Description of Figure/Doll

Beautiful lace maker doll depicting the culture of Bruges, Belgium. The doll is made from wood, with ceramic head and hands. She is wearing a black velvet dress, shawl, and apron with lace trim. She has a lace scarf on her head. Her facial features (mouth, eyebrows, and blue eyes) are hand painted on her face. She is sitting on a wooden chair, and on her lap she has a pillow, bobbins and thread. To make the lace, the lacemakers pin a pattern to the pillow, hang the bobbins and pass the bobbins over and under each other to weave the threads into lace. Tag says: “This typical Bruges doll is manufactured in limited quantities completely by hand. It is numbered and signed by the designer-manufacturer. This allows us to guarantee that each design can be considered virtually unique. Number 8H4 by J. Hebb, Bruges, Belgium.”

Link to higher resolution images at ClipPix


Location: Europe

Capital: Brussels

Main language: Flemish, French

Currency: Euro


Construction: wood, clay and lace

Height in Centimeters: 23

Height in Inches: 9

The Legend of Lace Making in Belgium

Reading Level: 7.20

My name is Carine, and I live in Bruges (Brugge), Belgium, with my grandparents. Bruges is a wonderful city near the North Sea. We have cobblestone streets, water canals, and buildings that are very, very old. In fact, Bruges was founded by Vikings over 1000 years ago!

Opa (Grandpa) gives walking tours for tourists who visit from all over the world. He speaks Flemish at home, but he can also speak English, German, and French. Opa loves to tell the tourists how the people and buildings in Bruges survived World War II. The city was occupied by the Germans, but Opa and many other men were in the “underground” army that worked against the Nazis. 

Of course Opa’s tours always include a stop at Oma’s (Grandma’s) lace shop. While the tourists marvel at all the beautiful lace, Oma tells them the legend of Serena and her lace.

Serena was a young lady who lived in the fairytale town of Bruges. Serena was madly in love with a young man, named Arnout. However, Serena could not marry Arnout because she had to work all day at the spinning wheel. Serena’s father had died, and she had to help earn money for her mother, fours little sisters, and brother.

One day Serena went for a walk through the streets of Bruges. She went to a park by the canals. She fell asleep, and started dreaming about Arnout. In her dream, she saw silvery threads fall from the trees into a beautiful pattern of flowers. When she woke up, she rushed home. She started making lace with the same beautiful pattern of flowers she had seen in her dream. When the lace was finished, she sold it to a wealthy merchant for a lot of money. Soon Serena became famous and everyone wanted some of her lace-work. Serena became rich and married Arnout.

“That was over 500 years ago,” Oma explains. “Serena helped to make Bruges and Belgium the lace capital of the world! Even now, many women in Bruges make lace the old-fashioned way by winding thread on bobbins and twisting it around pins.”

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