Pieces of Our Past
December 6, 2013
Artifact: Altar cloth
Significance: CHI’s collection contains many vestments, paraments and altar linens from various pastors and churches. This altar cloth was used from 1852 to 1859 by Rev. Gustav Ferdinand Otto, a chaplain in the German army serving in Russia at the time. The altar cloth, along with a chalice veil, was made by Caroline Otto, the chaplain’s wife. The linens were later passed on to the Ottos’ son-in-law, Rev. Carl Emil Wiederaenders, a German Lutheran pastor who served in Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa. He used them in his ministry for some twenty-five years. Featuring intricate embroidery and beadwork, the two linens, over 160-years-old, have lasted in good condition, with only staining as damage.
Click on images to see greater detail.
Altar cloth closeups