Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Broken hearts on the lace pillow


These two nineteenth century lace bobbins have a sad tale to tell. The one on the left is inscribed with the words ‘Love don’t forsake me’ and the thinner one on the right says ‘A kiss from my true love will ease a wounded heart’. We don’t know the story behind them but someone has been upset in love and is trying to remedy the situation. Were these bobbins a gift to the lacemaker from her boyfriend upset that she had broken off their relationship or were they bought by the lacemaker to console herself after a boyfriend had moved on? ‘Love don’t forsake me’ could also be a plea from a lacemaker to a young man not to leave the village to improve his lot or join the armed forces. The neat lettering and yellow and red rings on each side of this bobbin suggest that it was made by William ‘Bobbin’ Brown of Cranfield in the mid nineteenth century. The thinner bobbin with its tight spiral message looks like the work of Jesse Compton and was probably made slightly earlier, in the 1830s. Both bobbins are still in use today even though the romances they commemorate may not have lasted.

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