Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Doily 'Under Glass'

A recent post by Karen Bovard  ( )  describes a very clever way to display and protect lace doilies when decorating for a luncheon or party.    She and her friend happened to be using clear plastic plates and realized that they could put  a lace doily on the bottom plate and then put the other clear plate on top, for serving goodies such as cookies. The doily is totally protected yet visible!   She showed a particularly pretty crocheted doily with colorful pansies around the edge.   

Her post reminded me that I hadn’t shown how I’ve been displaying my antique tatted doily for the past year or so!  Similar idea ! 

After being stored away and basically used as a backdrop for photographs on my blog, this sweet doily finally found its ‘home‘ on my coffee table, displayed under a glass dish on top of a gold charger,  topped by a tall hurricane lamp/candle.   
This doily (shown more clearly below) is about 8” across.
I felt fortunate to find it in a small local shop.   The owner was delighted that it went home with a tatter!

You can see the ‘layering’ for the display:   Gold charger (explained below), black velvet circle, tatted doily, clear glass dish, real candle (with a cut-out area on top for a battery-powered tea candle), and glass hurricane ‘cover’.     

Another view, without the hurricane glass. 

‘Chargers’ have apparently been around for a long time (large plates used under formal place settings for decoration) but they became very popular in the late 1990s.  That's when I first noticed them in stores).
There are lots of ideas for using them if you search for ‘chargers under place settings' and click ‘Images’.  They even use this same idea of a clear glass dish to put photos under them!    Long ago in a galaxy far away, I used to have guests for ‘formal’ dinners in the dining room (6 people, is max for me!).  I always enjoyed decorating the table more than preparing the food (still do!)  and would have used the chargers if I had them.  I only bought a few in the ‘90s for decorations around the house during holidays.

The lovely lace edging, similar to designs I've seen in older magazines, fits perfectly around the linen center.   I can only guess that the tatting was done first, then the fabric was cut out and the raw edges over-stitched by hand with some fancy filler stitches.  And it looks like there’s a teeny, tiny crocheted chain catching the tatted stitches.  Fabric centers are very practical for many reasons, but they demand a skill level that would be difficult for me to accomplish, so I admire those who have that talent!    

Of course, the clear dish protects the doily from the candle.  Even though the candle is wax and has a wick, I scooped out the center (several years ago) and put a battery-powered tea candle in there.  Much safer and easier to deal with - no wax drips, no oily smoke!    

When battery-powered tea candles first came on the market, I marveled at what an ingenious product they were - and are! .  Fortunately they came down in price, and I have many around my home and don’t have to worry about candle  flames.  These days some large ‘faux’ candles come with  battery already flames built in.  (The only disadvantage I see is that very young  children who ‘grow up’ with the battery candles in their homes may not distinguish them from a real flame on a real candle! )     

This candle display usually is the centerpiece of my coffee table, but now sits to the right of my anniversary display.  However, it fits right in, especially since the charger is gold!   


elizabeth said...

beautiful! that's really fun!

God's Kid said...

Very elegant!! :)

Jane Eborall said...

What a good idea and such a pretty mat too. I understand your concerns over children growing up thinking that candles don't burn.

Margarets designer cards said...

Lovely way to display a beautiful mat., I agree with you that battery candles are much safer but I hope families who use them will explain to children real candles can burn.

Jane McLellan said...

Lovely way to display tatting. Years ago my mother had a glass plate that had a crocheted -what's the word? - underneath, fitted, so that the edging appeared at the top of the plate. Wonderful for serving cakes for tea!

Grace Tyler said...

Very pretty!