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Folding fan: M.205-1985

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Painter: Faber, John III (Possibly)




Single leaf of skin ? painted in bodycolour and gilt. Sticks of bone, shaped, pierced and gilt; guards of pierced, carved and gilt bone (21+2). Rivet set with garnet pastes. Front: Painted overall with a trompe l'oeil design comprising from left to right: a leg of ham on a dish; a dog; part of a book; a print, painted en grisaille with a man playing bagpipes to the music of which a woman is dancing and playing castanets, signed 'Jno Faber fecit 1757'; a framed, coloured landscape in which a woman is dancing to the music of a violin played by a man seated under a tree; an open book inscribed DONN QUICKSOTT; a watch inscribed '-(J)EWELL' and 'LONDON'; a coloured picture of a man and woman playing draughts in a panelled room; two books and the sound box end of a lute. The edges have borders of gold vine. Reverse: Painted in blue, yellow, black and brown, three closed books, an open book of music, a sheet of music and a flute, surrounded by scrolls. Sticks: The lower part of each stick is shaped, the upper part is straight and tapering and pierced by simple geometrical and plant motifs. Where the shaping ends there is a band of gilt plant ornament. Guards: Lower part plain and shaped; the upper end carved in low relief and pierced with a design of scrolls and flowers, bearing remnants of gilding.


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
George II
Production date: AD 1757


The front has a trompe l’oeil design including an open book titled ‘DONN QUICKSOTT’ and a watch inscribed ‘(J)EWELL/LONDON’. On the back there are open and closed books, a sheet of music, and a flute.

The name signed on the leaf may be that of the painter

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Leaf composed of skin gouache
Sticks+guards composed of bone
Guards Length 25.7 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: JNo Faber fecit 1757
  • Location: Front of fan

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.205-1985
Primary reference Number: 117790
Old catalogue number: DR 22/277
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 7 June 2021 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: 2024-02-26 22:36:50

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{{cite web|url= |title=Folding fan |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-26 22:36:50|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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