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Cap back

Cap back

  • Place of origin:

    Honiton (made)

  • Date:

    1740s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bobbin lace worked in linen thread

  • Credit Line:

    Given from the Everts-Comnene-Logan Collection

  • Museum number:

    T.7-2003

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This cap back 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

Cap back, bobbin lace in a stylised floral pattern. The design is roughly symmetrical on a central axis, with an approximate balance between motifs and net ground.

Place of Origin

Honiton (made)

Date

1740s (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Bobbin lace worked in linen thread

Dimensions

Height: 20 cm, Width: 21.5 cm base

Object history note

Donated by Lady Logan from the collection of her parents, Robert and Alexandra Everts. Robert Everts (b. Brussels 12 Sept. 1875; d. Brussels 30 April 1942) was born in Brussels the son of the Dutch Consul who adopted Belgian nationality c.1898 and entered the Belgian Diplomatic Service, serving in Paris (1900-09), Mexico (1901-02) and Bucharest (1902-06). He married Alexandra (b. Corfu 4 Feb. 1880; d. Brussels 1961) whose mother was Angelia née Calvocoressi and who chose the family name Comnene, in Brussels in 1913. Alexandra accompanied her husband in his foreign postings to Peking between 1910-16 and again in 1920-24, Berlin 1924-31 and Madrid 1932-29 after which the couple resided in Brussels. Together they formed collections of Mexican armour, Mexican textiles, Puebla ceramics, Spanish colonial glass; Chinese textiles, Chinese and Japanese lacquer, Chinese furniture, ceramics and metalwork; and they preserved inherited period lace.

Parts of these collections have been acquired by museums internationally:
The British Museum: Mexican textiles and beadwork (1994 AM3.1, AM7.1-20; 1996 AM10 1-18; 1997 AM4.1)
Mexico City, Franz Mayer Museum: Mexican rebosos and textiles (1994 AD-004, AD-020;DRA-0009, DRA-0025; AD-021, AD-030; DCH-0001, DCH-0010; AD-031, AD-038; DFB-007, DFB-0014); Ecclesiastical embroidered panels, XVI century (2002 09157-01966; DCN-0013, FCF-0011-15; FPA-0013-16)

Alexandra Comnene-Everts was herself a proficient artist and designer. Albums of her drawings of ornament on Chinese monuments (c. 1919-25) have been acquired by the British Library (1998 N Or.15493/1-6) and the bridal tiara she commissioned from Cartier in Paris is on loan to the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The acquisitions from this collection in the Victoria & Albert Museum are:
Asian, set of 8 kessus (silk tapestry), late Ming period (T.269-G-1971); feather fan, carved jewelled handle, Chinese, c. 1910 (FE-2008)

Fashion, 20th century dress (T.12-2003 – T.17-2003); Textiles, English, French, Belgian and Flemish lace (T.5 to T.10-2003; T.62 to T.65-2008)

Ref: Claire Brisby, ‘Angelia Calvocoressi 1840-1929: A Cosmopolitan Life’, Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora, 30.2 (2004), 97-130.

Descriptive line

Cap back, bobbin lace, Honiton, England, 1740s

Materials

Linen thread

Techniques

Bobbin lace making

Categories

Lace

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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