Some of the most culturally significant and sought after antique textiles
and weaves are those pieces that served a certain social role in addition to being expertly crafted by gifted artisans. Antique dalmatics (or liturgical vestments) are traditional religious garments that are similar to the elaborate ceremonial robes that were historically worn by members of the clergy throughout Central Europe
, especially in the Holy Roman Empire of old. Over the centuries, dalmatics have been worn by priests and deacons in the Roman Catholic church and in certain Protestant congregations. Since as early as the 12th century, these unique and beautiful pieces were commonly made of silk -- only the best materials were used in the weaving of these important cultural creations, signifying their importance to the artisans who crafted them and to the society into which they were being sent. The best of these pieces are beautifully executed masterpieces with special attention given to their overall look and feel. The very finest dalmatic vestments are breathtaking works of artistry, featuring intricate ornamentation. Typical of such pieces are richly embroidered depictions of human figures as well as graceful, naturalistic foliage patterns of scrolling vines and blooming flowers. Beautiful works of art that were also important cultural pieces of the highest order, antique dalmatics are something special, and are certainly among the most fascinating and impressive of all antique textiles.
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1 Rug Found in Dalmatic Textiles
This incomparably lovely antique Dalmatic or liturgical vestment from the Hapsburg period in Austria has a graceful design of naturalistic foliage sprawling gently across an ivory ground.
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