This is a spectacular antique needlerun or embroidered net lace shawl, probably Irish Limerick Lace in origin and dating to around 1890-1900. This is an heirloom piece so if looked after will not only be wearable as a bridal shawl, but can become a valuable piece to hand down the generations!
- The designs are extensive across the main body of the shawl and along the bottom edge of the deep frill or panel. The design consists of flowing leaves, vase type structures and flower features which have an Art Nouveau feel. There is an extensive range of filling stitches to this very fine work and this shawl will have taken a great number of lacemaker hours to complete
- The colour of the shawl is off-white or the palest ivory. Around the main body and the lower panel there is a very fine picot edging which is soft white which I think may be a later addition only because it appears a little whiter in colour, however it has the effect of framing the shawl beautifully
- The upper edge of the main body of the shawl is gently shaped or scalloped adding even more interest particularly when sitting across the shoulders and allowing the lower panel to drape. This might especially complement a strapless, backless or fine strapped gown or outfit where the shoulders need to be covered when travelling to and from the wedding
- This shawl feels decadent and luxurious given it is handmade and demonstrates such beautiful lacemaking skills. It measures a huge 64.5ins wide along the top edge excluding the frill and 82ins including the depth of the frill! At the deepest point at the centre of the back of the shawl it measures 15.25ins, the main body of the shawl measuring 9ins and the panel measuring 6.25ins
- The condition of the shawl is near excellent. There are a couple of tiny pin prick holes which I've decided to leave to reduce stress on the net and some very minor repairs to the net in the panel and a couple in the main body which are only noticeable on very close inspection. Remarkable given its age and size and indicative that this piece has been exceptionally well looked after and probably only used on very special occasions!
This heirloom shawl has certainly been loved, respected and well cared for throughout its life so far, allowing us to love and enjoy it for years to come and give credit to the anonymous and skillful lacemaker.