Can anyone help me out? I have inherited lace from my Mother, Aunt, and Grandmother. I don't know how to describe it, other than "lace". My grandparents were from Ireland.

I have no children so would like to see these pieces preserved for people who would enjoy them. I certainly enjoy them, even knowing nothing about them. 

We live in Dover, Delaware, which is about an hour away from Winterthur, a museum for decorative arts and a school for restoration. I was thinking of donating them there but don't know where to begin or even describe the pieces. Are they even worth it? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Hi Mary, it seems that the image has not been uploaded....

Lace looks good and plenty detailed in images made by scanning it in a scanner, as well as in photos.

I'm not an expert, but I think most of the pieces are crochet. Modern crochet is often done with coloured wool, so looks superficially different, but the stitches are the same. See
Those are pieces from my own collection (bought in junk shops and the like!). I think I have my id correct, but I might not!
A few pieces are filet, I think. Filet is embroidered on a square net. See
If you try looking on the internet for crochet and filet then that may give you some examples to compare. 
Both these, and a lot more, are called "lace". More or less anything with lots of holes in is. I've heard of a description of "air surrounded by threads" which I like! That is why the "bobbins and pillow" lacemakers carefully describe themselves as making bobbin lace, to be more specific.
I think that textile crafts are woefully under-valued! Value in antiques is really a matter of fashion as much as anything. Plus rarity, and both crochet and filet is quite common. However, you could always offer them to the museum. You have a "provenance" which is always appreciated - you know where the pieces come from. 

I agree with Jo. The first one appears to be filet, embroidery on square net. The others are crochet.

In Mary Schaefer's Photos (12)

I thought that these were filet:
Antique lace 4
Antique lace 9
Antique lace 11

I'm not sure about Antique lace 2. It has that very regular look that I associate with filet,, but it's very filled in, and is worked as a mat in quarters.

Image 0011, is Embroidered net. 

Image 0019 and 0022 are crochet lace.

011 is filet lacis (has several other names) - knotted square mesh with darning stitches and other stitches

019 looks like crochet. I think I see chains and that is the characteristic of crochet.

022 is also crochet

If you want to see more detail on any of these photos look underneath the photo on the right side. Click on VIEW FULL SIZE. Then, for more detail, where you see a + click on the image.


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