The lacemaker used high-quality French black silk bobbin lace for this shawl. Black silk became very fashionable from the mid 19 th century. Early in the century the best French silk lace came from Chantilly and Caen. It was mostly white or natural coloured (blonde), with some black for the Spanish market. Bayeux became a lacemaking centre in 1827. It developed heavy silk laces, which were highly fashionable in the 1830s. As the fashion for blonde lace declined in the 1840s, the manufacturers of Chantilly, Caen and Bayeux introduced black lace worked with non-shiny silk. This type of silk was very fashionable up to the 1860s and remained popular to the end of the century. Until the 1850s, the best silk came from Chantilly. The name Chantilly continued to be used long after the centre of the industry had moved elsewhere. Chantilly lace had a delicate net ground and pattern areas outlined with heavier silk thread, as you can see here.


  • Title: Shawl
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1860/1870
  • Location: Chantilly
  • Physical Dimensions: Width: 290 cm maximum, Depth: 142.5 cm at centre maximum, Width: 113.25 in maximum
  • Provenance: Given by Mrs H. C. B. Lethbridge
  • Medium: Silk bobbin lace

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