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Pair of lappets

Pair of lappets

  • Place of origin:

    Brussels (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Mixed bobbin and needle lace worked in linen thread

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs A M Wedgwood in memory of Mrs A A Gordon Clark

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

These lappets formed 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 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.

Physical description

Pair of round-ended lappets of rococo design of foliage and architectural motifs arranged down the sides : at intervals decorative bowls project into the centre and the water cascading from them links the design vertically and horizontally. The remainder of the centre is powdered with birds holding or perched on sprigs of flowers and with isolated flower-heads, butterflies and bees.
Some of the same motifs, notably the bowls and water, appear in a more densely patterned pait of lappets in the Musees Royaux d'art et d'histoire, Brussels (Illus. M Risselin-Steenebrugen, The Lace Collection, pl.8).

Technique : fine drochel ground, fairly open cloudy cloth-work with half-stitch shading and decorative mesh fillings. Raised outlines and large brides picotees used as decorative fillings. The birds and two round, powdered motifs on each lappet are worked in fine needle lace stitches.

Place of Origin

Brussels (made)


ca. 1750 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Mixed bobbin and needle lace worked in linen thread


Length: 60.3 cm each, taken from register, Width: 11.8 cm each, max, taken from register, Length: 598 mm T.326-1975, Length: 587 T.326A-1975, Width: 103 mm T.326-1975, Width: 105 mm T.326A-1975

Object history note

from the collection of Iris, Lady Lawrence, the donor's grandmother, numbered L 49(e) 37.

Descriptive line

Pair of lappets, mixed bobbin and needle lace, Brussels, ca. 1750.


Lace; Linen

Subjects depicted

Foliage; Butterfiles; Bee; Flowers


Lace; Accessories


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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