Seventeenth Century Needle Lace Collar

Triple portrait of Charles I, by Anthony van Dyck. c. 1635/1636. Triple portrait of Charles I, by Anthony van Dyck. c. 1635/1636. The Royal Collection, Copyright Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. RCIN 404420.

In the Blackborne collection of the Bowes Museum (UK), there is a needle lace collar (79 x 21.5 cm), which is believed to date to the 1630's. It may even have been worn by the British king, Charles I (1600-1649). During the late nineteenth century the collar was the property of the London based lace dealers, Blackborne & Co.

In 2006 descendants of the Blackbornes gave their remaining stock, study collection and accompanying documents to the Bowes Museum. Among these pieces the Museum staff found the collar, made from an elaborate form of needle lace constructed using a white, linen thread. The Bowes Museum put it, plus some two hundred other pieces from the collection, in an exhibition entitled Fine & Fashionable, which ran from September 2006 to April 2007.

In 2013 the collar was lent to the Royal Collection Trust as part of a prestigious exhibition, called In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion, which was on display in The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, from 10 May 2013 until 6 October 2013. The collar was put on display next to the famous triple portrait of Charles I, painted by Anthony van Dyck (dated c. 1635/1636). The painting shows three portraits of Charles I, in each of which he is wearing a comparable, needlelace collar.

Digital source (retrieved 16 April 2016).

Royal Collection Fund online catalogue (retrieved 9 July 2016).


Last modified on Monday, 03 October 2016 18:26
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