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Lace collars worn by children, late 19th/early 20th century

Discussion in 'General Genealogical Queries' started by Bob Spiers, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    A photo of my father on a tricycle aged around 4 or 5 has been sent to me as a result of a newly discovered family connection (via DNA). The sender (UK based) a second cousin once removed. (Her maternal great x 2 grandmother being my paternal great aunt; my paternal grandfather's sister).

    I learned her mother (now 87) lived in Italy (she had married an Italian), and as she was due to visit her mother, she promised to scan the photos and send them to me via Whats App; which she duly did. (Can results from DNA matching get any better?) I latched on to the one of my father which neither I or my two sisters have ever seen before, so it was a real delight to come across it.

    It was taken in Birmingham around 1914-1915 and the tricycle itself is almost as fascinating (solid tyres, no brakes) as the photo of my father William (Billy) Spiers (1910-1982)...love his (apparently) dirty knees. But it is his lace collar that has attracted most attention from family.

    I am attaching the photo and you will see the crocheted lace collar and my question is can anyone tell me what they were called and were they just ornamental? As my grandmother (Dad's mother) was a stickler for antimacassar chair backs and ornamental shelf adornments, it comes as no surprise she would insist on her son wearing a crocheted a collar, and likely one she crocheted herself.

  2. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    I'm guessing it was fixed wheel so you tended not have brakes then. Quite interesting when you google lace collars.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  3. Heather

    Heather LostCousins Member

  4. AdrienneQ

    AdrienneQ Moderator Staff Member

    Its difficult to tell but I wonder if the collar is linen/cotton embroidered cutwork, the reason I was thinking that was the circular holes and the ruffled edge that is standing proud. This need not have just been used by him as they were used much as we would a necklace these days.
  5. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Thanks Heather, I didn't come across that page when I Googled, but did find one telling me it was likely an offshoot of the 'Little Lord Fauntleroy' craze of the late 19th Century which overlapped into the 20th for a time.
    Thanks Adrienne, but without any knowledge of embroidery/crochet work, it is all beyond me. My cousin (daughter of my father's older brother) says it was very typical of Grandma Spiers (as she was known to us children) to treat her boys the same way as she treated her furniture (referring to antimacassar covers). She said as her own Dad was 9 years older than mine and there was a middle brother 5 years older (who sadly died in his teens), it was likely a hand-me-down from one of those.

    This is the same mother who sent Dad to Cubs on his first day dressed in his older brothers Patrol leader uniform...so more than likely!
  6. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Perhaps this will help narrow it down as this one is from my own photo archive I had forgotten about. Dad I would think would be about 3 or 4 (so 1913/14)

    Dad aged 3 or 4 -cropped.JPG
  7. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Star

    What a wonderful photo! And how brilliant to get this as a result of a DNA match.

    The only pictures I have of my Dad as a child were formal ones taken in a photographer's studio at the age of 7 or 8, complete with jacket and tie, and one as a baby dressed in a very frilly garment (also professionally taken). Pity, as the informal photos are the best I think. My father's family clearly weren't into home photography (unlike my in-laws, for whom we have lots of informal family photos).

    The collar is very reminiscent of the 'Little Lord Fauntleroy' look, which as you say was still popular into the early 20th C, though I don't have any knowledge of crochet work!
  8. Margery

    Margery LostCousins Member

    I am inclined to agree.

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