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14 September to 10 November 2019 Colourful aumônière – On show following the completion of conservation work

Within the scope of a degree project for the master’s programme in textile conservation and restoration, a highly ornate medieval pouch from Como Cathedral was thoroughly analysed, documented and cautiously conserved.
This “aumônière” or alms bag is to be exhibited in Riggisberg for a few weeks before being taken back to Italy. Its state of preservation is truly remarkable for a 700-year-old textile object. Especially striking are the bold colours of the silk threads and the barely corroded metal threads. The motifs reflecting the courtly world of the Middle Ages are utterly charming: a falconer on horseback with his little dog, a couple playing chess, a knight kneeling before his dame. With its finely worked scenes, which probably allude to the great medieval romance of Tristan and Isolde, the pouch would have made an ideal love token or wedding gift.

Closed aumônière

The pouch was used to carry money, small objects and coins for beggars. After being used as a luxury accessory, it ended up in Como Cathedral Treasury, where it served as a receptacle in which to keep relics. | Flanders (?), 13th–14th century, 35 x 32.5 x 1.8 cm, Como Cathedral, no inv. no.

Aumônière with open flap

The flap concealed and protected the means of access to the inside. The circular opening formed by a metal ring around pleated pink taffeta is opened and closed by means of a drawstring with tassels at either end. There are coats of arms to the left and right of the opening.