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Flounce (1)

Unknown

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The distinctive design of this flounce is typical of the eighteenth-century style called rococo. Rococo takes its name from the French word rocaille, which means the rock or shell motifs that often formed part of the designs. Curved forms are common in rococo, resembling the letters S and C, together with motifs suggesting water or waves, and the design is often not symmetrical. All of these characteristics can be seen in this piece.

The flounce was made in Brussels. The technique used there for making bobbin lace allows different pieces of the pattern to be worked separately, and joined afterwards. This enabled several lace makers to work on one piece, and was essential for creating such a large flounce as this. It was crucial for the success of the finished lace for all of the lace makers to work their sections to the same tension and fineness, and the task of joining the pieces together was a particularly skilled one.

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  • Title: Flounce (1)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1735/1744
  • Location: Brussels
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 64 cm, Length: 325 cm top edge approx., Length: 84 cm pattern repeat, Length: 129 in, Width: 25.75 in
  • Provenance: Given from the collection of Mary, Viscountess Harcourt GBE
  • Medium: Bobbin lace worked in linen thread

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