We recently acquired a small leather-bound book of graph paper in which William Blore of Nottingham, England, drew patterns for the lace he manufactured. In many cases he affixed a sample of the lace for reference.
In 1910, Bernard Blore (relationship still unknown) moved to America and by 1930 he was vice president of Connecticut Lace Works in Norwalk, Connecticut. Some time between 1910 and 1930, an unknown person sent the lace pattern book to Bernard from England. The book was accompanied by a note and on the verso was another pattern that the writer had critiqued. Connecticut Lace Works was formerly known as Dresden Lace Works, but in 1918 they were sold by an “alien property custodian”–German-sounding companies were associated with their country during World War I and were considered dangerous.
I find the book fascinating for several reasons. The patterns, while they make no sense to me from a technical standpoint are visually stunning. The samples may make it possible to identify Connecticut Lace Works lace on some of our costumes. And here we have a story that again illustrates our distrust of “the others.”
We have several books in our collection about lace and lace-making, but this is the first manuscript on the topic. Please ask for Ms 101711 when you come to the Research Center to take a look at this fascinating little book. And if you can make the connection between William and Bernard Blore, we would be most appreciative. It is frustrating to leave questions unanswered!