Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scapolari - Devotional Scapulars

Devotional Scapulars or Sacramentals are small pouches of cloth attached to a band and worn by around the neck as a symbol of a religious pledge, promise or sign of devotion - largely used by the Catholic faith. These "scapolari" as they are called in Italian can also be worn specially during religious functions like processions or special Masses. Silver reliquaries containing the relics of saints or items from a beloved can be placed inside the pouches.

A very kind gentleman from the MI 1906 Ning group (for those interested in the 1906 World's Fair in Milan) wrote to tell me that in reorganizing his collections he came across some scapulars that he knew I would be interested in.

These scapulars are from 19th century southern Italy and no two are the same. As I understand it, each scapular was hand-embroidered by the person who wore it and it was decorated according to each wearer's own imagination and creativity and according to the purpose which they desired to represent.

This one is stitched in traditional embroidery stitches with coloured threads (silk?) and a border of gold or silver (now tarnished) Bright Check Purl:

This interesting scapular is stitched using beads, lace (bobbin?) and metal thread, possibly gold Pearl Purl? The object in the center of the lower part is surrounded by gold filigree:

The front of this one is stitched using traditional embroidery stitches and coloured, possibly silk threads:

...and here is the back, the cross is outlined in what looks like gold Bright Check Purl:

The front of this one is stitched using traditional embroidery stitches with metal threads and Spangles:

...and here is the back:

And this one has lots of Spangles and nice metal thread work which includes some laid gold Smooth Passing threads:

The embroidery on all these scapulars is exquisitely done and in great shape.

A heartfelt thank you to Ampelio for sharing his photos with us!

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know this kinf of objects of devotion, quite amazing what Faith has inspired through the centuries.