Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Crosscurrents: Land, Labor, and the Port. Textile Society of America's 15th Biennial Symposium. Savannah. GA. October 19-23. 2016.


Copyright 2016 by Anne Hedeager Krag.


In Denmark, in Odense, the Danish King Canute IV was murdered July 10, 1086, from behind in front of the altar in Albani Church. The king was killed together with his brother Benedict and seventeen of his knights, by Danish rebels. His half-brother Eric I “the Evergood” (ruling 1095-1103) achieved Canute’s recognition as a saint from Pope Urban II in 1098, and in 1100 the shrine containing the body of St. Canute was installed at the high altar of Odense Cathedral.1 St. Canutes remains were wrapped in a silk weaving with eagle motif and put into a shrine. Today the shrine is in the cathedral's crypt, where St. Canute lies on a patterned yellow silk pillow, and next appears Eagles silk in a glass case. The English monk Ælnoth of Canterbury wrote of St. Canute and his silks about twenty years after the after the canonization of St. Canute:

“wrought a magnificent shrine for the sacred bones, shining like silver and in the reddish flame of gold ornamented with lovely blue and yellowish stones, in it the sacred bones of the saint shall rest. Silk, saffron-yellow, precious stones, All in the most splendid trappings”