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The Messel Standing Feather Fan: M.358-1985

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Object information

Titles

The Messel Standing Feather Fan

Maker(s)

Unknown (Maker of leaf)
Unknown (Maker of handle)

Description

Woven gut panels mounted on concealed frames, decorated with feathers of the purple-breasted cotinga (cotinga amabilis) and other birds; stick of turned wood. The fan is composed of five separate sections of drawn thread work on concealed frames. The frames are covered with feathers in bands of different colours and there is a border to each section of more feathers. The central scenes of flowers and birds are composed of feathers and stitched into place on applied fabric grounds and are different on each side. The whole is mounted on a turned, wooden handle.

Notes

History note: Colonel Leonard Messel (d. 1953); Anne, Countess of Rosse (d. 1992)

Legal notes

Purchased with a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and a gift from the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Measurements and weight

Height: 34 cm
Width: 23 cm

Relative size of this object

23 cm34 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1985-01-28) by Countess of Rosse, Anne

Dating

Second half of 17th century
Production date: circa AD/CE 1665 : Date uncertain

Note

Fixed fans were used to cool or shield the face or as fly swats.

Place of manufacture and assembly uncertain; the leaf was probably made in South America or Central America whilst the handle is probably European, possibly either English or Dutch.

The blue and purple feathers match those of the purple-breasted cotinga (cotinga amabilis), found in Brazil, the Guyanas and Surinam. Although not identical, the bird forming part of the decoration on this side of the fan may have been intended to represent that cotinga. The other feathers have yet to be identied, but may come from members of the same species.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Stick: composed of wood Leaf: composed of feathers gut Case: Height 40 cm Width 32 cm
Decoration: Handle:

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.358-1985
Primary reference Number: 117942
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 12 January 2021 Last processed: Thursday 8 April 2021

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 (2020) "Screen fan" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/117942 Accessed: 2021-12-03 06:44:40

Citation for Wikipedia

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

{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/117942|title=Screen fan|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-12-03 06:44:40|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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<div class="text-center my-3"> <figure class="figure"> <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/portfolio/F25982D9_7CB9_CFFF_028E_8BBFC531887C/466/19/large_M_358_1985_1_200910_mfj22_mas.jpg" alt="The Messel Standing Feather Fan" class="img-fluid" /> <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">The Messel Standing Feather Fan</figcaption> </figure> </div>

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