Episode 4

Textiles in the inventories of the treasury of Notre-Dame de Paris in the Middle Ages

By Cristina Dagalita & Dany Sandron

Among the precious objects preserved in the cathedral treasury, textile pieces occupied a predominant place, evolving between half and two thirds of the total collection. A complete edition of the treasure inventory of 1416 was needed, as well as the unpublished transcription of the inventory of 1438. This third medieval inventory complements the previous ones, such as when it specifies that an altar cloth embroidered with scenes from the Life of the Virgin on red velvet was used on a small wooden altar during the chants dedicated to Mary. The Gregorian version of the Marian antiphon Salve Regina, performed by the choir of Notre-Dame, is available at this link:

The study of the three inventories of the treasure offers the opportunity to search for comparable works and to study the textile decoration, which played a role in the appearance and acoustics of the main religious feasts of Notre-Dame (work in progress).