A needle lace, thought to have been developed by Alençon lace workers in the mid 17thC and a favourite in the French court throughout the 18C. Often confused with Alencon lace . It is, however, distinguished by its fine hexagonal mesh ground, and in Argentan lace each side of every mesh was covered on all sides with closely stitched, tiny buttonhole stitches to give it thicker line. The patterns are also bolder and in higher relief. Marie -Antoinette favoured the simpler pieces. It did not share in the 19C lace revival, is now no longer made, so any pieces found are collector’s pieces.