, England. The Fayrey Pall, c. 1500, England. Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum, London, acc. no. LOAN:ST.PETER.2.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses the so-called Fayrey Pall. This funeral pall measures 255 x 134 cm and was made in England between 1470 and 1530. It is made of red, silk velvet (probably originating from Italy) and embroidered with silk and metallic thread. It has a metallic fringe.

The pall is officially owned by the Rector and Churchwardens of the Priory Church of St. Peter, Dunstable, in Bedfordshire, England, but from 1976 it has been on permanent loan to the V&A. The pall is presumed to have been donated by Henry Fayrey, who died on 28th December 1516 (according to a text on a stone in the church's middle aisle), to the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist, founded in Dunstable in 1442 (and abolished in 1547). Henry Fayrey was a member of the Mercers' Company of London, and the pall was probably used by the Company (compare the Fishmongers' Pall).

The four side panels of the pall are embroidered with silver gilt and silver thread on linen, and then applied to velvet. Techniques that were used include the long and short stitch, satin and split stitch, together with laid and couched work.

The two smaller side panels show Henry Fayrey and his wife, Agnes. The two larger panels show St. John the Baptist between Henry Fayrey and his wife, with other members of the Fayrey family. One of the four shields that are illustrated bears the arms of the Mercers' Company from London.

See also the Index of Christian Art, No. 267.

V&A online catalogue (retrieved 14 February 2017).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 19 March 2017).



Last modified on Monday, 27 March 2017 19:17