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Updated December 15, 2016 10:51 PM

In my possession

CH065

Bedspread

This is most likely a bedspread made for St Marks Vicarage and used when important visitors stayed.

Apparently this is one of a pair, one was kindly given to me by Christine Connor, at first we thought it may be an alter cloth but that was ruled out.
The cloth is in very good condition considering it may be over 100 years old.
It is embroidered all over except for the surrounding of the church, the size shown in the photo is approx 3 feet wide 3 feet tall, as the photo was taken at an angle to bring out the features.
I had to adjust the photo to enhance the church and lettering, so the colour is not correct
The full dimensions are approximately 6 feet by 7 feet.

Hi David,
I have had the following response regarding the church cloth from a Vicar’s wife in Sedgley, Staffs.
“Any chance this cloth could have been a pall, for placing over a coffin during a funeral service? Dimensions are only roughly appropriate. Coffins are about 12" to 18" high and 18" wide, which would give width of 4' 6" and a bit extra to hang over the edges or for larger coffins; a 6' coffin (possible) would only have a few inches to cover the ends, though, if the measurement is 7' exactly. The flowery decorations on either side of the church depiction would fall rather nicely along the sides of a coffin.
While it's unlikely to have been an altar cloth for use during services, it might have been placed on the altar when it wasn't in use, to protect from dirt, etc. As you say, the picture wouldn't have been easily seen, though, and a bit wasted.
You could try asking ecclesiastical suppliers such as Wippels or Hayes and Finch, still in existence and quite high church, if they've any ideas about uses a century ago, or old catalogues. Or libraries might have catalogues of local fabric manufacturers. Not sure whether this would be called Jacquard weaving, or damask, or what. My mum had similar tablecloths, vintage first half of last century. (It's not quite the kind of thing Cash's produced as woven pictures, in silk, in Coventry.)”

Sounds as though this might possibly be the function of this cloth.
Cheers,
Valerie Lirakis May 2007 Valerie Lirakis Great Grand-daughter of Elizabeth Booth (St Marks Teacher)

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