Web Analytics
“Of Limerick Lace and Royalty: The Enduring Connection Between Queen Victoria and the Art of Lacemaking” – Limerick Gazette

“Of Limerick Lace and Royalty: The Enduring Connection Between Queen Victoria and the Art of Lacemaking”

Limerick lace, a delicate and exquisite art form, has long been appreciated for its intricate designs and clear patterns. Despite concerns that the lace-making process might diminish the sharpness of these patterns, Queen Victoria was extremely pleased with the results that Limerick lace artisans produced. It is worth exploring the rich history of Limerick lace-making and how its connection to Queen Victoria served to elevate the prominence of this craft.

One particular piece of Limerick lace that caught Queen Victoria’s attention was a black needlerun flounce, which was inspired by an old Chantilly veil of significant value. The delicate craftsmanship of this lace demonstrated the remarkable skills of the Limerick artisans, emphasizing the precision and intricacy the Limerick lace-making process could achieve.

The North Bucks Lace Association, founded in 1897 by influential women in the county and led by Mrs. Walter Carlile, was fortunate to receive significant encouragement and patronage from Queen Victoria. In fact, her first purchase from the association amounted to over £13. Impressed with the high quality of the lace products she received, the Queen requested additional orders, which ultimately raised the total value to £18. She continued to buy the lace, including beautiful specimens of cream silk lace known as Royal Irish guipure, and rose point lace, a completely needle-made lace that requires a considerable amount of time to produce.

It is important to note that such lace pieces are both labor-intensive and extremely valuable. Their intricate patterns and exquisite craftsmanship make them as costly as diamonds, with their worth proverbially weighing more than gold. The Queen’s patronage of Limerick lace emphasized its significance and elevated its renown on the international stage.

An interesting connection between the Limerick lace used in the Queen’s wedding ceremony and the village of Beer can be seen in a stone lamp post on the seafront near the Fishermen’s Shelter. Surmounted by a weather vane, the lamp serves as a guiding light for local fishing boats as they navigate their way back to the village’s landing area. The lamp post was funded by Mrs. Washbourne (Miss Bidney), a native of the village, who bequeathed money in her will for the construction of a memorial within her hometown. This link between the lace and the village of Beer underscores the vital role Limerick lace has played in connecting different parts of the world and various elements of art and culture.

The story of Limerick lace serves as a testament to the incredible artistic talents of the people of Limerick. It shows the meticulous care, dedication, and skill required to produce beautiful lace items that have delighted people for centuries, including royalty.

Gentlewoman – Saturday 02 February 1901