Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    Brussels (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1740 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bobbin lace worked in linen thread

  • Credit Line:

    Given from the collection of Mary, Viscountess Harcourt GBE

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The distinctive design of this flounce is typical of the eighteenth-century style called rococo. Rococo takes its name from the French word rocaille, which means the rock or shell motifs that often formed part of the designs. Curved forms are common in rococo, resembling the letters S and C, together with motifs suggesting water or waves, and the design is often not symmetrical. All of these characteristics can be seen in this piece.

The flounce was made in Brussels. The technique used there for making bobbin lace allows different pieces of the pattern to be worked separately, and joined afterwards. This enabled several lace makers to work on one piece, and was essential for creating such a large flounce as this. It was crucial for the success of the finished lace for all of the lace makers to work their sections to the same tension and fineness, and the task of joining the pieces together was a particularly skilled one.

Physical description

Deep flounce of bobbin lace worked in linen thread. Straight upper edge with a narrow footing and a gently scalloped lower edge. Unfinished ends. Bold pattern with two alternating motifs, one is a sort of elaborate vase with non-naturalistic flowers, and the other is an amorphous shape with seaweed-like forms. Rococo design. Open mesh ground of brides picotées.

The flounce could have been used for dress or for furnishing.

Place of Origin

Brussels (made)


ca. 1740 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Bobbin lace worked in linen thread


Height: 64 cm, Length: 325 cm top edge approx., Length: 84 cm pattern repeat, Length: 129 in, Width: 25.75 in, Length: 3250 mm, Width: 640 mm

Descriptive line

Deep flounce of Brussels bobbin lace worked in linen thread, Brussels, ca. 1740




Bobbin lace

Subjects depicted

Stylized flowers; Vases


Lace; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.