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Perseus and Andromeda: M.154-1985

Object information


Perseus and Andromeda


Unknown (Maker)


Single vellum leaf, painted in gouache and gilt. Gold binding on upper edge. Ivory sticks and guards, shaped, carved, pierced, painted, gilt and partially backed with mother-of-pearl. (20+2) Rivet set with clear pastes.
Front: In the middle within a shaped oval frame, Perseus and Andromeda after Annibale Carracci's fresco in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome. On each side, a smaller shaped frame containing a putto in a landscape. Background diapered in shades of blue, white and gold, with floral sprays adjacent to the reserves, and at top left and right areas of scale pattern in shades of pink. Reverse: In the middle a gnarled tree and greensward; and in the top corners and on either side of the top of the tree, sprays of pink or purple flowers and foliage. Sticks: In the middle, a pierced cartouche with a scrolled frame, containing a pair of lutes and oboes?, backed by mother-of-pearl/iridescent shell. On each side there is an elaborately scrolled and shaped cartouche, containing a gentleman playing a similar wind instrument. When closed, the shaping of the sticks creates a design on the edge of the fan and there is a lozenge-shaped motif on the end of the head. Guards: Below the shoulder, an engraved and coloured floral spray; above, rocaille scrolls, stylized flowers and a seated lady, backed by mother-of-pearl.


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


Third quarter of 18th century
Circa 1760 - Circa 1780 1780


The central cartouche was derived from the fresco by Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) in the Galleria Farnese in the Palazzo Farnese, Rome. The frescoes there were commissioned by Cardinal Odoardo Farnese (1573-1626) in 1595. On the reverse there is a gnarled tree and floral borders.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Sticks+guards: composed of gilt mother-of-pearl ivory Leaf: composed of vellum (skin) gouache Guards: Length 28.9 cm

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.154-1985
Primary reference Number: 117739
Old catalogue number: DR 27/352
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 12 January 2021 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 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 (2020) "Folding fan" Web page available at: Accessed: 2021-12-06 20:42:24

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url=|title=Folding fan|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-12-06 20:42:24|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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