Superb baby cap with 1730-40 Valenciennes lace insertion
The final image below is taken from The Met Museum; Accession Number 09.68.609, an infant cap described simply as '18th Century'. This was an important part of researching this cap because, although I have examined these 'keyhole' caps before, they are very difficult to date with any accuracy. The Lace Mentor then identified the lace, so we have finally reached a conclusion! This was a very treasured baby - a most wonderful cap, tiny, with embroidered dots and tiny stitches which hold original silk ties to adjust the shape to fit perfectly. The beautiful 'baby lace' all around the edge is late 18th Century. But the superb surprise is in the key hole insertion - a Valenciennes lace dating to 1730-40, George ll period, and showing gorgeous flowers in the design. A very special lace insertion obviously kept by the family for such a grand event. The insertion is wider than usual to show off the lace, and has been cut from a larger piece, but the inside of the cap is as neat as the outside!
Wonderful condition! Strangely, just as with the other, one of the linen chin ties is missing but all of the silk ribbons are in superb condition. There is a soft age discoloured mark at the top of the 'keyhole'. I know for sure that this will rinse out completely, but the early lace is better unwashed. I recommend you love the colour just as it is. I do!