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Folding fan: M.136-1985

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Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

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Object information


Unknown (Maker)


Folding fan of silk, backed with paper. On the silk obverse is a chinoiserie figurative scene painted in gouache and gold paint and decorated with gilt-thread tambour-work outlining, stitched coloured-metal sequins (blue and yellow) and adhered coloured metal foil (red and blue) paillettes. The top edge and sides of the leaf are edged with applied gilt paper. Decoratively-carved sticks and guards of elephant ivory, overlaid with silver part-coloured by tinted lacquer; the ring-and dot motifs on the obverse sticks inlaid with red metal foil. Paper, previously silvered(?), is adhered to the reverse of alternate sticks. The sticks are united with a copper alloy rivet and mother-of-pearl spacers.


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 Museum.

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th century
Production date: circa AD 1780

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Leaf composed of paper silk embroidery gouache Inlay composed of foil Overlay composed of silver Sticks, Guards composed of ivory Guards Length 27.5 cm

Techniques used in production

Tambour work Gouache

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.136-1985
Primary reference Number: 117721
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Thursday 8 April 2021

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 (2022) "Folding fan" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-05-22 18:57:18

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{{cite web|url=|title=Folding fan|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-05-22 18:57:18|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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        alt="Folding fan" class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Folding fan</figcaption>>

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