Folding fan, double leaf of skin strengthened with net, painted in water colours and gilt. Sticks of ivory, shaped, pierced and strengthened at the upper and lower ends with mother-of-pearl and brass (19+2). Rivet with mother-of-pearl button and washers.
Double leaf of skin strengthened with net, painted in water colours and gilt. Sticks of ivory, shaped, pierced and strengthened at the upper and lower ends with mother-of-pearl and brass (19+2). Rivet with mother-of-pearl button and washers. Front: in the middle within an oval baroque cartouche, a shepherd kneels in front of a sleeping woman, besides whom stands Cupid holding a clock. On each side, reserved in a grand decoupé and pricked with foliate scrolls, there are two small vertical panels painted in imitation of red and gold lacquer, and four painted in colours with figures. The lower edge and left side have gilt formal borders. Reverse: In the middle within an oval baroque cartouche, there is a rocky wooded landscape through which runs a river towards a harbour, painted en camaieu in crimson. The lower edge and the left side have formal gilt borders. Sticks: the lower part of each is shaped and pierced to produce a row of daisy-like motifs, above which is a row of shells and a row of oval shaped pierced and carved with men playing musical instruments, putti, hounds and birds standing by baskets of fruit. Guards: carved in low relief below the shoulder with a man dancing, and above with a woman holding a scroll, a sunflower and an Oriental holding a spear. The back of the leading guard is plain; the back of the other is carved in low relief with a sunflower over a shell.
History note: Colonel Leonard C. Messel (1872-1953); his daughter Anne, Countess of Rosse (1902-1992)
Purchased with a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and a gift from the Friends of the Fitzwilliam
Width: 44 cm
Method of acquisition: Bought (1985-01-28) by Countess of Rosse, Anne
18th Century, Early#
Circa 1700 CE - Circa 1710 CE
Découpé fans have a decorative pattern cut out or stamped out of their leaf. The earliest surviving European decoupé fans, cut out to resemble reticella lace, date from the end of the 16th and early 17th centuries. This is one of only four comparable early 18th century decoupé fans, each having a crimson landscape or harbour scene on the reverse. The central scene on the front of this fan conveys the message that youth, beauty, and ardour are limited by the passing of time.
The Cupid holding a clock conveys the message that youth, beauty, and ardour are limited by the passing of time
Three other decoupé fans of similar type are known, in the Royal Collection, Windsor, in the Bayerischen Nationalmuseum, Munich, and in the Barisch collection, Bielefeld. Some authorities have attributed this and three other decoupé fans with comparable decoration to Germany, and some, to Italy.
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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Folding fan" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/117594 Accessed: 2024-02-23 19:58:55
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