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Folding fan: M.331-1985

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Double leaf of cream silk, painted in bodycolour and decorated with gold and silver tambour work, red, gold and greenish-blue sequins and depressed beads some embroidered and some stuck on, and appliqued with red, silver and puce metal foil. Gold paper binding on the upper edge. Sticks and guards of mother-of-pearl (12+2), pierced, silvered, gilt, and set with red, green and gold depressed beads; the guards backed by irridescent pink shell. Rivet set with clear pastes. Front: In the middle beneath a drape and swags of flowers, a lady sits at an embroidery frame accompanied by a lap dog on a low stool. The dog is looking up at a gentleman who approaches from the left, holding a cane in his right hand. Further to the left there is a chair beside a dressing table with a draped mirror and boxes on it. On the right, a lady plays a harpsichord. The scene is flanked by vases of flowers and there are borders of wavy lines of sequins and depressed beads. Reverse: Border of blue scrolls and red and green floral sprays. Sticks: A man playing a lute, flanked by ladies, a boy playing a recorder and putti, flowers and scrolls. Guards: A torch and a quiver of arrows, a seated girl holding a handkerchief, and a putto holding a torch.


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#
Louis XVI
Circa 1778 - 1780

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Leaf composed of silk ( cream) beads ( depressed) tambour work ( gold and silver) paper ( gold) sequins ( red, gold, green-blue) foil ( red, silver and puce) bodycolour
Sticks+guards composed of beads ( depressed: red, green, and gold) gilt mother-of-pearl
Guards composed of shell ( irridescent pink) Length 27.7 cm

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.331-1985
Primary reference Number: 117916
Old catalogue number: DR 30 /401
Old object number: 374
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 (2024) "Folding fan" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-03-03 04:07:24

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Folding fan |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-03-03 04:07:24|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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