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Folding fan: M.211-1985

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 34 (Fan Gallery)


Maker: Unknown




Double leaf of cream silk, painted in bodycolour and gold, and embroidered with gold sequins and depressed beads (or sequins of a convex shape). Sticks and guards of mother-of-pearl (14+2), pierced, silvered and gilt; the guards also backed with iridescent shell. Rivet set with clear pastes. Front: Painted overall with a large central scene and two smaller lateral scenes framed by sequins. On the left, a lady holding a fishing rod in her left hand, is seated beside an urn on a pedestal. In the middle, seated and standing ladies greet a gentleman on his return from shooting, watched by another lady seated on the right. To the left, a little girl holding an umbrella and a basket is seated on the ground, and a servant approaches bearing a tray of buns. On the right, a gentleman on a shooting expedition takes a rest beside a fountain. On the right and left edges there are borders of gold and red swags of flowers and foliage, and on all edges a narrow gold and red border of C scrolls and figure of eights.
Reverse: Three blue framed panels: on the left, a Chinese base, a parasol, an indeterminate object, scrolls and flowers; in the middle, a vase of flowers and a green drape within a scrolled frame with a bird perching on the top and floral sprays dangling from it; on the right, a parasol, a two flaming torches, a quiver of arrows and two doves on a frilled pedestal, linked by scrolls. Sticks: In the middle, an altar of love flanked by putti, musical trophies, paterae and sprays of leaves. Guards: On the lower part, formal leaves. On the upper part, a vase, loops, bound laurel, a putto holding a torch, doves and a bow.


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, Late#
George III or Louis XVI
Production date: circa AD 1785

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Leaf composed of silk ( cream) beads ( depressed) sequins ( gold) gouache
Guards composed of shell ( iridescent) Length 27.9 cm
Sticks+guards composed of mother-of-pearl

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.211-1985
Primary reference Number: 117796
Old catalogue number: DR 11/161
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 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 (2024) "Folding fan" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-25 17:26:39

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{{cite web|url= |title=Folding fan |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-25 17:26:39|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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