Point de Sedan

Example of Point de Sedan, dated 1715. Example of Point de Sedan, dated 1715.

Point de Sedan is a form of needlepoint lace, with a raised design ('gros'), which is named after the town of Sedan, in northeastern France. The lace was produced during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The English lace historian Pat Earnshaw noted that Point de Sedan was based on: “precise rigid formality of small but well spaced units…. Richly varied fillings and exquisitely fine workmanship.” She then goes on to describe it as giving “the impression of a garden overgrown and gone to seed, with a riot of bursting fruits, tangled and full-blown to the point of dissipation ….. (it) succeeded only in appearing vulgar.”

The above description is somewhat exaggerated. Point de Sedan is characterised by the use of large floral motifs, including flowers, pomegranates, etc., with very little ground. The pomegranate is associated with the Roman Catholic Church, and it may be no coincidence that many prelates of the period are depicted wearing Point de Sedan.

Point de Sedan and Point de France were developed in the late seventeenth century to counter the importation of expensive Italian (Gros Point de Venice) and Flemish laces.


  • EARNSHAW, Pat (1984). A Dictionary of Lace, Aylesbury: Shire Publications Ltd., p. 132.
  • POWYS, Marian (1953). Lace and Lace Making, Boston MS, Charles T. Branford Company, p. 13. [Reprinted in: Dover Publications, 2013].

Digital source (retrieved 14th July 2015).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 6 July 2016).


Last modified on Friday, 05 May 2017 19:47
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