Hello folks! I'm Pam and I joined this group because I am looking for help in properly identifying and valuing lace that we acquired via an estate sale ( My husband runs estate sales) . The first photo I'll post is that of a flounce that is 7 yds 14in long x 9.4 in deep. It is finished on one end and it is flawless. It was meticulously kept and has no holes or repairs. The narrower piece in the photo is 11 ft 2" long and 4" deep. I have a few more pieces with some yardage but not as remarkable, well to me anyway. Any help at all will be so appreciated. 

Thank you,

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Pam, these pieces are Duchesse bobbin lace. Lovely designs and workmanship.

Thank you, Deborah? You don't think it could be Brussels point de graze ? Someone wrote to me with a photo of theirs and said that's what it is. I don't see a comparable piece of Duchesse bobbin lace to look at side by side.


\uap>I tentatively agree with Deborah. Tentatively because these photos are not in good focus.  We need a photo this clear to be absolutely sure. 

\uap>From what I can see in these marginal photos, there is no needle lace. Point de gaze is a needle lace, but duchesse is a bobbin lace. Point de gaze was often included into pieces of Duchesse, and some historians call this duchesse-with-point-de-gaze "Brussels duchesse". I just prefer to call it what it is -- duchesse with point de gaze needle lace inserts. But that isn't what you have here.

\uap>Here are some duchesse from among our photos.  http://laceioli.ning.com/photo/photo/search?q=duchesse

\uap>a duchesse with point de gaze insert 



\uap>More duchesse, both antique and modern   http://www.pinterest.com/lynxlacelady/duchesse-bobbin-lace/

\uap>Point de gaze needle lace  from our sister site. Notice there are 3 pages of examples.  

\uap> http://needlelacetalk.ning.com/photo/albums/point-de-gaze-antique 

\uap>point de gaze from my personal collection

\uap>On your pieces, the thick white lines are raised work, where a bundle of threads is moved from one place to another. It has a practical purpose (avoiding cutting off threads), but is also done decoratively.  


\uap>  raised work sampler       sampler 2

\uap>An example done in very thick thread so it is easy to see.



\uap>One question I have about your piece is that squarish mesh that lies behind some of the smaller motifs. Because of the photo quality I can't be sure what that is.

\uap>Can you get some better focused and slightly close photos?  We don't need to see yards of it, but just one repeat, or even less. Against your blue background would be good. But we need the detail to be sure of its construction method.


My focus is always on how a piece was made, the details of construction.  I am not knowledgeable about valuation (nor interested, frankly).  Ebay is the obvious place to look.  But this site reviews the best ebay, and might help weed out the chaff.

Look at her "ebay alerts" and go back through time.     http://lacenews.net/

I thought the designs are similar to "Point de Gaze" , but the square mesh, and the density of the stitches makes it appear to me to be a bobbin lace, or even machine made lace.  I am sure they are Not needlelace. The needlelaces would be lighter, and the solid areas would be less dense and solid.

Duchesse is nearer to the mark, I think.  I don;t think it is even a Mixed lace.

However, whatever they are, - they are pretty!!

Thank you everyone ! Tomorrow I will take macro shots in daylight and I''ll post them. 

Thanks, again.


http://www.pinterest.com/bigdoggybling/lace/ Hi everyone . I uploaded 10 photos to pinterest and pasted the link. I also attached 3 of the photos right here. I hope they more optimally reveal detail. 



Pam Scherzer said:

Thank you everyone ! Tomorrow I will take macro shots in daylight and I''ll post them. 

Thanks, again.



I just realized that my ipad didn't let me load the edited photos of the lace on pinterest. I just replaced all the photos so that they are brighter and better detailed 


This is abstracted from the 2nd row of pinterest photos, 3rd image.  It is a shot of the reverse side. You can see that the diamond mesh lies on top of the motifs.  The blue lines run parallel to the meshes, the pink circles are where the mesh was attached to a motif edge in a sewing (crochet hook type of join).  At first I thought it might be a machine made mesh, but now I don't. The fact that it lies behind only some of the motifs, and is attached cleanly into the edge of some others, tells me it is a hand made mesh.  It look like Dieppe ground -- ctpinctt.

\uap>The motifs do appear to be made in the Duchesse manner.  Click on the photo below to get the full size.


This is from the 2nd row, last on right.  The red rings show an area with 2 layers. We are looking at the wrong side. There is a motif of some kind, but an area of half stitch lies on top of it. This kind of layering was fairly common in the better duchesse. This piece just has more elaborate versions of the common ones.


All of these photos are much better and allow us to see how it was made. It is hand made bobbin lace, in a style called Duchesse. It dates from the last half of the 19th century. I do not see any machine made parts, nor do I see any needle lace parts.

\uap>One thing, all the new photos show the back side of the lace.  Those thick white lines that I mentioned in my first comment - the raised work - should be on the right side.  Also the little sprigs with half stitch behind them -- the half stitch side is the wrong side.

\uap>Here is an example much less elaborate than yours.  Wrong side.

\uap>A lace has 2 aspects which are involved in identifying it. One part is style-- the design, what subject matter, how are the motifs shaped.  The other part is the structure, how it was made.  When a lace maker gives a type of lace a name, she is thinking of the techniques used, what the thread paths are, the little picky details of how it was made. But a museum curator may use the same word and mean something else. A museum curator is interested in where it was made, did it belong to a particular school or tradition, when it was made.  I, and most of our members, are lace makers. So we tend to think of a name as referring to a set of working methods. So to us, it is possible to have antique Duchesse and modern Duchesse. The latter may look quite different than the former, in terms of style. But the working methods will be the same.

\uap>Duchesse is a part lace (also called freeform lace, or free lace, sectional lace.  This means each motif is made separately and they are hooked together during the working with a crochet hook or similar tool.  (The other major class of bobbin lace is called straight lace, continuous lace.)   Most duchesse has a bar ground (thickish lines made of 4 threads braided), but this piece has a mesh ground, in this case, hand made, I think. But duchesse motifs sewn onto machine net was also quite common.

\uap>To understand the distinction between part lace and straight lace look at this page in my personal website.  Also, take the time to look at the photo links in my 1st comment - the red words. I took the trouble to collect those so you would have something to compare your lace to. Take the trouble to follow through.


Point de gaze needle lace, made of thousands of buttonhole stitches.

\uap>one     two      three     four 


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