2651. Large Crochet Collar with Orvieto techniques

  • Type: Crochet
  • Purpose: Collar
  • Date: 1890-1910
  • Colour: ecru
  • Width:  38cms deep
  • Length: 48cms around neck
  • Notes: Note that there are a few motifs that are constantly repeated. The collar still makes a very good impact and was possibly made to imitate Venetian Gros Point. See Comment by Elaine Moule and reply dated 16th April 2018. UPDATE: Please see comment from Linda Partrick relating to Orvieto Crochet on 9/8/2018. FURTHER UPDATE as at September 2018: Following Linda Partick’s comment I found myself with the opportuinty to visit various places in Italy this year. So, I added Orvieto to the itinerary. After some research I discovered that the Merletti School that was in Via Filipeschi has closed but the Merletto di Orvieto shop is now Via della Cava in the Medieval Quarter of  Orvieto. I met the wonderful Signora Loretta Lovisa who has lovingly dedicated her craft life to making and promoting crochet made in Orvieto all over the world. I spent a very pleasant time discussing this collar amongst other pieces with her. She was of the opinion that the collar itself had not been made in Orvieto but the techniques had been learned by someone in Orvieto, possibly when the school had been in operation and that they had then taken the techniques home and then made the collar. The crochet lace made in Orvieto is called “Ars Wetana”, it being the result of a benevolent society. The crochet was originally based on Irish Crochet. Signora Lovisa’s book gives a brief history of the lace and there are articles online about how it came into existence. The Orvieto crochet motifs are based on architectural and pictorial pieces in the fabulous Duomo in the town, ivy , acanthus, vine, flowers and animals. The design is drawn and then basted onto material. The piece is made and then removed from the material. The crochet is then turned over and “pressed”. I am extremely grateful to Linda for pointing me in the Orvieto direction and to Signora Lovisa for her time, knowledge, enthusiasm and sharing.
  • Catalogue No: –

reverse of one of the motifs

Slightly different motifs

same motif, different orientation

same motif, slightly different orientation

reverse – but still able to see the same motifs used in different orientations

close up of reverse of a motif

note joins differ. the join on the left of the picture is the only one of its type on the whole piece


Slightly different motifs and different orientation. See also connections

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4 Responses to 2651. Large Crochet Collar with Orvieto techniques

  1. Elaine Moule says:

    Just fascinated to see this as crochet. I had always thought of it as needle.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for your comment Elaine and as you were the owner of this piece your opinion is welcomed. Well, I have had the books out again and put the piece under my large magnifier.
      I hold my hands up as I did before and say that I know very little about needlelace and am only an amateur BUT
      I think that the motifs are made up of a machined tape that then has had a tremendous amount of hand work done on it…adding a bourdon cord and the fillings. You can see tiny little stitches of another shade of cotton attaching the cord to the tape under the magnifier.
      The connections between the motifs differ and this is borne out from the additional photos to the site. As you said the edging is probably hand as well and it too differs in that in some places there is a single row and in others a double, so hand not machine. It doesn’t appear to be Levers, Pushers, Schiffli or Cornely per Pat Earnshaw’s book on Machined laces. I don’t think that it’s chemical or “aetzed”, it’s too smooth and there’s no fuzziness.
      I still think that it’s an imitation/copy piece (with “WOW” factor) but a lot of these pieces were able to be done domestically as piecework, especially the motifs. PLEASE if anyone else can add to this and correctly identify this piece we would be very grateful.

  2. Linda Partrick says:

    was wondering if this might be Orvieto crochet?

    • admin says:

      Hi Linda
      Thanks for adding to the conversation about this piece. I confess to knowing nothing about crochet and particularly Italian Crochet or specifically Orvieto. PLEASE anything further that you or anyone else can add will be greatly appreciated. I have looked at a couple entries on “Google” relating to Orvieto Crochet and it’s a whole subject in itself and the pieces are beautiful. Many thanks once again for your contribution and for setting me off and hopefully others in another “lace” direction again. :-

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