19th Century Bobbin Lace
   Straight Mesh Lace
Antique Bobbin Lace

   © Lorelei Halley 2009 

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Whether a particular lace is a 19th century example, actually made in the 19th century, or whether it classifies as "Revival Era", is sometimes hard to know with any certainty.  All the point ground laces dominated in the 19th century, and  Cluny and Bedfordshire began in the 19th century. And all of these continued to be made into the 20th.  The point ground laces are a direct outgrowth of very late 18th century and Napoleonic era straight laces.  Cluny actually began in the early middle 19th century as an attempt to design pieces reminiscent of the laces in the Cluny museum, which were 16th and 17th century Genoese braid based laces.  Maltese also was invented in the 19th century, also based on Cluny museum laces, in an attempt to create laces fast to make and so provide an income for the women of Malta.  Bedfordshire, actually Bedfordshire-Maltese, was a direct outgrowth of a great international exhibition in about 1850, where the new Maltese laces were on display.  So I suppose all of these can be called 19th century.  Some of my actual examples may have been made during the early 20th century.  It is impossible to be sure. 

It is the complex mesh grounded laces, Flanders, Binche, and Paris, which were a part of the Revival Era recreation of those older forms.  I suppose the difference is one of time.  Cluny, Maltese and Bedfordshire were resurrected out of Genoese fairly early in the 19th century (the middle years); while Flanders, Binche, Paris and Revival Mechlin were only resurrected very late, at the turn of the century.  Valenciennes continued to be made throughout the 19th century, and the square ground was invented during this time.

For bar grounded straight laces of this period see  19th c straight bar ground laces

Mesh Grounded Straight Laces:

There was a gradual transition from the Napoleonic style: the motifs became more complex groups of elements and these groups became larger.  At first the net continued to be spotted with tallies or small gimp motifs.  During the first third of the 19th century one still finds Mechlin ground in use, but after that it disappears, replaced by point ground.  Mechlin ground only reappears in Revival Era laces.

The cap laces of the Netherlands show a clear relationship.

point ground bobbin lace    28 ek point ground Beveren cap lace type

Mechlin and Point Ground Laces:

See also  Napoleonic era laces and    18th c Mechlin                                       *

Mechlin lace 425 ek Mechlin ground  25 point ground ek

  15  ek  Mechlin                 


point ground lace 108 kk point ground   point ground bobbin lace 344 bh point ground & kat st

  141 lh  honeycomb gnd                 See also point ground laces by living lacemakers  

  Bucks point bobbin lace 426 gs  427 gs  428 gs

Blonde                                                   *

What distinguishes Blonde is that it uses a thick thread as the weaver in the clothwork.  The result is motifs which are clearly visible from a distance, but the very fine silk ground disappears.

Blonde bobbin lace  
110 kk 510 IT 543 it  


Chantilly                                                             *

It is not just black silk thread which distinguishes Chantilly, but the motifs are woven in half stitch.  See also  Chantilly by living lacemakers.  Both black Chantilly and black LePuy guipure were high fashion laces meant to be worn as part of evening dress, at a time when the dress fabrics for evenings were brightly colored floral silk prints.  The black lace stood out starkly against the bright background without looking somber.  The brightly colored fabrics and the black lace complemented each other very well.

  Chantilly lace  
  112 lh 113 lh   560 it
Chantilly bobbin lace Chantilly bobbin lace      
111 Leslie Saari        
424 gs
789 it      
484 it white Chantilly 497 it polychrome Chantilly 498 it Polychrome Chantilly 109 kk


Valenciennes bobbin lace    
64 rh        

Valenciennes bobbin lace Valenciennes lace
584 IT    

Go to:

  Site Map
 Lace Terminology
  Bobbin 2 structural classes 
  Bobbin lace history overview 
  Bobbinlace 1559-1700
  18th c Bobbin Lace   
  Napoleonic era
  19th c Straight Mesh Lace
 19th c Straight Bar Lace
 19th c Part Lace
  Revival Era Straight Lace
 Revival Era Part Lace  

 New Revival Era


 Last edited:   08/28/14