Irish crochet mixed lace coat, c.1905
With its wide angel sleeves, the arresting silhouette—especially from the back—makes a memorable impression. The loose fitting shape imparts an almost clerical connotation: a "fashion uniform"—but the kind worn only by the most stylish of women.
Made from white cotton, handmade Irish crochet with alternating panels of machine made mesh, the comfortable style is gently shaped in front and back with tucks below the bust. Like all hand-assembled lace garments, the shape is built in without unsightly seams.
The coat closes at the front neckline with a large hook. The closure and the tucks are embellished with three dimensional Irish crochet flowers. They showcase the masterful technique, which you can appreciate when you zoom in on the individual motifs.
Three-dimensional raised work, the distinguishing element of Irish crochet lace, accounts for its enduring romantic appeal. We never seem to tire of the bold floral compositions easily viewed from a distance. Our coat has all the attributes favored by serious collectors: unusual large medallions in the lace pattern; a variety of floral motifs; and a pleasing arrangement of the motifs.
Irish crochet artists used 17th century Venetian needlepoint laces as their inspiration. When we consider the modern history of women's high fashion, we tend to think only of Parisian couture, created by Charles Worth in 1858. Viewing costume art as a lovely flowering tree, its main trunk was indeed couture. There were, however, other fruitful branches on the tree: Aesthetic Dress was one; and Irish lace was the other.
The condition is excellent. The coat is clean and ready to wear.
The loose fitting full style fits a range of sizes.
It measures: about 46" bust and waist, 50" hip, and 51" from shoulder to front hem.