Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Repaired bone lace bobbins

These three bone lace bobbins are interesting because although they were broken the owners were so attached to them that they repaired them in order to continue using them. The one on the left is inscribed with the message ‘Sweet love be mine and make me thine’ and although the neck was obviously broken at some time the lacemaker, or more probably her husband or the local bobbin dealer, has attached the shaft with the message to the neck of a wooden bobbin and sealed it in place with pewter bands so that it could continue to be used. The same has been done to the central bobbin which bears the name ‘Charls’ [Charles], although the new wooden neck has been attached in a more elegant manner with a pewter stud. The one on the right is inscribed ‘Jane Wesaley 1869’ and this one has not been repaired with a new neck, instead the neck has been whittled into a point to make a stiletto for broderie anglaise work. In this case the new point would be used to make holes or openings in fine cloth which are embroidered around with buttonhole stitches to make a decorative pattern. It’s nice to think that although these bobbins broke because they were so well used the lacemakers who owned them still wanted them to be part of their daily lives and gave them a new lease of life by repairing them.

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