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Folding fan: M.341-1985

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Maker: Unknown




Folding fan, single black lace leaf, with black silk insertions painted in bodycolour. Sticks of spliced, smoky-coloured mother-of-pearl decorated with gold and silver; ribs of pierced wood, guards of spliced and smoky-coloured mother-of-pearl, cut, pierced and decorated with silver and gold (16+2). Rivet of iron; washer of mother-of-pearl; loops of brass. Front: Two large shaped insertions are surrounded by bobbin lace, 'Chantilly' type, the left showing a seated young woman, with flowers in her lap, looking in a mirror and diaphanous drapery. The insertion on the right has two, flying, winged putti carrying garlands of flowers and see-through fabrics. The lace has a simple twist réseau ground; half-stitch dominates the decoration and untwisted threads the outline or cordonnet. Back: undecorated. Sticks: the sticks are decorated with two sprays of leaves and flowers. Reverse: undecorated. Guards: the front guards has a flower at the bottom of the guard proper and two flowers with leaves at the left and right edge, partly carved out; the flower and leaf arrangement on the top is partly carved out and pierced. The back guard has three spays of leaves and flowers.


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


Early 20th century
After 1900 CE - Before 1910 CE


Black lace was fashionable between the 1840s and 1860s, then declined in popularity. In the 1890s there was a revival which continued into the early 20th century.

European, possibly French

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Leaf composed of silk ( black) linen ( probably) bodycolour
Ribs composed of wood gold silver
Rivet composed of iron
Sticks+guards composed of mother-of-pearl
Loops composed of brass (alloy)
Guards Length 35.6 cm

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.341-1985
Primary reference Number: 117926
Old object number: 384
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 8 December 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 8 December 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Folding fan" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-01-29 07:44:15

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