Lace of the Month: 18th Century Valenciennes – September 2010

This is the first header posted for LaceNews, and represents one of my favorite laces. Unfortunately I lost my original posting on this, so am trying to recreate it for the archives. It is an 18th century  Valenciennes border dating from around 1740, 1-1/4″ wide. Valenciennes of this period went through several variations in the ground – at first a snowflake pattern, then the 5-hole ‘cinque trou’ like this one. Later in the century came the round mesh, which eventually gave way to the square mesh of the 19th century. This is one of my favorite laces, and one I consider an absolute high point of bobbinlace making. The  very dense pattern relies on lines of holes formed by twisted pairs to define the images. In laces of this period further relieve is achieved with areas of contrasting half stitch – in the fully developed round mesh laces, only the cloth stitch and ‘line drawing’ technique survives.

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