Did you know that lace production in Belgium experienced an unprecedented boom during the First World War? It seems almost contradictory, but during the Great War, lace-makers were producing more lace than ever, driven by Queen Elisabeth. The lace they created was sold in the allied countries for the benefit of war victims. The largest market was undoubtedly the United States, where many of these war lace fragments are still preserved in prestigious collections today. Characteristic of these unique objects is their patriotic iconography: the fragments, handkerchiefs and tablecloths are decorated with coats of arms, clawing lions and heraldry.
In this edition of Phoebus Focus, war lace expert Wendy Wiertz tells the extraordinary story of this unique heritage created during the darkest days of our history.