Embroidery on a green cope at St Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London NW6. Designed by the Rev. Ernest Geldart (1848-1929) in about 1895, with angels and the Transfiguration on the back, using cloth of gold and studded with coral beads; there is "laid work on the piece which was specialty work and given the gold thread, suggests association with Bruges" (see Schoeser et al. 60-61). [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

In 1884, "H. H. J." reported, "There is no green cope" (30). But Dr J. Wickham Legg notes that green had "become prominent in the last thirty years," and although Legg remarks rather disapprovingly that it has "no special significance," referencing only "the nature of earth" (91, 92), St Augustine's was not long in acquiring one. Legg preferred blue, because of its suggestion of heaven, but perhaps the angels and glorious transfiguration scene here make up for green's shortcomings. "H. H. J." does mention a green chasuble, which also seems triumphal in spirit, because it shows "our Lord in Glory, crowned, and raising His hand to bless" (29).

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.

Legg, Dr. J. Wickham. "Notes on the History of the Liturgical Colours." Transactions of St Paul's Ecclesiological Society. 1885. 95-134. Google Books. Free Ebook.

Schoeser, Mary, Cynthia Weaver and others. The Watts Book of Embroidery: English Church Embroidery, 1833-1953. 2nd ed. London: Watts & Co., 1998.

Created 29 April 2021