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CHANTILLY LACE 101

Chantilly is a delicate silk or linen bobin lace having a scalloped border and often an outlined design of scrolls or flowers.   It embodies all that is spectacular about lace.   The antique look of today’s lace is true to the original, yet less fragile.   Distinctly feminine, Chantilly is made in larger pieces and can be draped like fabric.  The sweep of this lace is a highlight in Christine’s Collection.   Traditionally a black lace, it’s main designs were floral with swags and ribbons and occaisionally birds, putti or grape and vine leaves with tendrils.

Production flourished between 1740 and 1785 under the patronage of Louis XV and Louis XVI.   Very few 18th Century examples have been identified, probably because the black dye used was acid and contained iron.   This caused oxidization, loss of colour, and the dissolution of the fabric itself.

Like other laces, the production of Chantilly declined with the Revolution, but was revived about 1804 by the Emperor Napoleon, who decreed that only Alencon and Chantilly laces should be worn at Court!

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