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Folding fan: M.7-1985

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 34 (Fan Gallery)


Maker: Spenezi, Domenico (?)




Folding fan, double skin leaf painted in watercolours. Sticks carved of ivory; guards of carved ivory (20+2) rivet of amethyst. Signed 'Domenico Spenezi, Napolitano in Roma' (?). Front: Mythological scene with Bacchus, the three maenads, Pan and Jupiter as an eagle. In the centre the child Bacchus is sitting, partly on a goat and partly on an amphora spilling wine. The three bare-breasted Maenads behind him are making music with a tambourine and a triangle with bells; on the left Pan with Satyr ears is sitting under a tree holding his syrinx. On the top right there is an amphora entwined by a vine, two putti and on the ground, Jupiter as an eagle, with vegetation at the right and the left edge of the leaf. There is an indistinct inscription at the top left corner. The edging is of a thin gold foile. Back: Bouquet of roses, tulips and bluebells in the centre; on the left, a single rose, three butterflies and two dragonflies; on the right, three butterflies, three dragonflies and a fly. The white skin leaf serves as a background. Sticks: Finely carved scrolling foliage. Five pairs of sticks show two women amid foliage. Reverse undecorated. Guards: Both guards are carved in the same way with scrolling foliage, a cornucopia, a man, a dolphin and a cockleshell.


History note: Colonel Leonard C. Messel (1872-1953); his daughter Anne, Countess of Rosse (1902-1992)

Legal notes

Purchased with a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and a gift from the Friends of the Fitzwilliam

Measurements and weight

Width: 43.0 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Rome ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1985-01-28) by Countess of Rosse, Anne


18th Century, Mid
Production date: circa AD 1750

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Leaf composed of watercolours ( polychrome) skin
Rivet composed of amethyst
Sticks+guards composed of ivory
Guards Length 27.0 cm

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.7-1985
Primary reference Number: 117593
Old object number: DR 2/11
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Folding fan" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-03-03 02:34:10

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{{cite web|url= |title=Folding fan |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-03-03 02:34:10|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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