Handmade or machine-made, the manipulation of thread is the key to defining the value. Though many collectors are purists about handmade lace, some of the most wonderful, dramatic pieces are machine-made. At the turn of the century, when the nouveau riche sent their wives to Paris, they didn't care if that lace collar was machine or handmade, as long as it turned heads across the room. Chatelaine's Antiques Collectibles Appraisals

 

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Chatelaine's Antiques and Appraisals MagazineCollectibles > Feature: Stitching Together A Lace Collection
 


Introduction to lace collecting

Getting started in lace Collecting

Care and storage of lace

Cleaning Linen

 
Stitching Together a Lace Collection


 
Hand vs. machine-made lace

 Handmade or machine-made, the manipulation of thread is the key to defining the value. Though many collectors are purists about handmade lace, some of the most wonderful, dramatic pieces are machine-made. At the turn of the century, when the nouveau riche sent their wives to Paris, they didn't care if that lace collar was machine or handmade, as long as it turned heads across the room. Machine-made lace does that; handmade lace does not.

An example of machine-made lace
An example of machine-made lace

The combination of skill, experience, and time involved in lace-making often provokes the "disbelief factor." People can't comprehend today that human beings did this.

Here are some of the finer points of collecting lace:

The market for lace collecting

This is a fantastic time to become a lace collector. It's an absolute sleeper category, relatively unknown. The competition isn't that fierce, and people don't recognize the values. Astute collectors know this, and they're sitting there lurking. They won't pay top dollar because eventually some unwitting person is going to put something amazing on the market and they're going to snatch it up for peanuts.

The market peaked in the 1930s, when lace collectors were a high-society crowd. They talk about a bridal veil going for the price of a new roadster. Today, a truly astounding veil might go for $10,000 but it's worth much more. Recently, two small pieces of Point de Neige needle lace dating from around 1680 were found scrunched in a plastic bag at a church rummage sale. Acquired for $10, these treasures were later valued at $1,000 each.


Guide to Lace and Linens
by Elizabeth Kurella

 


 

 

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