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Folding fan: M.163-1985

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Double leaf of cream silk, painted in water colours and decorated with applied mother-of-pearl and crushed shell. Sticks of shaped and pierced ivory strengthened at the head with tortoiseshell. Guards of shaped, pierced and carved ivory backed with mother-of-pearl and strengthened with tortoiseshell. (16+2) Rivet with mother-of-pearl washer. Front: A chinoiserie scene comprising: Left: a peacock and another exotic bird perching on a tree trunk with another bird flying overhead. Centre: an island on which is a Chinese lady seated beside a table bearing a vase. She is facing a standing man with a butterfly behind him. On each side of them there are flowering plants and small fences. Right: A pair of swans swimming beside bulrushes with a small bird flying overhead. On all sides there is a border of alternating blue oval and red rectangular medallions painted in gold with figures, probably intended to resemble engraved gems. Reverse: Undecorated.


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#
Production date: circa AD 1760


European, possibly German

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Leaf composed of silk ( cream) shell ( crushed) watercolours mother-of-pearl
Guards composed of tortoise shell mother-of-pearl Length 24.8 cm
Washer composed of mother-of-pearl
Sticks+guards composed of ivory

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.163-1985
Primary reference Number: 117748
Old catalogue number: DR 29/379
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Folding fan" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-09-22 20:21:34

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{{cite web|url= |title=Folding fan |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-09-22 20:21:34|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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