Wednesday, 10 November 2021

True love inscribed in lace bobbins


Although these two lace bobbins are made by different makers they could have been designed as a complementary pair. The simpler one is inscribed with ‘Love me truly’ and the one with the spiral inscription gives the reassuring response ‘I love you my dear that is true’. I think that the plainer bobbin was probably made by Arthur Wright of Cranfield, who produced most of his bobbins during the 1870s. His bobbins tend to include quite simple messages inscribed in crude letters which are always coloured red. The bobbin with the spiral inscription is probably the work of Jesse Compton who was working much earlier in the nineteenth century, mainly in the 1830s and 1840s. His bobbins tend to be quite slender, probably because the bobbin lace being made at that time was very fine and required a large number of bobbins on the pillow. The letters on the bobbin are neat and alternately coloured red and blue which are both features of his work. Sadly then these two bobbins were not part of a dialogue between a lacemaker and her lover but they do show that lacemakers were looking for true love throughout the nineteenth century.

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