c 1700s- 1800s
Cotton or linen (est.); straight (continuous) bobbin lace (Vologda tape lace). The tape forms figural or plants motifs outlined with gimp (heavy cord) with a polychrome plaited ground linking the tape; applied silk (est.) ribbon and metal thread trim
Overall: 45.7 x 42.9 cm (18 x 16 7/8 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1931.110
Embellishing the ends of everyday towels was a common folk tradition in many cultures because it displayed the skill of the mother or daughter who made this lace.
This Russian lace panel was likely used to embellish the end of a bathing towel. Textiles of this type are valuable for their fine lace making including ancient folk motifs, ritual significance, exemplification of the role of textiles in their society, and in this case, connection to a prominent woman collector, Natalia de Shabelsky, without whom this textile and others like it might have been lost.
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