Lace Border thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Lace Border

1660-1690 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
The needle lace made in Venice in the second half of the 17th century varied in scale from heavily padded and boldly patterned borders used for furnishing to delicate, multi-layered dress lace, like this piece. This is a type known now as point de neige, from the resemblance of its tiny details to snowflake crystals.

Ownership & Use
Between the 1660s and 1690s both men and women increasingly used the wearing of extravagant displays of lace as a mark of wealth and status. The showiest effects were achieved with lace worn at the throat and at the wrist, setting off the face and hands. A fashionable man might even trim his boot hose with matching lace borders. Delicate lace such as this was particularly suitable for the elaborate headdresses of women.

Trading
In an attempt to protect the English lace industry, a royal proclamation was issued in 1662 forbidding the import or sale of foreign lace. The Royal Family was exempt from this prohibition, and it also seems to have been flouted widely by members of the court and other fashionable people, because Venetian needle lace continued to be freely sold and worn in London.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Raised needle lace
Brief Description
lace, 1660-90, Italian; Venetian rose-point
Physical Description
Lace border
Dimensions
  • Continuous loop length: 261.6cm
  • Width: 9.75cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 27/07/2000 by KB To be shown part rolled
Gallery Label
British Galleries: In the late 17th century, Italian needle lace was one of the most elaborate and expensive forms of lace. This long (2.6m) border might have decorated a woman's gown. To protect the home trade in lace, importing Italian lace into Britain was made illegal after 1662 (except for royalty), though in fact it was freely sold and worn in London.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Mrs Harriet Bolckow
Summary
Object Type
The needle lace made in Venice in the second half of the 17th century varied in scale from heavily padded and boldly patterned borders used for furnishing to delicate, multi-layered dress lace, like this piece. This is a type known now as point de neige, from the resemblance of its tiny details to snowflake crystals.

Ownership & Use
Between the 1660s and 1690s both men and women increasingly used the wearing of extravagant displays of lace as a mark of wealth and status. The showiest effects were achieved with lace worn at the throat and at the wrist, setting off the face and hands. A fashionable man might even trim his boot hose with matching lace borders. Delicate lace such as this was particularly suitable for the elaborate headdresses of women.

Trading
In an attempt to protect the English lace industry, a royal proclamation was issued in 1662 forbidding the import or sale of foreign lace. The Royal Family was exempt from this prohibition, and it also seems to have been flouted widely by members of the court and other fashionable people, because Venetian needle lace continued to be freely sold and worn in London.
Collection
Accession Number
762-1890

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
Record URL