Crochet lace appliqué and trim sample book / cahier de dentelles.
19th-century French cahier de dentelles. 8 red linen leaves with 39 individual samples of handmade crochet lace trim and embellishments, 5.25 x 7.5 inches. Very Good with minor fraying and wear, some samples darkened with age but still clean and vibrant. The work of a very skilled pacemaker.
The item originally came from Beaumettes in the South of France. The laces are skilled enough to almost appear machine-made, but upon close inspection, there are small inconsistencies and variations (the size of a loop, an extra stitch here or there), as well as some unique approaches to how some of the pieces are tied off (start/end) which indicate that they're handmade. It's likely this was used as a kind of sample book by a lacemaker demonstrating their skills to potential patrons/clients, which would also explain why it was kept in such neat condition--presentation is important, and with the amount of labor that went into making these, it would be very difficult and time-prohibitive to remake if they were damaged.