Lace bertha, from a length of Venetian point, needle lace technique, linen, original length, Italy, 1680-1710, made into bertha, Flanders, mid Nineteenth Century
A lace bertha, made from grounded Venetian point lace, needle lace technique made of linen. Bertha features ornately scrolling floral forms, richly ornamented with different stitch textures, the whole in an open mesh ground. The most solid parts of this lace are worked in simple buttonholed cloth stitch, relieved by patterns of holes in some places. The ground stitches are triple-twisted and whipped, and worked lengthwise. There are about 20 different filling stitches mostly based on different groupings of twisted and corded buttonhole stitch, one of which is decorated with a profusion of tiny buttonholed circles, the nearest this lace comes to relief work. The fineness of the work requires 10 x magnification to appreciate its structure. There is no cordonnet, and all motifs are outlined with a "festoon" of spaced, twisted buttonhole stitches. All stitches twist right to left. Engrelure is made using bobbin lace and bertha is made of linen.
A rare and important lace despite its joins