For those who love hand made lace.
It's a sectional lace, and I can't tell if it's Honiton or a Brussels Duchesse. It's got the lovely rib and roll work, and not the 'slubs and slugs' of Honiton, but that doesn't mean it's not Honiton.
Either way it's a beautiful piece of lace.
There is nothing that absolutely identifies it as either Duchesse or Honiton. But on the whole it has more Honiton features. The red lines show where cucumber tallies make a vein in a leaf. Honiton does this often. Also there are lots of spaces with square tally fillings. Fancy fillings are a characteristic of Honiton, but not of Duchesse. The 2nd piece below is a sampler from Luxton's book, which I made some years ago. You can see the cucumber tally vein.
Since it is appliqued onto a large piece of net, presumably machine made net, that would place it no earlier than 1820 or so. There do not appear to be any stripes in the net (which might mean hand made), and the piece of net is quite large. While the possibility of machine net could date to the last 2 decades of the 18th c, I think that unlikely. It is possible that it is early 20th century, before the first world war, but I think that also unlikely. I am thinking of Queen Victoria's wedding lace. This bears some stylistic similarities, although Victoria's was much denser in lace motifs, and the fillings were more varied. Refer to Luxton & Fukuyama ROYAL HONITON LACE, London, Batsford, 1988.
BTW, you asked it's use. I can't be absolutely sure because of the lack of dimensions, but I think it's the right size, and it's certainly the right shape and finished correctly at the sides, to be a bonnet veil.
It is a lovely piece, and in beautiful condition.