HANDMADE LACE SAMPLE BOOK MADE BY CLEMENCE SCHVACH (THOREAUX), 1877-1935
France: c. 1893-1897. Marbled Notebook. Octavo, 9 in. x 6 3/4 in. Marble notebook, black spine. Corners bumped, some wear to extremities. Part of ribbon closure missing. Internal quire fully detached from binding. 16 leaves. White lace samples stitched (not glued) on blue paper and tan paper. Moderate fading and discoloring to lace and paper. Various near contemporary papers tucked into book, including 3 folded leaves of printed lace designs from Aux Galeries Lafayette (approx. 1920), 1 sheet of graph paper with pencil design, 1 blue and white printed lace design, 1 envelope with decorative purple tissue paper, 1 folded printed sheet of instructions with photograph of a crocheted blouse, one embroidered bookmark with initials FSP. One note in modern ink "Andrée's Mother (Clémence Schvach) born 1877 Lace Samples- made around 1893-1897." Fair. Item #85443
As a young woman in her teens, the French woman Clémence Schvach skillfully stitched this dainty lace sample book. Not much is known of Clémence, except that she was in Paris at the beginning of World War I. She relocated to Normandy with her two small children to wait out the war and the Spanish flu. Her daughter, Andrée, studied English and French at the Sorbonne in the 1930s and worked for La Résistance during WWII. Eventually, her daughter emigrated to the East Coast to attend the University of Pennsylvania and then to Spokane, Washington to be closer to her children. (Obituary, Andrée C. Sciamanda, née Thoreux)
The Lace Sample book is an excellent example of French lacework from the Victorian period.