Sleeve & Sleeve Ruffles


François-Hubert Drouais, 1727 - 1775 Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame 1763-4 Oil on canvas, 217 x 156.8 cm Bought, 1977 NG6440

François-Hubert Drouais, Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame, (ca.1763-4), Bought, 1977. The National Gallery, London.

In this portrait, Madame de Pompadour wears a dress with four ruffles of the lace on each sleeve. It is hard to tell from the painting the design and pattern of lace, but its airy quality tells the fine linen it was made of and the advanced technique it required.

The development of lace-making technique provided more possibilities to the lace producers to create the pattern and therefore satisfied the desires of court ladies and gentlemen. Below are the examples of 18th century French sleeve ruffles. The well-developed lace technique unlimited the pictorial possibility for lace producers and brought lace an increasingly high quality, delicate, and airy decorated net.

Sleeve Ruffle, 18th century. French, Needle Lace. Dimensions:L. 45 1/2 X W. 6 inches 115.6 x 15.2 cm. Textiles-Laces. Gift of Ann Payne Blumenthal, 1936. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Accession Number:36.130.70. 

Sleeve Piece, early 18th century. French, Needle Lace. Dimensions:L. 44 x W. 2 1/2 to 4 7/8 inches (111.8 x 6.4 cm to 12.4 cm). Textiles-Laces. Gift of Mrs. Albert Blum, 1953. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Accession Number:53.162.28. 

Sleeve Trimming (Engageantes), 18th century. Italian, Needle Lace. Dimensions:L. 35 x W. 5 1/2 inches (88.9 x 14.0 cm). Textiles-Laces. Purchase by subscription, 1909.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Accession Number:09.68.171. 

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