Wednesday 22 May 2019

Malta Lace Competition: protecting an age-old tradition

Pictured above: Winner Carmen Ellul (second from right) together with (from left) HSBC’s Doriette Camilleri, Cristina Farrugia, HSBC’s CFO Josephine Magri and Marquis Nicholas de Piro

“Maltese lace stands shoulder to shoulder with the world’s finest. Each year, we are noticing improvements in the quality and originality in the works entered into the Malta annual competition,” said Marquis de Piro while showing an impressive example of Maltese black silk bobbin lacework.

Marquis de Piro organises the annual Malta Lace Competition with the HSBC Malta Foundation’s support. This year the competition ceremony at Casa Rocca Piccola, again brought together lace makers, collectors, and other interested persons to celebrate the talent, originality, and skill of Maltese lace makers.

“While we strive to safeguard its traditional elements, Maltese lace making is an ever evolving craft. We embrace this as a positive development, and one that is reflected in the diversity of the competition’s categories,” said Marquis de Piro. “This year we had 19 classes on display, comprising various techniques, materials, types of clothing and other artefacts. These innovations help to keep this art form alive in a way that can be enjoyed by a wide audience and indeed by future generations.”

The competition includes a ‘Children’s Category’ for participants under the age of sixteen. While monetary prizes also went out to the best submission in this group, all participants under 16 received token gifts as an encouragement to the young competitors and to reward their interest in lace making.

“The competition aims to bolster this important part ofMalta’s historical and cultural heritage keeping it alive and well,” explained Margaret Farrugia, Chief Executive Officer of the competition. “This event is encouraging finer and more elaborate works as well as growing enthusiasm. We thank the HSBC Malta Foundation for its ongoing support since the very first lace competition at Casa Rocca Piccola in 2006.”

The Casa Rocca Piccola is home to an extensive collection of fine lace, many examples of which are to be showcased in Nicholas de Piro’s forthcoming book, entitled Ladies of Malta in Extravagant and Spectacular Maltese Lace. It is scheduled to hit the bookshops in time for Christmas 2012; this illustrated publication will feature a variety of distinguished professional and Maltese female personalities wearing the very finest of Maltese lace as can be seen from the photo below.

Sarah Watkinson (wife of HSBC’s CEO) and daughter Caroline at Casa Rocca Piccola. Photo by Patrick Fenech of Robinson Fenech Assoc. Ltd.





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