Parasol Cover thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Parasol Cover

ca. 1868 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

A Maltese lacemaker made this piece of silk bobbin lace in about 1868. Malta was part of the British Empire at this time, and the silk incorporates the patriotic inscription 'God Save the Queen' (referring to Queen Victoria).

Lacemaking began on the island of Malta in 1833 in order to provide employment for women. The style was based on the heavy peasant laces of north Italy. However, the Maltese lacemakers worked in silk. They mostly used geometric patterns and included lots of small oval motifs known as wheat-ears. Maltese lace became a fashion lace. It was mostly black - a very fashionable colour in the mid 19th century – and had a rich texture. It combined novelty with historical style. Many European manufacturers copied the Maltese technique, so lacemakers in Malta began to incorporate Maltese crosses into genuine Maltese work, as you can see here. This lace would have been mounted on a silk ground in contrasting colour to make the parasol.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Silk bobbin lace
Brief description
black silk bobbin lace parasol cover, Maltese, ca. 1868
Physical description
Parasol cover in black silk bobbin lace worked with the inscription God Save the Queen
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 62cm
  • Length: 595mm
  • Width: 565mm
Marks and inscriptions
God Save the Queen (Decoration; bobbin lace)
Summary
A Maltese lacemaker made this piece of silk bobbin lace in about 1868. Malta was part of the British Empire at this time, and the silk incorporates the patriotic inscription 'God Save the Queen' (referring to Queen Victoria).



Lacemaking began on the island of Malta in 1833 in order to provide employment for women. The style was based on the heavy peasant laces of north Italy. However, the Maltese lacemakers worked in silk. They mostly used geometric patterns and included lots of small oval motifs known as wheat-ears. Maltese lace became a fashion lace. It was mostly black - a very fashionable colour in the mid 19th century – and had a rich texture. It combined novelty with historical style. Many European manufacturers copied the Maltese technique, so lacemakers in Malta began to incorporate Maltese crosses into genuine Maltese work, as you can see here. This lace would have been mounted on a silk ground in contrasting colour to make the parasol.
Collection
Accession number
828-1868

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Record createdOctober 30, 2003
Record URL
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