Skip to main content

Folding fan: M.327-1985

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Double leaf of paper painted in bodycolour, silvered and gilt.
Gold paper binding on upper edge. Sticks and guards of mother-of-pearl (12+2), shaped, pierced, silvered and gilt; the sticks also backed by iridescent shell. Rivet set with clear pastes. Front: Painted overall with an idyllic pastoral scene. On the left, on the banks of a stream, a shepherd boy lies on his stomach turning his head towards the viewer. His crook lies on the ground beside him and behind him there are two sheep and bushes. In the middle a shepherd kneels to a shepherdess who is seated on the side of a monument or fountain. Cupid sits beside them, holding a dove and a boy peers at them from behind a tree. On the right, a boy plays the flute to a girl seated beside him on a bank. Borders of gold and red lines with flowers and foliage at intervals and a gold and silver hatching on the outer edges. Reverse: Painted overall with a landscape featuring an island in a lake or river. In the middle of it, a young man holds out an open cage to a lady seated on a bank beside a tree. Borders of pink flowers and foliage on all sides. Sticks: Each bears two oval medallions showing two different motifs, the lower row includes, male and female heads, probably of theatrical characters, theatrical trophies, and flaming urns, the upper row, fruit, female heads, ewers, cocks and a patera. At the bottom there are smaller motifs, including flowers, musical instruments and insects.Guards: On the lower part, a flower, a rabbit and a patera. On the upper part a trophy, a Pierrot and a half length male portrait in an oval frame (different on each guard).


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#
Louis XV
Production date: circa AD 1760


The central figures were taken from one of a set of four engravings by Claude Duflos, le jeune (1700-86) 'Les Amours Pastorales', after Francois Boucher (1703-70). It was inscribed with a verse beginning 'Silvandre heureux amant, que rien ne t'inquiete'.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Leaf composed of paper ( gold) bodycolour
Sticks composed of shell ( iridescent)
Sticks+guards composed of mother-of-pearl
Guards Length 27.0 cm

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.327-1985
Primary reference Number: 117912
Old catalogue number: DR 30/394
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

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Folding fan" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-09 11:50:53

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Folding fan |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-09 11:50:53|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

More objects and works of art you might like

Perpetual Almanack

Accession Number: M.275-2015

Folding fan

Accession Number: M.144-1985

Venus and Adonis

Accession Number: M.127-2015

Classical Mythology Scene

Accession Number: M.223-2015

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...