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Draped, Drapery

Draped, Drapery.  A clothed figure or bust appearing on a numismatic or medallic item; the loose hanging of cloth in folds. Drapery gives the designer more latitude in artistic arrangement then the nude figure; it often can provide detail where none would exist without it. Drapery gives direction to the body beneath the folds while sometimes still revealing it (models are often given very sheer or even wet cloth to make it cling to the contours of the nude form). The arrangement of drapery – which the artist can control – will provide movement and form to parts of the body as desired. Also drapery has the advantage that it does not "date" the work as clothing styles do for the clothed figure. The technique of treating drapery in sculpture and bas-relief has changed little since ancient times, while styles, the fashion of clothing, has changed often. A nude figure is said to be undraped. Drapery is abbreviated as “Dr” or “Drpy” in describing numismatic items.  See costume and clothing.

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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