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Thomas Lester, His Lace and the East Midlands Industry 1820-1905
by Anne Buck
The 19th century saw a sad decline in the fortunes of the English handmade lace industry, yet in the East Midlands the period also witnessed some of its most interesting and remarkable designs. A key figure in this achievement was the Bedford lace merchant Thomas Lester. This book sets his designs and the development of his family business against the fashions of the ...more
Hardcover, 108 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Crowood Press
(first published December 1978)
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A very interesting look at the East Midlands lace industry as machine-made lace made hand-made lace uncompetitive. I was struck by the near-slave conditions of the child lace-makers - quite similar to the carpet-weavers in the 20th century, except that they weren't actually slaves. Unhealthy workspaces, poor lighting, long work hours - yet the alternative was often deep poverty for the entire family. Beautiful pictures of some of the lace patterns jobbed out by Thomas Lester, as well as pictures ...more