19th Century Crocheted Point de France Fall Cap

Kate PDFrance Crochet over

A recent article, Crocheted Maltese:  Collecting Insouciant Lace featured the art and craft of the creative crocheting lacemaker -- a lacemaker who can copy any lacemaking technique.  This piece is even more extraordinary than the Maltese crochet.

A lacemaker picked up a crochet hook and ball of thread, and undoubtedly without pattern or instructions made a complete fall cap, or cap-and-lappets set, in imitation of fine French needle lace.

In the mid 19th century, such a fall cap would have been arranged into an elaborate hairdo, with ribbons and flowers and other embellishments   

(Below, illustration from a Spring 1864 issue of Peterson's Magazine)

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The lacemaker obviously planned for such elaborate hair arrangment by working two slits into the cap, which could allow ringlets of hair, ribbons, or other accessories in the styling as the headdress was secured.

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The lacemaker may have taken inspiration from  a piece like this (right), apparently remodeled into a tie or lappets in the 19th century from earlier Point de France needle  lace.

It is more the overall impression of Point de France or other fine needle lace that the crochet lacemaker imitated.  The motifs are not as closely rendered as other imitative crochet work -- the crocheted Maltese for example.

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Some examples of the elements that were used as inspiration: the great numbers of tiny picots, and the tiny checkerboard filling arrangments, the arrangement of background connectiong bars decorated with tiny picots.

What is also especially remarkable is the fine scale of the crochet. Compare the size of the penny in each closeup photo. 

Although the picots are somewhat larger in the crochet than in the Point de France...

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...in comparison to typical crochet they are significantly finer.

So again we can take insipiration from creative crocheters, and recognize that all of us have untapped reservoirs of creativity.


POSTED  Oct. 10, 2013

lacecurator@gmail.com  www.lacemerchant.com      219-659-1124    Elizabeth Kurella 2014