Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1600-1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Needle lace worked in linen thread

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Joan Hurst through Art Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Lace-making developed in England during the 16th century in response to the growth in personal wealth and to changes in fashionable dress. Needle lace, still then seen as a branch of embroidery, was made in professional workshops in London. But through the teaching of embroidery as a domestic skill with needle lace stitches in the repertoire, lace was also made at home, for the decoration of household linen, clothing and other objects. This piece may have been made to decorate a linen cover.

The most popular subjects for the needlework pictures and other types of object to which this lace is related, were scenes from the Old Testament of the Bible and classical mythology, as well as abundant plant and animal life. This piece includes motifs which the maker would have found in pattern books and which could have also been used for embroidery. Cupid, the pagan god of love, is firing his bow and arrow to ensnare a lady, who may be identified by her crown as a queen or princess.

Physical description

Small panel of needle lace depicting a blindfolded cupid firing his bow and arrow at a crowned lady with black silk stitches depicting her eyes, and a dog at her feet. The two figures flank a large pear tree. In another piece of needle lace with the same design in the Museum's collection T.124-1924 the scene continues with Adam and Eve.
The lace has a narrow border at top and bottom, which would have made it suitable for possible use as an insertion in a piece of woven linen.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1600-1650 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Needle lace worked in linen thread


Length: 145 mm, Width: 65 mm

Descriptive line

Panel of needle lace depicting Cupid, English, 1600-1650


Linen thread


Needle lace




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.