Country: AUSTRIA


Item Id #: 13325

1 in stock



The chalice veil of the “Whit regalia” from the paramenta collection of the Institute of
the Blessed Virgin Mary in St Pölten decorates this Austrian Post commemorative
from the “Religious art” series.
A chalice veil is a cloth, often finely ornamented, that in the Roman Catholic Mass
and the Lutheran Eucharist covers the chalice for the consecrated hosts or the wine.
The chalice veil presented here is part of a whole series of liturgical textiles known
together as the “Whit regalia” or the “Maria Theresia regalia”. These include antependia,
i.e. curtains for below the altar, stoles and copes (liturgical vestments). These
magnificent textiles made of velvet are decorated with gold, silver and petit-point
embroidery, and are lined with taffeta.
The “Whit regalia”, made in the 1740s, is also known as the “Maria Theresia regalia”
because it is assumed that Empress Maria Theresia gave it to the Institute of the
Blessed Virgin Mary in St Pölten (today the Congregation of Jesus). In her youth,
Maria Theresia was a very close friend of Maria Katharina von Saint Julien, who was
her lady-in-waiting while she was still archduchess. The countess later joined the
Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in St Pölten, ultimately becoming its Provost. It is
assumed, and also stated as such in an anniversary volume of the Institute of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, that Maria Theresia gave the Institute this valuable gift either on
the occasion of the admission or the advancement of her friend Maria Katharina von
Saint Julien. However, there is no documentary evidence that could prove that this
was the case.
The chalice veil of the “Whit regalia” is made of silver brocade, is of symmetrical
design and richly decorated with gold. Eight coloured silk flowers are connected by a
broad golden ribbon: red roses decorate the centres of the sides, lilac carnations the
corners. In the middle, there is the text IHS in gold. The valuable embroideries are in
flat-pass stitch, and it is assumed that they were made by Empress Elisabeth
Christine, Maria Theresia’s mother. This was in any event the state of knowledge
when the chalice veil was displayed in Vienna on the occasion of a Maria Theresia
paramenta exhibition in 1904. What is certain is that the chalice velum was embroidered
with a maximum of precision and fine work and that considerable thought was given to the composition of the motif.
Today, the “Whit regalia”, the name relating its red colour to the high festival day in
the church year, can be seen in the St Pölten Diocesan Museum, where it is on display as a loan from the Congregation of Jesus.


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