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Symposium and conferences

Symposium "Venetian Gros Point"

sirèneIn 2006, the Museum acquired an exceptional Venetian Gros Point Lace piece. This item aroused several questions for the museum staff ans especially for a member of the scientific council, Youlie Spantidaki from Athens. Hence the idea of organizing a symposium on theme. The organizers are the Textilmuseum in Saint-Gallen (Switzerland), the Hellenic Foundation for Antique Fabrics (ARTEX) in Athens (Greece) and the Musée des Manufactures de Dentelles in Retournac (France), where the symposium will take place in spring 2011.

The aim of this meeting is to take stock of what is known about the most important kind of lace of the 17th century, which is commonly called Venetian «Gros Point » and is not as well known as it is supposed.


The subject may seem limited, yet the number of questions is great and need to be be researched in depth.
- Is it possible to establish the successive stages leading from a floral needle lace, circa 1630-40 to the “Gros point”, circa 1650-60?
- Which elements are already in place: decorative stitches, ornate loops, picots?
- Which elements, such as the brodes (raised stitches) will appear? What will be their evolution?
- What thread was used?
- Where does the decorative and stylistic origins of the Venetian “Gros Point” stem from?
- Which where the main production centres?
- Who traded and for whom?
- What was lace used for?
- What was its evolution? Why?
- When did it come back into fashion and was copied?
- Which ones were mainly copied, and by whom?
- Etc…
We therefore ask the whole of the institutions, researchers, collectors to participate to this colloquium.

One can take part in several way
- Show one or several items of lace with a descriptive approach with more or less depth,
- Make a study of one or more of the above questions,
Some time must be spared between each subject to allow for dialogue and exchanges.

Simultaneous translation in French/English.
Participations should be sent by e-mail or by post to the following addresses
- musee@ville-retournac.fr
- Musée des manufactures de dentelles, 14, avenue de la gare , F-43130 Retournac
Participations must be sent at the latest on 30th September 2008 so that the organizing team can sort them out and establish a program.

The theme of the symposium aiming to take stock of what is known on the Venetian “Gros Point”, it seems important to make an inventory of as many items as possible. Thank you in advance for helping us create a corpus by answering (before September 30th if possible) the questionnaire that is available on the following links :
french, english, dutch questionnaire (PDF 1,5Mo)
french questionnaire (Word 30 Ko), english (Word 30 Ko), dutch (Word 30 Ko)

It is also possible to take part in the detailed scientific study of Venetian Gros Point pieces :
You will find below the model to fill in.
and a glossary to help you answer some of the descriptive questions about .

To fill in this sheet, we established various glossaries and catalogs that you can use :
- decorative stitches (PDF 12.3 Mo),
- brides/bars (PDF 4.6 Mo),
- padded cordonnets (PDF 4.2 Mo),
- portes (PDF 5.4 Mo),
- picots (not enough variety to be catalogued)

We are giving you several illustrated examples. As soon as files are created, we will later gather them and file them in "groups".
- A “Gros Point”  item of lace from the Textile Museum in Lyons (inv n° I-4153) filled-in-sheet (PDF 2.8 Mo)
- A new Venetian Gros Point piece, very important, from a private collection, has been studied. To access the sheet click here (PDF 2.7 Mo). To see the technical analysis of the 5e part of the lace, click here (PDF 24 Mo).
- An other item from the Textile Museum in Lyons, (inv n° SN1), with an unusual design, click here (PDF 3.4 Mo).
- A “Gros Poinst item with a pre-made tape lace : to access the sheet click here (PDF 1.6 Mo).