[HNW] 17th-century needle lace on eBay?

Catherine Olanich Raymond cathy at thyrsus.com
Mon Dec 12 16:06:26 PST 2011

On 12/12/2011 03:23 PM, Chris Laning wrote:
> Hm. And just how would one discern whether it was actual 17thc lace versus 19th/20th century revival?

That was what I was thinking.

  It appears to be in perfect shape, which would certainly make *me* 
suspicious even if it didn't have an absurdly low starting price.
(I do rather wish people didn't do the "ha ha you have to guess how much 
I really am asking for this" reserve price thing, though I can 
understand why they might.)

They do it to avoid taking a bath financially in the event the auction 
is "won" by someone who made a low bid.  That's especially likely on 
EBay, where people with specialist knowledge about, say, textiles, may 
not be as likely to look or participate in auctions.

The description does say that it has a few spots, but that's still not 
enough to convince me that it's actually 17th century.  What makes me 
more skeptical is that the stuff is worked in one very long piece.  I 
thought lace was worked in different sizes/shapes for particular 
garments and purposes, back then.

A fiber test might help.  Seventeenth century lace (if not woven from 
precious metal wire, as this stuff clearly is not) would be worked with 
linen thread.  If this stuff is not linen (or at least silk, which was 
also a possibility) it's not 17th century.
> Lovely stuff in any case if it's really hand made, as it appears to be.

It *is* lovely, and it looks 17th century enough that I'd want it for a 
gown, if I was making a 17th century gown.

Cathy Raymond
cathy at thyrsus.com

"Beware how you take away hope from another human being."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes

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