Thursday, April 3, 2014

Au Louvre Paris

I  was in Paris for a weekend getaway a couple weeks ago and while walking along the Seine in that area, you know the area where all of the books sellers are set up? One of the sellers was selling vintage woman's magazines. I stopped when I saw a copy of "Le Petit Echo de la Broderie", dated Sunday 18 May, 1913. It quickly became mine. You see, on the cover was this purse:
I love filet and this project is just beautiful. Had I picked this magazine up in 1913, by mail order, I could have  bought the filet for 3fr 75, everything for the embroidery for 16fr 05 the pretty closure (Irish crochet) for 0fr 85 and the the fringe with the little balls for 2fr 85 a meter.
The fact that one could buy hand knotted filet is a good thing since in many old books the actual making of the filet looks a lot like something rather daunting to make. Much better to know it could be purchased and that it was not uncommon to do so. How uncommon I wondered? I hate it when I don't understand something so research was in order.
I have to back up to a purchase I made several years ago in France. On the packet of lace it says it came from the Grands Magasins du Louvre.
Still later I found a second item, a packet of filet from Au Louvre Paris.  Here is the back of the packet which contained 5 squares of filet. Unlike most things, this one is dated 12 August 1909.
On the other side tied to the red cardboard square were the filet. One of them is on the cardboard. Size is about 6 inches square. Too small for this project.

The two stores, The Grands Magasins du Louvre and Au Louvre Paris, are they somehow connected? At first I thought that these stores were ones that sell interesting replicated things from the museum of the same name, but why then would they be selling lace? Something did not make sense. Doing a little research, I found out that they are one in the same and that they have nothing to do with the museum. You can read about it here. Much explains now why I have never heard of the store. It went out of business in the 1970s.
Recently I came across old catalogs from Au Louvre dated 1930/31. How nice it is now to put a name to many of the things I have found here in France. So back to the Filet. Here it is two ways one could buy in the early 1930s.
From experience I know I can cut what I need. The little squares are nice though. In my stash I have large cuts of this hand knotted filet. Not too much of the machine made stuff. As soon as I find a matching thread to work it I will be making something similar to the pattern I found in the 1913 magazine so stay tuned.
But while I am here, and while I paged through the catalog, I found some other interesting things. First off, I always thought people bought the religious metals in churches. Here however they are clearly for sale in either a silver color or gold. It is not clear that they are really gold or just gold in color. Price seem to indicate it is the same as what was for sale at the cathedrals.
Also interesting to me were the lace medallions I pick up so often at flea markets they are simply called ovals or squares of what ever lace type they take after. Shown are Venise and Cluny.
I have many of these in my stash I use from time to time on different projects. There is so much more in this catalog. I would love to find one from an earlier era, the search is on. Such fun to page through and so disappointing that I can't order anything from the catalog.


  1. What a great find in the magazine! We never stop learning and your research is proof of that. See, you have taught me something new, as well!

  2. Good morning Jean,
    I have nominated you for a blogging award, please have a look at my blog for information. Have a nice day. Sheryl at Sewing After Seven (

  3. Hi Jean
    Please can you email me at alison(dot)wale(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk so I can tell you how to claim the free a^pp that you won on my blog.

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