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Folding fan: M.150-1985

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Folding fan, double paper leaf, painted and spattered in watercolour, decorated with appliquéd painted pink silk and green, yellow, red and brown straw and gilt. Sticks and guards of pierced ivory (20+2), the upper end of the latter is also carved in low relief, gilt and backed with red silk. Rivet set with two clear pastes. Front: a chinoiserie scene comprising a seated china man beside a flowering shrub, a tree in a barrel, a group of three china men, two seated and one standing and a tree beside a pavilion. On all edges there is a border of continuous wavy foliage in gold. Reverse: A spray of four different flowering branches. Sticks: unusual type, comprising narrow rectangular blades pierced with vertical rectangular openings (2 1 2 1) separated by horizontal bars. When closed they form a cylinder with openings through it. Occasionally this form of stick-bunching is called 'Chippendale'. Guards: the lower part en suite with the sticks; the upper part carved with two hounds, a diaper panel, a gentleman playing the flute and a floral spray in a C-scroll.


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, third quarter#
Circa 1750 CE - Circa 1775 CE


When closed the sticks and guards from a cylinder with vertical piercing.

School or Style


Components of the work

Appliqué composed of straw (plant material) ( green, yellow, red and brown) silk ( pink)
Guards composed of silk ( red) Length 28.5 cm
Leaf composed of paper watercolours Width 47 cm
Sticks+guards composed of ivory

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.150-1985
Primary reference Number: 117735
Old catalogue number: DR 30/393
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 22 November 2021 Last processed: Thursday 7 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: 2024-06-14 13:51:56

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{{cite web|url= |title=Folding fan |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-14 13:51:56|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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