Skip to main content

Folding fan: M.38-1985

Object information

Awaiting location update


Maker: Unknown




Folding fan, single skin leaf, painted in bodycolour and watercolour. Sticks of carved ivory, thumb guard of mother-of-pearl (20+2). Rivet of brass, washer of mother-of-pearl. Fan depicts the Roman general Coriolanus with his wife and mother.

Folding fan, single skin leaf, painted in bodycolour and watercolour. Sticks of carved ivory, thumb guard of mother-of-pearl (20+2). Rivet of brass, washer of mother-of-pearl. Front: the scene shows the Roman general Coriolanus (5th century BC) whose mother and wife are begging him no to besiege the city of Rome. Volumnia, his mother, is kneeling in the centre turning towards Coriolanus. On the left, Roman soldiers are standing in front of a tent. On the right, Virgilia, the wife of Coriolanus, is leading a group of four women and a naked child; further to the right a naked figure is lying under a tree and there is a woman with a child in the bottom right hand corner. The background shows a landscape. The top and left borders are painted in black gouache with a gold and silver pattern of dotted semi-circles enclosing a half flower; the lower border shows a thin dark (formerly black) line. The edging is of an over painted textile ribbon. Back: White, top and lower border are painted with roses. Sticks: Fan leaf shaped medallion in the middle which appears to show a scene from an Italian play in contemporary costume. The reverse of the sticks remain undecorated. Guards: Both guards are carved in the same way: a tulip at the bottom followed by the back view of a woman with a hat and a man holding a jug on top. The figures are in a panel with the background cut-away.


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

Place(s) associated

  • Rome ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century, Early#
Circa 1700 - Circa 1725

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Leaf composed of watercolour bodycolour skin
Washer+thumbguard composed of mother-of-pearl
Sticks+guards composed of ivory
Guards Length 26.8 cm

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.38-1985
Primary reference Number: 117624
Old catalogue number: DR 2/14
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Thursday 7 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 02:59:14

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Folding fan |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-03-03 02:59:14|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

More objects and works of art you might like

Perpetual Almanack

Accession Number: M.275-2015

Classical Mythology Scene

Accession Number: M.223-2015

Folding fan

Accession Number: M.144-1985

Venus and Adonis

Accession Number: M.127-2015

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...