Brabant lace bedspread

This lace bedspread, dating from the middle of the 18th century, is a rare example of an original overall concept that has fortunately been conserved, a set of bed linen that was probably made for a couple from the nobility. During this period, the bedroom was where high-ranking visitors were regularly received and the bed was thus a piece of ceremonial furniture in the room. From an iconographical point of view, the flowers, fruit, bees and butterflies on the bedspread are references to fertility, whilst the palm trees, bunches of grapes and ears of wheat refer to the Eucharist.

The bedspread is an example of bobbin lacemaking in Brussels at its technical height, with motifs executed in a light and refined manner that was typical of the period. Great attention has been paid to the decorative background and the work in grisaille. Closer observation of the bedspread reveals that the subtle variations in colour of the motifs are due to the fact that the bedspread is actually a mosaic of small pieces. It is thus likely that tens of lace-makers worked to create this prestigious piece that bore witness to the international reputation of Brussels lace.

The Léon Courtin-Marcelle Bouché Fund acquired the bedspread, which was once part of a collection belonging to the descendants of Prince Ferdinand of Bavaria. The work has been entrusted to the Antwerp Fashion Museum, which will devote an exhibition to it in 2018.

Further information about the Léon Courtin-Marcelle Bouché Fund (in French)

Type: 
Textile
Material / technique: 
Bobbin lacemaking
Dimensions: 
144 x 194 cm
Type of acquisition: 
Acquisition Léon Courtin-Marcelle Bouché Fund
Year of acquisition: 
2015
Depository institution: 
Fashion Museum, Antwerp