In the treasury of Schloss Ambras, there are a series of embroidered linen song books for six parts: Discantus, Contratenor I and II, Tenor, Vagans and Bassus, for the song “Martia terque quater Germania plaude / Triumphans Caesar ab Italia / Carolus ecce venit – Aurea qui terris” a song honoring Charles V, who stepped down as Emperor in 1566.
The fabric is listed in the 1596 castle inventory as leinbat, a fine linen fabric. They are embroidered with couched gold cord, and black silk in cross stitch and other stitches. They are H. 22 cm, W. 17 cm, or 8.6 x 6.7 inches in size
Schloss Ambras Kunstkammer, Inv.Nr. KK 5370
Photos by Marion McNealy
There appears to be a special open weave fabric used for the cross stitch section of the covers, which can be most easily seen on the cover with the Imperial Crest, which doesn’t have a black silk embroidered border. The edges of the books have gold cords whip stitched on, with gold knots at the corners.
The song lyrics and music are embroidered on each page in black silk, using what appears to be back stitch, and other stitches.
Yesterday, I posted the knitted silk bag that these song books fit into, you can find it here.