tatting Newsletter


June 13 2019 Tatting Newsletter

Is She Knotting or Tatting?

18th Century Capodimonte Meissen - style Little Girl w/ ribbons/ knotting shuttle, Ruby Lane Antiques
One time while searching for new tatting shuttles to add to my collection I encountered this porcelain doll. It was offered for sale by Ruby Lane Antiques (photos used with permission.) It was listed as:
"An antique Capodimonte sweet Little Girl sitting on a French chair with cabriole legs holding a ribbon bobbin in one hand, wearing a bonnet with bow , lovely hand-painted details, wearing gold earrings and necklace on a reticulated rococo gilded base marked with early Capodimonte mark & other marks on base/socle..very good restored antique condition, please see photos... measures 4 3/4" high x 2 7/8" wide...Research info. Originally designed in 1776 by Michel Victor Acier for Meissen."

It is a lovely piece but, of course, it was not a knotting shuttle as listed the lady was holding. I wrote a gentle note and received a gracious reply and eventually permission to use the photos.
18th Century Capodimonte Meissen - style Little Girl w/ ribbons/ knotting shuttle, Ruby Lane Antiques

Seen from either side it is clear that the shuttle in her right hand is larger than the normal tatting shuttle and has rounded ends instead of pointed ends.

This confusion between knotting and tatting shuttles has been around for years. In these public domain paintings, the ladies all have shuttles in their hands.

Wheatly family group 1775ish mother with shuttle on left
The shuttle is clearly visible in the mother's right hand but it is impossible to determine if it is a knotting or tatting shuttle, except by the time period in which the painting was made. 1775-ish indicates knotting is most likely.

Marie Antoinette age 7 with knotting shuttle in right hand.
This portrait of the 7-year old girl who later became Marie Antoinette show her with a knotting shuttle in her right hand. However, the actual lace or knotted strand is not visible.

Marie Elisabeth de Sérè de Rieux 1743 knotting shuttle on left
Luckily in this painting from 1743, Marie Elisabeth de Sérè de Rieux clearly holds a knotting shuttle in her right hand plus the knotted strand is also visible with the knots showing against the green cloth of the background before being wound onto the ball.

A tatting shuttle in use encapsulating thread. Petite, pointy and perfect to use.

the hands of AKTATTER tatting with shuttle

Here's the latest article from the Tatting site at BellaOnline.com.

Workbasket Feb 1959 Collar trim & medallion This is teaching patterns as well as fun to do. This easy pattern works up into a sew on edging. The collar may also have a tatted medallion at the corners.


Please visit tatting.bellaonline.com for even more great content about Tatting. To participate in free, fun online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Tatting located here -


I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I thrive on your feedback! Have fun passing this message along to family and friends, because we all love free knowledge!

Georgia Seitz, Tatting Editor http://tatting.bellaonline.com One of the hundreds of sites at BellaOnline.com

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