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Sun May 28 09:43:46 PDT 2006

"Maltese. A nineteenth-century silk lace, made in black and in a colour
like pale corn.  It is known from 1833, when Lady Hamilton Chichester
brought in lacemakers from genoa.  Maltese and Genoese laces are thus of
the same genre: both have podgy wheatears, plaited strands and a basically
geometric design.  Since the main market was to be a tourist one, the four
scimitars of the Maltese cross were introduced.  The thick soft silk made
the lace production both quick and inexpensive, and its lustrous
flamboyance was well suited to the bombastic styles of the 1850s...During
the twentieth century Maltese lace steadily deteriorated until that of the
1970s bore almost no resemblance to the popular productions of a hundred
years before."

A quick check of the Genoese lace section shows that it was a bobbin lace
with some needlework added in later (very small braids).  The Genoese
bobbin laces date back well before 1600.

Sir Robert "Jestar" de la Fonteyne

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