Embroidery on a gold-coloured cope at St Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London NW6, with richly worked figures of the evangelists and other saints along the front edges, or orphrey; the jewelled fastening, or morse; and the faux "hood" at the back. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Shown here from the broad orphrey are, left to right: (a) St John with the snake emerging from the poisoned chalice, (b) St Paul with the scriptures and the sword which was the instrument of his martyrdom, (c) St Peter with his key to heaven, and (d) St Andrew, with the easily recognisable instrument of his martyrdom, the transverse cross. All would have represented many hours of embroidery work.

Here, where the orphrey passes over the back of the shoulders, angels hold a roundel containing Alpha and Omega above the figure of God in Majesty, with censing angels at either side of the throne. There is a Byzantine flavour to the canopy over this scene. Such a cope was worn "for splendour" indeed (H.H.J. 26), and was suitable for all occasions requiring processions (see Spiller).

Photographs by John Salmon, with thanks to St Augustine's Church; text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit John Salmon and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.

Related Material


J., H. H. S. Augustine's Church, Kilburn. A Short Account of Its Structure, Vestments, and Other Works of Art. London: Morton & Burt, 1894. Hathi Trust. From a copy in the library of Princeton University. Web. 28 April 2021.

Spiller, Leonard. Some Notes on Copes. London: The Warham Guild, 1939. Project Canterbury. Web. 28 April 2021.

Created 27 April 2021