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Folding fan: M.329-1985

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Folding fan, double leaf of cream silk, decorated with painting, applied fabric and mother-of-pearl, gold tambour work and red, green and gold sequins. Sticks and guards of ivory, carved, pierced, silvered and gilt (13+2) rivet with one pearl washer. In the centre of the leaf a pseudo classical scene: a seated woman, a standing warrior with a shield, and a seated warrior with a shield and a spear. To the left, a military trophy, a putto and a vase of flowers amid scrolls and flowers; to the right, a flying putto, an oval portrait of a helmeted female and scrolls of flowers. The edges are painted with red scrolls and blue striations. The upper edge has a gold binding and the other sides are edged with gold. The design is outlined in colour on the back of the leaf. The carving of the sticks and guards incorporates, a standing oriental warrior, a standing Roman warrior, a seated warrior, a seated woman, a couple accompanied by a standing warrior putto and a flying putto, female and male portrait medallions, military trophies and pairs of putti with flaming urns.


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
Louis XV
Circa 1750 - Circa 1760


The decoration suggests that this was possibly a Marriage fan.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Leaf composed of silk ( cream) sequins ( red, green and gold) woven textile paint mother-of-pearl Width 49 cm
Washer composed of mother-of-pearl
Sticks And Guards composed of ivory
Guards Length 25.9 cm
Stick And Guards

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.329-1985
Primary reference Number: 117914
Old catalogue number: DR 28/364
Old object number: 372
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

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: 2023-12-08 12:16:54

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Folding fan |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-08 12:16:54|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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