Hubby wants to plan this as a gift...where should we go?  I appreciate any suggestions!!!  Thanks!

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What an interesting question!  I look forward to answers, too.

Well, after much research, it seems that the lace in Bruges now is all made in China for the tourists....ach!  And yet I've heard it's a fairytale setting, oh well!  I have already been to Paris & the French countryside.  Have been all around the UK.   Not sure where to go?

Some of our world travelers must have suggestions!

Easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for an American to find hand made lace in Europe... I think that they keep it all for themselves. There is a stand on the Porto Bello Road in London that sells handmade antique lace. Laurie Waters wrote about the dealer on Lace News.I am inclined to think that the good stuff is bought at auction by knowledgable dealers who attend auctions, and who then sell it on the internet.  Most of the serious collectors that I know are buying it on the internet. I think your best bet would be to go to Lace News and follow the ebay auctions. Laurie Waters spends a lot of time culling out the interesting pieces on ebay for people who want to buy.

I have never encountered an "in person" buying opportunity in Europe or the UK that is as good as that presented at the IOLI convention (Salt Lake City, this year, Aug. 4-10) where there are several knowedgeable dealers who bring the stuff they have managed to cull from other sources to sell to the most knowledgable lace buyers of the US.

I suppose it might be possible to buy some hand made lace at Halas in Hungary, as I was given a piece by a friend that she bought there in recent years. It would be new, not antique. It is very fine, and comparable in workmanship to antique laces. Bring lots of money.

I looked at your profile and I see you are a dealer. If you want to go to Europe with your generous husband, perhaps you should try to go to England when a Bonham's Textile Auction or a  Kerry Taylor Auction is occurring. I also see that you are in NY, so perhaps you should try to go to a Karen Augusta auction, often held in the city, or a Whittaker auction in the Poconos. Check the online catalogues first.  I have never been, but I understand that a lot of lace changes hands at Sturbridge, MA at their annual antique fair. Some people say that the price for antique lace in the US is actually lower than in Europe because there are not as many people who are knowledgeable about lace here.

I was just in Bruges and did a fairly thorough search of the lace shops plus some research in advance: the only shop that has a lot of genuinely antique lace is Claeys Antiques. Rococo has some antique lace, although the best stuff is not for sale. Several shops have 19th century lace, primarily needlelace and Duchesse, but the prices are all very high compared to what one can find on the internet. In London I found a couple of stalls in the antiques area, but that was 15 years ago. Anne Swift is the dealer at 1 Portobello Rd (what an address!!), and she does frequently have some very nice pieces, but even Anne sells some of her best pieces on the internet. I concur with Devon's comments--I find the best stuff on the internet, primarily ebay. My only quibble with her advice is that I find the real good stuff is actually very rare at Sturbridge's annual textile fair (the antiques fair is actually quarterly but there's a textile day once a year). I've gone a couple of times and only once got something really good, mainly because the dealer had no idea what she had.

Hi all.   I am only just seeing your wonderfully insightful replies now as I have been quite busy.  Ironically, I am booked into Sturbridge as an exhibitor for this coming Labor Day Monday, and am told that I will likely be the only exhibitor specializing in lace.

I appreciate your thoughts regarding lace in Europe...and have heard the same sentiments through other sources as well.  In fact, I had a teacher in Belgium recently contact me to see if I would donate some lace back to Belgium as they are apparently trying to teach their young about their lace making history, and he sadly claims there is little real lace left there.

Thank for your help as usual dear friends ;)

Dorothy

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