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Pair of lappets

Pair of lappets

  • Place of origin:

    Brussels (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1740s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Needle lace worked in linen thread

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lady Ludlow

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The city of Brussels is usually associated with fine bobbin lace, but needle lace of high quality was also made there, competing with French lace in the market for customers. Brussels needle lace, such as these lappets, was characterised by the variety of fancy filling patterns in its motifs, and the exceptional fineness of its linen thread, making it light-weight and delicate. This delicacy was a quality particularly sought after in lace lappets, which were intended to flutter loosely around the face, and let the light shine through their semi-transparency.

Lappets formed part of a head dress, 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. These lappets can be dated by their shape, with rounded ends and gently scalloped edges, and the relationship of their design to fashionable woven dress silks of the 1740s, with which they were worn. Although white, they might have provided the finishing touch to an ensemble of rich and vibrant colours.

Physical description

Pair of lappets, in needle lace. Cut and loosely hemmed at top edge. Slightly scalloped edges. Design of heavily stylised flowers and shell shapes on fairly open net ground. In point repeat at bottom, becomes asymetrical one third of the way up.

Place of Origin

Brussels (probably, made)


1740s (made)



Materials and Techniques

Needle lace worked in linen thread


Length: 537 mm, Length: 537 mm A, Width: 15 mm, Width: 15 mm A

Descriptive line

pair needle lace lappets, 1740s, Brussels

Production Note

The lappets were described as French (point de Sedan) when acquired, but are more likely to have been made in Brussels.


Linen thread


Needle lace


Lace; Hats & headwear; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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