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Folding fan: M.137-1985

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Double leaf of paper, painted in bodycolour and gilt. Sticks and guards of pierced, fretted, carved, painted and gilt ivory (10+2), the piercing of the guards backed with blue silk, and the head strengthened with tortoiseshell.
Rivet set with clear pastes. Front: On the left, a butterfly hovers over a rock and a flowering tree, towards which walks a man carrying two buckets on a yoke. On the right, a butterfly hovers over two men seated beside a fence, separated from the walking man by a bare tree.
Reverse: An asymmetrically placed spray with two cherries. Sticks: A split design comprising an oval cartouche containing two putti and a black swan, surmounted by a Chinese figure, to the right of which is a seated man holding a violin. At top right and left, an oval cartouche containing a glass and bottle. All separated by columns twined with flowers. Guards (both the same): On the upper part, a seated man with above, a putto and a circular cartouche containing a bottle, carrots and a wine glass, and below a vase of flowers; on the lower part, a spray of flowers with a parasol at the top.


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, Mid
Circa 1750 - Circa 1760

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Guards composed of silk ( blue) Length 28.8 cm
Sticks And Guards composed of ivory ( gilt)
Decoration composed of bodycolour gilt
Lower End Of Guard composed of tortoise shell
Leaf Width 52 cm

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.137-1985
Primary reference Number: 117722
Old catalogue number: DR 29/383
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 2 June 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Folding fan" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-18 00:06:45

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{{cite web|url= |title=Folding fan |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-18 00:06:45|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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