I guess what I was trying to get was an opinion of how old the original lace in this collar might be.  Would it be likely to have been made before 1600? I see no edge treatment on the flat buttonholed lace.  The cord seems to be something very tightly wrapped. The scrap is not related, but seems to have the same sort of cord attached.


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Paula your link didn't work, so I don't know what piece you are referring to.  If the museum uses accession numbers, give us that and we may be able to find it.

I wish I knew!

Theoretically, I suppose there is no reason to suppose that people of the 17th century wouldn't have taken short cuts to achieve lace of all different levels of specialness. I've seen this before.

The other piece that you show is interesting. This piece can not be accused of being so pretty that it must be a 19th/20th century contrivance. It is pretty ugly, in my opinion, so speaks of a certain genuiness. I am reminded of a piece in the collection which is said to be 17th century German .

This brings up the question about how people outside of the fashion centers might have been trying to duplicate things they had not really seen. Perhaps Spanish, perhaps Flemish? The piece linked to in the museum has some woven tape as part of it, but there has been a lot of effort to confuse the issue with three dimensional raisings. Yet another question is whether there was not a lot of three-dimensional raising going on during the 19th/20th century on needle lace both old and new in order to sell to collectors. Both the German piece and the ugly piece in the Lace Museum seem to have a lot of fuzziness, so you wonder what is going on there. Is that an indication of massive remaking in which it is not possible to completely hide all the ends?

I can't find it now, but I ran across a late 19th, early 20th century industry making something that looked like gros point, only flat, like Point Plat. This could have had cord sewn on it, or else been raised with buttonholed edges. But the same could be said for lace made at any time before that. I wish I knew. So many questions.

Sorry, it is the link in the last discussion http://thelacemuseum.org/needle_lace_images.html

You can't access this page via the site - I am just putting the images there to share them with you.

ioli said:

Paula your link didn't work, so I don't know what piece you are referring to.  If the museum uses accession numbers, give us that and we may be able to find it.

Now I can see the photos.  I just looked at Santina Levey.  I still take her work as the best standard we have so far.  Devon, do you disagree?  So, if we take her opinions as probably correct...

The photos of laces prior to 1600 that she shows are decorating ruffs mostly.  Ruffs require a spidery kind of lace for all those folds and crenelations to work.  The laces used were primarily LePompe type bobbin laces, or reticello needlelaces.  

Then I search through her plates chronologically.  The Venetian gros point needlelaces only begin to appear in the last half of the 1600s.  Begin with plate 183.

The laces from which your fragments were made, bottom right and left, would likely have been made c. 1650-1690.  In the very late 17th century the lace style changed slightly.  Long meandering vines became more prominent in the design than complex individual motifs.  There was still raised work.

Your laces top left and top right are somewhat different.  The closeup makes me suspicious, but I'm not certain.  The whole piece top left, the design is reminiscent of some bobbin laces I've seen from the early 18th century--c. 1710.  So stylistically the lace design may be early 1700s.

Compare the shape of your object upper left with Levey's plates 

186  187  192  220

A date prior to 1600 is not possible.  Prior to 1700 is possible.  Short answer: date is approx 1650-1710.

Yes, of course you are right, Lorelei, the Gros Points came in at the mid-17th century mark. The question I was answering, was not the question asked, but rather one that I made up in my head, which was "is it likely that this was a piece that was made when Gros Point was in fashion, ie. mid-17th century, or some time since."

Yes, it would seem impossible stylistically for those laces to have been made before 1600.




I'm going to post some general principles in our history/identification group.

First, I meant to make this a new discussion in history/ id but, somehow, managed to get it on the forum page.  How does one start a new discussion within a group?

Second, I am glad to hear that you agree with my feeling that it is not from before 1600.  Also, if the strange wrapped cord was added at a later date, it doesn't seem like they would have originally been trying to make it look like Gros Point.  So that might mean that it was added when the lace was made.

The label on it now is "Spanish Needle Lace Mantle collar, 16th century, recut, new cording and tassels"  

Have you ever seen any other lace with a cord like that?  

I do not have Santina Levey and do not live near the museum any more.  I guess that is one I need to buy.

I think that it is entirely possible that the cord was added when it was made. Vis a vis the making of it into a collar. There was a certain amount of this in the 19th century for historical costume parties, of which there were many. Also, let us not forget the actiivities of lace merchants who might conclude that clients would find a collar more evocative than a flounce, by which I mean a border.

Here are some pieces from the collection that have cord put on them as this does.




53.163.6 This one has an applied cord that has a buttonhole edge, not the cork screw appearance of the others, but it is very elaborately worked with to produce a large range of effects. I think there may even be premade edge trimmings of different looks in this one. This is a real tour de force in applied cording.

Here is a piece of bobbin lace with a similar cord.

They did everything!

I have no idea whether cording like that was used to embellish a completed lace, as early as the 1600s or 1700s.

So your upper lace, the collar, has had a new shape added (I think the museum label is right about that.  There are some cut motifs along the lower edge.).  It has had a cord added where one would expect a proper cordonnet.  These 2 events may or may not have occurred at the same time.  the date of the underlying original lace may yet be the first event, 1 of 3.

I have no idea.

But "spanish, 1600th c" definitely seems wrong.  "new cording and tassels" (and shape) seems right,

One thing that I will point out is that, in lace, there is often confusion about the difference between the 16th century and the 1600s. Part of this is due to the fact that different countries number these things differently. I think the Germans, for instance, say 16 Jahrhunderts and it means 1600s, but people who may be reading the captions, or translating them,  may interpret it as meaning 16th century. (I think this is actually why I sort of read over that date and filled in 1600s for 16th century.) Then people read the books that have been mistranslated and the confusion continues. Whoever put this date on the piece may have seen a similar one in a book and either mistranslated the date, or the date was already mistranslated.

I remember a day when I was a teaching assistant at the U of Ill in Urbana, trying to explain that 3rd century means 200-300, not 300-400.  I also remember another first day in the same class, when a student asked me if all the dates in the class of ancient Greek and Roman history were going to be B.C.  I tried very hard not to show my dismay at the level of ignorance I was supposed to dispell.  Apparently I didn't succeed, because some of the students told me afterwards that it was hilarious, watching me try to control my face.

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