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  • Place of origin:

    Honiton (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1630-1640 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen, edged with bobbin lace, with tassels of knotted linen thread

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 9

Object Type
Lacemaking developed in England during the 16th century in response to the growth in personal wealth and to changes in fashionable dress. By 1600, bobbin lace was being made domestically throughout the country and professional centres had been established in London, the West Country and the Midlands. The lace for this band (collar) was probably professionally made.

Materials & Making
The quality of English lace in the 17th century was affected by the type of linen thread available. English thread was softer and more irregular than Flemish, though it was praised for its whiteness. When Celia Fiennes, during her travels around England, visited Honiton in Devon in 1698 she wrote, 'here they make fine bone [bobbin] lace in imitation of the Antwerp and Flanders lace, and indeed I think its as fine, it only will not wash so fine which must be the fault in the threads'.

Ownership & Use
Lace like this appears in a number of English portraits of the 1630s and early 1640s, and custom for it was at the highest social level. The Countess of Leicester, wife to the English Ambassador to France, was commissioned to purchase English bobbin lace as a present for Anne of Austria, the French Queen, in 1637 and complained of the considerable expense.

Physical description

Band of linen, edged with linen bobbin lace. The band is shaped with darts along one edge and sewn to a neckband, with linen strings and tassels at each end for fastening.

Place of Origin

Honiton (probably, made)


1630-1640 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Linen, edged with bobbin lace, with tassels of knotted linen thread


Height: 34 cm, Width: 59.7 cm

Descriptive line

Man's lace band, Linen edged with bobbin lace, with tassels of knotted linen thread, Honiton, Devon, 1630 - 1640

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Wide, lace-edged collars came into fashion in the late 1620s. They were called 'falling bands' because they were worn over high-necked doublets. The lace is similar in technique to bobbin lace made in Flanders (now Belgium), but the round flower heads and scroll motifs are typical of designs worked in Devon. [27/03/2003]


Linen (material)


Hand weaving; Hand sewing; Bobbin lace making


Lace; Clothing; Fashion; Accessories; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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