Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Fashion, Room 40

Cap Back

ca. 1740 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This cap back forms part of a headdress, known as a ‘lace head’ in the 18th century. It was composed of a curved panel, the cap back, to which two long streamers were attached, called lappets. The whole ensemble was finished with a lace frill. The lappets might be pinned up on top of the head in pleats, but more usually were left to hang loose, fluttering with the slightest movement.

Among the various items of Englishwomen’s fashionable dress for which lace was used in the 18th century, the lace head was a particular focus for the display of wealth and good taste. The quality of the lace, the excellence of its design and fine workmanship, and thus its likely expense, would be immediately apparent to observers.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Bobbin lace worked in linen thread
Brief Description
Cap back, bobbin lace, made ca.1740, Brussels
Physical Description
Cap back of bobbin lace, in floral pattern. Very fine work.



For a number of years, for display purposes, the cap back has been joined to the lappets T.26-1947. They have a similar patten, but were probably not originally matching.
Dimensions
  • Depth: 23cm
  • Width: 27cm
Credit line
Given by Her Majesty Queen Mary, Consort of King George V
Subject depicted
Summary
This cap back forms part of a headdress, known as a ‘lace head’ in the 18th century. It was composed of a curved panel, the cap back, to which two long streamers were attached, called lappets. The whole ensemble was finished with a lace frill. The lappets might be pinned up on top of the head in pleats, but more usually were left to hang loose, fluttering with the slightest movement.



Among the various items of Englishwomen’s fashionable dress for which lace was used in the 18th century, the lace head was a particular focus for the display of wealth and good taste. The quality of the lace, the excellence of its design and fine workmanship, and thus its likely expense, would be immediately apparent to observers.
Collection
Accession Number
T.27-1947

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record createdMay 15, 2007
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