I really became interested in lace after seeing so many examples on early samplers - before that I must admit to being a bit lukewarm. And then, of course, designs for lace appeared in all those early pattern books, and then I saw Venetian lace in Burano and Venice, so frankly I am well and truly a devotee now. Click on the image above to enlarge it. Can you see the horsemen? The castle and the tower? The row of extraordinary birds? Isn't it wonderful.
Did you know that thieves preferred lace to jewels and in the early 1700s, ladies were enjoined to sit in their carriages with their backs to the driver, since it was the custom of thieves to slit open the carrriage back and take the lady's head - not as bloodthirsty as it sounds, it meant simply taking the lady's lace headress!
So much lace was lost because it was destroyed by customs - when foreign lace was banned in England, amateurs went to great and clandestine lengths to get their hands on it - even shipping it over in coffins from continental Europe. The coffin would contain head, arms and legs and the body would be a bolster full of lace. Who needs cocaine?