Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Love lace bobbins


These lace bobbins all celebrate love. One just has the word love inscribed on it another has My and then a heart symbol, and the third also has a heart symbol preceded by Toms (Toms love). They are all quite plain in their style of decoration and each has a spangle made up of traditional square cut glass beads and they are obviously made by the same hand. I’ve had trouble deciding who made them though because they could be the work of Jesse or James Compton or David Haskins all of whom occasionally used this style of bold lettering although it wasn’t their typical style. I eventually decided against David Haskins as the necks of the bobbins are longer than his usual work and the attachments for the spangles are not as defined as his typical bobbins. Also he tends to bracket his lettering with a single circle of colour at top and bottom unlike the two circles in all of these bobbins. Once I’d eliminated him I had to decide between the two Comptons who tend to use the same style of lettering and colours. Jesse was working in the early part of the nineteenth century and his bobbins are generally much slimmer and smaller than these ones, mainly because most lacemakers were making fine Bucks point lace at that time. His son James tends to make larger bobbins (like those here) to accommodate the thicker thread and larger pillows used for Bedfordshire lace, which was being made towards the end of the century. What clinched my decision to attribute them to James was a photograph in the Springett’s book ‘Success to the lace pillow’ which shows one of James’ bobbins with a heart symbol that is very similar to those on these bobbins.

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