Cope of the Order of the Laurel
Inspired by the Lochac Pelican cloak, Giuseppe Francesco da Borgia and Richenda Elizabeth Coffin proposed that the Order of the Laurel in Caid authorize the undertaking of a similar project. On receiving the Order's approval, Giuseppe and Richenda designed and created a blue velvet cope overlain with a grid of silver gimp. Each interstice will be filled with the coat of arms of one of the Companions of the Order.
The cope may be used in elevation ceremonies, and during Coronations when the Charters of the Orders are rendered to the Crown.
While medieval and renaissance copes were decorated with Christian art, there are also examples of heraldry being used; the Syon Cope at the V&A (1300-1320; linen backing silk, silver-gilt, and silver thread embroidery) uses strips decorated with heraldic shields to extend fragments of an earlier chasuble to complete the surface of the cope.
The goal of this project was to create a new ceremonial garment that honored the text of the elevation ceremony: "As this cloak folds you in warmth, so does the Order of the Laurel enfold you in companionship." We chose the cope shape to display the unity of a group of diverse individuals, and to avoid confusion with the Order Robes, which identify a person as part of the Order. Other than size, there are no restrictions on the era, culture, materials or design of a Companion's arms for the cope.
Specifications for Arms on the Cope
For a heater-shaped shield, finished dimensions are 3.5" wide by 4.0" long. For a lozenge, the dimensions are 3.5" wide by 4.5" long. Other shapes may be acceptable; consult Giuseppe or Richenda before using a non-standard shield.
Companions' Arms on the Cope
Azure, in pale three dragons passant Or and for augmentation, in canton four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward argent. (registered 7/04).
Maker: Éowyn Amberdrake
Technique: The shield is silk dupioni, embroidered with typical late 16th & early 17th c. English stitches in gold and silver thread.
Jamal Damien Marcus
Per bend azure and argent, an eagle striking to sinister, wings elevated and addorsed, Or and a Lebanon cedar proper.
Maker: Éowyn Amberdrake
Technique: The shield is silk dupioni, embroidered with colored purls (tree) and gold check purl and paillettes (eagle), typical of embroidery in late 16th & early 17th c. England.
Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler
Argent, a sheep statant guardant contourny sable, in base a clump of lavender vert flowered purpure, on a chief invected purpure a quill pen reversed argent. (registered 1/93).
Maker: Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler.
Notes: The shield is tapestry-woven with pearl cotton. The lavender is worked with French knots.