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93/27/4 Lace border, bobbin lace, linen, maker unknown, probably Italy, 1600-1650. Click to enlarge.

Bobbin lace border

Made
  • 1600-1650
This bobbin lace border was probably used to trim household linen in the early 1600s. It was probably made in Italy (Genoa) and SEM analysis confirms it is made of linen thread. Although it shows more sophisticated design and workmanship than the simple seaming laces of the previous century, the border uses the same continuous bobbin lace technique in which pattern and ground are worked together with the one set of threads, so that the wider the lace the more threads are used. It is generally acknowledged that the earliest bobbin laces were worked by this method.

Both bobbin and needle lace, for fashion rather than domestic use, became powerful status symbols from the mid 1500s as wealthy men and women strived to draw attention to their fine linen undershirts and chemises with increasingly elaborate lace trimmings. The demand for lace to trim domestic textiles also increased in this period.

Classification System page 10 (http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/pdf/research/classification.pdf )
and Glossary page 6. (http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/pdf/research/glossary.pdf)

Rosemary Shepherd - March 2010

Summary

Object No.

93/27/4

Object Statement

Lace border, bobbin lace, linen, maker unknown, probably Italy, 1600-1650

Physical Description

This Genoese style border has shallow scallops with solid headsides, each scallop containing a stylised 6-petal flower motif in a simple mesh ground. The scallops are divided by a solid bars of clothwork.

Dimensions

Width

35 mm

Depth

480 mm

Production

Made

  • 1600-1650

Possibly made

Notes

SEM analysis by Angharad Rixon in 2002 confirm that the lace is made of linen thread, 2-ply, Z-spun and S plyed.
This bobbin lace uses the continuous technique in which pattern and ground are worked together with the one set of threads, so that the wider the lace the more threads are used.
The bobbin lace stitches used are cloth stitch, leaf tallies and a mesh of short plaits. Five cloth stitch blocks form the curved headside, and a bar of cloth stitch sits between each scallop. The flower motif is composed of leaf tallies and outlined with a plaited circle . The link between the headside scallop and the footside is a single pair of threads which passes through the centre of the flower.

The following laces were subjected to SEM analysis by Angharad Rixon in 2001: 24 laces in all

91/2064
93/27/1
93/27/2
93/27/3
93/27/4
93/27/5
93/27/6
93/27/7
93/27/8
A8960
A8961
A9148 -4
A9148-9/1
A9148-10
A9148-11
A9148-14a
A924814b
A9148-15
A9148-16
H3771
H3891
H5111-80
H5111- 81
H6419

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1993

Acquisition Date

15 February 1993

Cite this Object

Harvard

Bobbin lace border 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 1 March 2021, <https://ma.as/132844>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/132844 |title=Bobbin lace border |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=1 March 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}