Toledo Cope

The Toledo cope, early 14th century, England. The Toledo cope, early 14th century, England. © Toledo, Tesoro de la Catedral, Museo de Tapices y Textiles de la Catedral.

The Toledo cope, worked in England in the early fourteenth century in the tradition of Opus Anglicanum, is housed in the Catedral Primada de Santa Maria in Toledo. It is embroidered with foliage and birds, and features the Virgin Mary and saints. The scenes are framed by gothic arches. 

This cope may be identical with the pluviale de opere anglicano, which is listed in the will of Cardinal Gil Álvarez Carrillo de Alborñoz, who died in 1367 (and whose coat of arms is depicted on the cope). It has also been speculated that the cope was a gift by Cardinal Pedro Gomez Barroso (d. 1348), who is recorded to have donated a cope to Toledo Cathedral, and who spent some time in England in 1340. Whatever the case, since the cope includes representations of a number of English saints, such as Aethelbert, Dunstan and Edmund, it was probably not commissioned by a Spanish visitor, but may have been a gift or simply a 'second-hand' purchase.

The vestment is included in the exhibition on Opus Anglicanum at the Victoria and Albert Museum, October 2016 - February 2017.

Source: BROWNE, Clare, Glyn DAVIES, and M.A. MICHAEL (2016). English Medieval Embroidery: Opus Anglicanum, exhibition catalogue, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, pp. 32, 57, 71-72, 189, 201, 203, 213, 221. Catalogue no. 46 (pp. 195-201).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 30 October 2016).


Last modified on Wednesday, 01 February 2017 09:41
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