Here is the whole piece of Reticella that the detail on the Reticella group was taken from.

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Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on March 5, 2011 at 9:50pm

Unfortunately I do not own a copy of the Levey book.  It was way out of my buying capacity. I borrowed it from the State Library once, and I had another look at it when Im was staying with my daughter in Denver (she was Guild librarian with all the books at her house.  What a hard way to spend a holiday!!! :)  )

I was researching Puncetto lace at the time - after a lead from Devon as to what a sample piece was that Helen had for the exhibition. But that is another story!!

The dates Devon has given  1544, and 1557, seem to hold on to the theory that this lace came first, and the more open reticella developed From this one.

Comment by Lorelei Halley on March 5, 2011 at 9:43pm

I went and looked at Levey, too.  Here is what I found.  Plates from her book, by plate #, with strong diagonal direction to the design.

     cutwork inserted into woven cloth:  # 14 and #17

      The entire object is needlelace (reticella) with strong diagonal design:  #s 21, 34, 48, 53

      pettern books with diagonal designs: # 16 and #20 (as Devon said)


I'm not going to venture any opinion about dates or the time sequence in which these designs appear.  I just don't know enough about needle lace, I haven't seen enough actual examples.

Comment by Devon Thein on March 5, 2011 at 9:21pm
Levey's book, pictures 16 and 20, show similar patterns. One is noted as Matio Pagano, Venice 1544. The other as Giovanni Ostaus 1557 (1591 edition).
Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on March 5, 2011 at 7:50pm

There is nothing like this in Vinciolo's book, which came out around 1587 I think.

I have always had a feeling (though No knowledge - just a gut feeling) that this is the earlier form, and then the larger squares and more fancy designs followed.

It is interesting to note that the tiny pyramids or triangls in the corners are free from the Horizontal & vertical lines at their sides, due, I suppose to the straight lines being fabric ,overcast or needlewoven over.

What tiny picots!!

Comment by Devon Thein on March 5, 2011 at 7:14am

Another problem with trying to date a pattern is that once people started making something like cutwork, for instance, they continued making it. So new techniques may be added but the old ones continue to be practiced. After all, that is what we are doing.

I think I will keep my eye out for portraits that have similar lace on them.


Comment by Lorelei Halley on March 4, 2011 at 10:35pm
An interesting theory.  The problem with working out a dating sequence for all these kinds of lace is first to see enough examples to form a good idea of what is out there.   Two or three examples isn't enough.  It takes at least a dozen from a half century time period.  The only time I've wished I had piles of money in the bank is to daydream about crawling through all the world's major museums with lots of lace in their textile departments.  The other problem with dates is finding some kind of outside reference point.  Mostly lace historians use portraits, some weaving sample books, and some of the printed pattern books.
Comment by Devon Thein on March 4, 2011 at 8:58pm

This piece is unlike many of the ones we see patterns for in that it is composed of un underlying framework of rather small squares (of the underlying linen). There are some like this in Levey identified as second half of the 16th century. I am wondering if there is some kind of chronological progression to the designs. For instance, ones like this may have been more popular earlier than the ones with larger squares. These might be closer to the cutworks that preceded them and from which they developed. I don't know this, but I am going to be alert to anything that might support or disprove the theory.

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti. on March 4, 2011 at 6:11pm

That is interesting.  I haven't tried a piece like that, though I have a couple of patterns.

Hmm! I must have a go!!! :)

Comment by Lorelei Halley on March 4, 2011 at 2:17pm
Devon: thanks for posting this.  It really is a beautiful piece.

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