With their luxuriant patterns and pleasing symmetry, so-called lace pattern silks of the early eighteenth century were used for sumptuous fashions and furnishings throughout Europe. Peaking in popularity in the 1720s, lace pattern brocades underscore a significant design exchange between two important French industries. Silks of this type are characterized by areas of delicate diaper patterning and fillings that typically resemble lace or net. It may appear that silk weavers derived their designs from pieces of lace; however, it was in fact the brocades that inspired the lacemakers of the day. Though independently creative, lace manufacturers kept abreast of stylistic developments in related fields—within the detailed, mesh-like silk patterns of this brief period, designers saw great potential for new types of intricacies in their laces.
This panel—one of two available—features a large-scale symmetrical design with stylized, exotic florals and foliage, primarily in ivory with areas of diaper fillings, and brocaded details in pale aqua blue, green, and yellow silk floss, against a gleaming crimson satin ground.