Antique Crocheted Lace for Altar Cloth - 13 wide and almost 11 Long!

This comes from my private stash.  I could just picture it someday hanging in my new house in the sunroom – until I wised up and realized the sun would ruin in a few short years – and I still don’t have the new house.  Soooo… here goes.  I was told by the antique dealer I bought it from that they lady that sold it to her claimed it was made around 1870 by nuns in Belgium.  Although I can’t guarantee that’s true, there are no indicators to prove it’s not.  Many convents sold handmade lace as a source of income.  It’s made from a small linen thread and has just started to silver – like all very old linen does.  It also came with a wide cotton binding sewn to the top (which I removed) which is probably why the lace is still perfect.  It was no doubt basted to an altar cloth through the binding instead of the lace.  When the altar cloth got soiled, the lace was removed and then reattached after the cloth was cleaned.  It measures 13” wide by an incredible 130” – that’s almost 11 feet long, and as there’s a lot of “give” to it, you could probably add several (or more) inches.  It is clean, strong and perfect.  A fabulous piece. 

Hand washed, air dried and pressed.  Excellent condition   c. 1870 - 1900


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