Lace, the product of intense, time-consuming hand work, signaled prestige, power, and wealth, and consequently acted as an important finishing touch on elite dress. Martha Washington owned several sets of lace that she used to adorn her gowns, caps, and other accessories. Likely used as trimming or robing along the front edges of a gown, this unusually long piece of Brussels lace may have been part of one of the “suits” or sets of Brussels lace that she purchased from London in the 1760s or 1770s. It exemplifies the contemporary taste in lace for large open areas of mesh and motifs of scrolling leaves, flowers, and fancy fillings concentrated on the lace’s lower edge. The mesh is of the “droschel” style, featuring hexagonal shapes. More





Linen, Bobbin lace


Overall (WxD): 64 1/2 in. × 5 1/4 in. (163.83 cm × 13.34 cm)


Gift of Mrs. M. Lee Shaffer, Jr. and Charles Conrad Krumbhaar, Jr., 1955

Object Number



Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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