The Order of the Laurel recognises those within the Kingdom of Lochac who show true excellence in the many arts and sciences.
Following the success of the Pelican Cloak project, a competition to design the Lochac Laurel Cloak was held at Midwinter 2012. Mistress Rowan Perigrynne won the competition with a design based on the Sternenmantel (Star Mantle) of Heinrich II, the last Saxon king of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor. Mistress Bess Haddon had proposed this cloak as the basis for the Royal Cloaks some years before. Although it was not selected for that project, it was a wonderful inspiration for the Laurel cloak. As with the Pelican Cloak, the project was funded by the Fighter Auction Tourney fund.
The original 11th century mantle was made of silk twill with medallions of the life of Christ and celestial bodies worked in couched gold thread, with some details in coloured silk in stem stitch. In the 15th century the embroidered elements were cut away and remounted on the current Italian silk damask, so the original placement of the motifs is not known.
The design adapts the original 8 sided star medallions to depict the various arts and crafts; the circular emblems to depict laurel wreaths; and the letters as a front edge border – ‘LOCHAC ME FECIT’, which translates as “Lochac made me”.
The cloak is made of green silk brocade, interlined with linen and lined with silk. The laurel wreaths and elements of the star medallions are highlighted with appliqued gold silk. The medallions and border motifs are embroidered using gold twist, laid double, couched down with silk.
The individual motifs, wreaths and edge pieces were prepared as 60 kits, The embroidery was worked by the Worshipful Company of Broderers and members of the Order of the Laurel. The completed pieces were applied to the cloak in a grid pattern, alternating wreaths and symbols.
The cloak will be closed with a pair of silver gilt brooches linked with a tablet woven band. The fine silk and gold brocaded band was woven by Mistress Amalie von Brisache in fine green silk and gold. It is 3cm wide and 63cm long.
The galleries shows the completed pieces, and the designs for those which are still underway.