Nancy asked me which of the lace pieces in the hutch did I make myself? It is the schwibbogen. I was so proud of myself for finishing this piece which was very difficult. If you click on the photo, you will be able to see it in more detail. I purchased this pattern while visiting in the Erzgebirge region (Ore mountains of former East Germany) in a tiny handwork shop. I contacted the designer, Sigrid Hackel, of this lace pattern and ordered the wooden frame which her husband makes especially for her patterns. She herself lives in the region and teaches lacemaking there.
A schwibbogen is an arched candle holder with contains a scene in the arch. Now the schwibbogen are made with electric Christmas lights and are most often made of all wood although they are sometimes also made of black metal. These lights can be seen in the villages of the Erzegebirge. Many houses have these wonderful decorations in their windows at Christmas time. Some of the schwibbogen contain the people which were symbols of the area ~ the miners, toy makers and lacemakers or the church and carolers of Seiffen. Nowadays you see many of these arched decorations with a religious scene. These lighted arches date back to the 1700s when miners supposedly made the arches to place at the mouth of the caves in the dark winter months.