I am slowly working on a catalog of nalbound items, but in the meantime wanted to let you know about one that is currently on display! My friend, Libby Cripps, visited Trier today and sent back pictures of St. Simeon’s nalbound hat.
St. Simeon was born in Sicily, but went to school in Constantinople. He then went to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and eventually Mt. Sinai in Egypt before living as a hermit near the Red Sea for a while. In 1026 CE he was sent to Rouen, France and after much roundabout travels ended up in Trier. He made one last pilgrimage to Jerusalem leaving in 1028 CE, but upon his return in 1030 CE he was enclosed in the Porto Negra (Black Gate) in Trier and lived as a recluse there until his death in 1035 CE.
Trier is located in Southwestern Germany near the border with Luxembourg and France. This hat is sometimes used as evidence of Viking Era nalbinding, but given St. Simeon’s life history and the fact that nalbinding of a similar structure has been found in Greece and in several objects in Egypt, that is a likely provenance. St. Simeon was in France/Germany for only two years of his life before he was enclosed shortly after returning from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
The hat is currently in the Treasury of the Trier Cathedral. Visiting information can be found at: https://www.trier-info.de/en/museums/cathedral-treasury
For additional photographs from Libby’s trip to Trier, you can take a look at her Facebook page:
For a view of the entire hat: https://www.trierer-original.de/Uns-Trier/spektakulaere-Bauwerke/Porta-Nigra-51622.html Scroll down just under half the page to figure 4.2. Click on it for a larger/higher resolution photograph of the St. Simeon’s hat.
I’ll be pulling together more information regarding the cap in the future, but wanted to share these lovely photographs that Libby so kindly let me use.