Thursday, 1 October 2015

Nottingham lace curtain

I’ve been doing some research into the lace curtain depicted on my print and have discovered that it was made by Thomas Adams & Co of Nottingham for the 1862 International Exhibition in London. Thomas Adams started manufacturing lace in 1830 but soon expanded, and by 1888 had a curtain factory in Turin and in 1914 warehouses in various European centres so was clearly one of the major UK manufacturers. The aim had been to hold the exhibition in 1861, ten years after the Great Exhibition of 1851, but unforeseen circumstances, including the death of Prince Albert, delayed its opening. Unfortunately the ‘Illustrated record of the International Exhibition of all nations in 1862’ is not very helpful on the subject of lace, despite it being a major UK export and employer. It mentions a few examples in the exhibition from London, Nottingham, Ireland, Belgium, France and India and concludes by patronizingly mentioning ‘the many admiring lady visitors who thronged to this, to them, deeply interesting department of the Exhibition’. I think my next step will be to find an accurate catalogue of the textile exhibits and go from there.

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