Paris, circa 1660
The Sun King was born in 1638 and ascended to the throne in 1643; he dominated the second half of the seventeenth century. In his great scheme to achieve absolute power, the king could not tolerate the river of money that flew over to Venice to buy GROS POINT DE VENISE, a Venetian lace absolutely impossible to replicate and, at the time, an authentic status symbol. He then entrusted his minister of finance with the task to solve the problem.

At first Colbert tried to copy the Gros Point, while later he convinced some Venetian lace makers to come to France, eventually giving a substantial boost to the Royal Workshops, that created a completely new type of lace: the POINT DE FRANCE.

In this image, Colbert, dressed in black, presents to the seated Sun King the new lace created in the Royal Workshops, the POINT DE FRANCE, destined to substitute the pricey GROS POINT DE VENISE at the court of Versailles.
  • Colbert in a letter dated 1682 to the superintendent of the Royal Workshops of Alençon wrote: "The main defect of French lace is that it is not as dense or white as Venetian lace". (D.Davanzo Poli, Il merletto veneziano, Novara, 1998, p. 68).
  • Louis XIV himself commissioned to a not better identified, but certainly trusted, "Anglais" to travel to Venice and place an order for the realization of a very special collar to be worn during his coronation ceremony, to be executed with very fine white thread. (D. Davanzo Poli, C. Paggi Colussi, Pizzi e Ricami, da I nuovi quaderni dell'antiquariato, Milan, 1981-1991, p.15).
  • . Baptiste Colbert is credited with saying: "There is no better way to save children from idleness and guarantee them a honest life, than to teach them lacemaking. This way, the masses can improve their miserable social condition". (J. Montupet, G. Schoeller, Lace, the Elegant Web, New York, 1990, p.49)./li>
  • On April, 18 1667, M. de Marle, the superintendent chosen by Colbert to administer the Alençon Royal Workshop, sent the minister a handkerchief to pay homage to Mme de Chevreuse, daughter of Colbert himself and convince the minister that the Alençon workshop was the best in the kingdom. (S. Levey, Lace A History, London, 1983, p.36).
  • When the Prince de Conti married Mademoiselle de Blois, the wedding present of Louis XIV was a set of decorated toilette curtains made in Point de France and, in January 1674, Madame de Sévigné wrote about this to Madame de Blois: "Beautiful as an angel with the apron and the collar made in Point de France". (S. Levey, Lace A History, London, 1983, p.36).
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