Laurel Cope

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Cope of the Order of the Laurel
Status: Active
Artist(s): 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

Cope Gallery