This English shawl combines machine-made net with applied flower sprigs worked in coloured silk bobbin lace. It may possibly be the 'chromatic silk berthe' J. Rawlings designed for W. L. Gill of Colyton, Devon. That shawl appeared at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London.
Black lace became very fashionable from about the 1850s. The trend was reinforced by the Empress Eugénie of France, who loved wearing lace and particularly favoured black. Black silk bobbin lace was a major part of production in northern France and an important industry in Spain. Other countries developed machine-made lace to meet demand. Colour, often in combination with black, became a feature of both handmade and machine-made lace in the 1850s and 1860s.