Lodge Life: Exhibition to explore Orange textile culture

Museum curator Jonathan Mattison (left) and Sam Wilson view the 1674 damask linen tablecloth which will feature in the new exhibition, along with a diverse range of early Orange regalia
Museum curator Jonathan Mattison (left) and Sam Wilson view the 1674 damask linen tablecloth which will feature in the new exhibition, along with a diverse range of early Orange regalia

The rich material culture of Orangeism will be the focus of a new exhibition in the new year.

A variety of sashes, collarettes, tablecloths and handkerchiefs will be among the many items on public display at the Museum of Orange Heritage in Belfast from next month.

Orangeism has a material culture tradition dating back to before the formal creation of the Orange Institution in September 1795. Regalia, banners, keepsakes and flags have long been a feature of this tradition, with many early items embodying the message and symbolism of the Glorious Revolution.

One of the exhibition centre pieces will be a damask linen tablecloth, owned by King William III, which has been on display in the museum since it opened in the summer of 2015. Presented to William, this remarkable item was made to commemorate William’s victory at the city of Grave in 1674 and helps reveal the story of the European power struggle that set the background context for the Williamite Wars.

Through its latest temporary exhibition, the museum aims to highlight aspects of the tradition it holds in its collection, allowing visitors to see for themselves how such materials were made and used in the past.

Museum of Orange Heritage curator, Jonathan Mattison, said: “We want to highlight the diverse nature of early Orange regalia, explain how it was made and the symbolism that is on display.

“We have a wide variety of textile items in our collection from sashes to banners, and everything in between. We want to use this exhibition and the associated workshops to help people explore this aspect of the Orange tradition.”

The exhibition will run from Tuesday, January 15, to Wednesday, February 13. Two textile-based craft workshops will be held on Saturday January 19 and February 2. To pre-book your place, call 028 9070 1122.