A large example, it measures 11 1/2" tall with four panels, each of which are 6 1/2" wide. It originates from a large religious textile collection near the town of Troyes and dates between 1850 and 1870.This type of veil was most often convent work which allowed for a great deal in individual character.
Each panel of this piece is embellished with, embroidery or piecework elements to create a rich and symbolic medallion. We begin with the panel bearing the large cross with the Alpha and Omega characters. This design consists of silk piecework which had borders of gilded metallic embroidery. The altar is embellished with both silk fabric and threads. The second panel has a medallion representing an altar with an urn from which smoke is rising (symbol of prayers rising up to God). The flames are hand painted and the urn and altar are made of silk piecework with gilded metal thread outlines. The channel of the alter edge is entirely filled with red embroidery. The third panel contains the Chi Rho (XP) which is the symbol for Christ. It is done in silk piecework with gilded metallic embroidery outlines. The channel surrounding the alter is filled by red embroidery threads. The last panel contains an urn out of which a flame rises, symbolizing God's eternal presence. The flame is hand painted with gilded metallic "rays" surrounding. The altar and urn are made of silk piecework with gilded metal thread outlines. The channel of the alter edge is entirely filled with red embroidery.
Surrounding each panel is 1/4" wide metallic braid. Gilt metal boullion fringe embellishes the bottom edging. The is a braided silk loop at the top circle. The interior is lined with marigold colored silk. The Ciborium veil is in very good antique condition. There is darkened areas to the creme silk, some light spotting in accordance with age. There is some light wear to bouillion fringe. The designs are intact with little wear (threads missing surrounding flame).
It is a magnificent example from the mid nineteenth century, a unique and special piece of religious textile history from the era of Napoleon III.