Dear little set of Regency cleverness! Knit & drawnthread interest.

Dear little set of Regency cleverness! Knit & drawnthread interest.

This little set is most unusual and dated to 1807. It will be of interest to those who love rare baby/child textiles of the Georgian era and for the needlework skills of the period. It came with the collection of clothing I am naming 'Abbotts Ann' because they stayed in one family through generations, many of them labelled Abbotts Ann, a tiny village in Hampshire with a 'chocolate box' ancient appeal and history.

The set includes a single sock for a child. This is knitted with initials worked within the knit! The owner said it is a name, but all I can work out is three large initials with smaller initials following. The sock has a central vertical seam at the base of the foot and nicely shaped heels.

Then there is a single mitt, knitted it more of a fancy openwork stitch, with open top and a simple gap for the thumb. She inserted pink paper inside to show the work and I have left it in place.

Now we come to the two pieces that really fascinate me! The owner calls them 'Toby Frills', a term I had never heard of before. I researched the name and find it is a term still used today, seemingly in the USA and it refers to frills one attaches as decoration to baby wear.

Look closely however, and the Regency versions are not the same. I think they are ruffs for a baby's neck! Oh my word! There are two. One is flat and could easily have been gathered as a frill on a frock. But the other tells us far more. This seems to be a finished 'toby frill' or ruff, gathered onto a linen band and with a linen tie to one end. I think the other tie is missing, and that this piece was tied on to the baby or child like a collar, which would stand proud in wearing.

Now, lets look closely at the 'toby frill'. Tiny work and a derivative of Dresden work! The probably fine linen has been completely covered in drawnthread work until we reach the lower edge, when the drawnthread work takes on a different pattern, and is overworked in a tiny embroidery design. Such a thrill to find if you are similar to me in taking joy from such small details.

An odd little Regency group, and I am so pleased that she saved them to pass through generations of the family.

  • CONDITION:

    This everyday group has stood the test of time very cleanly, but there are little area's of wear and repair. Nothing to worry about at all in my opinion. 

    This is not a spectacular group; it is for those, like me, who find history amazing.

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