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Feather Fan with Hummingbird: M.478 & A-2015

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Feather Fan with Hummingbird


Maker: Unknown




Fan with a circle of white ostrich and duck feathers, in the centre of which is a stuffed hummingbird.
The feather 'leaf' is mounted on a carved stick, with ivory inlay. With original box with trade label of the Natte sisters.


History note: Lennox Boyd Estate. Christie's no. 1060

Legal notes

Accepted by H. M. Government in lieu of inheritance tax from the Lennox Boyd Estate

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Allocated (2015-04-27) by H.M. Government


19th Century
Production date: circa AD 1870


This fan forms part of the collection of the Hon. Christopher Lennox Boyd, allocated to the Museum by H.M. Government in lieu of inheritance tax in 2015. The collection of over 600 fans ranges in date from the 18th to the 20th centuries and in type from bejewelled and hand-painted court and wedding fans, to printed mass-produced advertising fans, aide-memoire fans, mourning fans and children’s fans.

This type of ‘novelty’ fan was produced in large numbers in the 1870s. It was popularised by the Princess of Wales (later Queen Alexandra) who was photographed holding such a fan at a society ball in 1871. As the Emperor of Brazil, Pedro II (reigned 1831–91) visited England around this time, he may have brought a number of these fans with him as gifts.

Components of the work

Leaf composed of feathers
Inlay composed of ivory

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.478 & A-2015
Primary reference Number: 205057
Sale number: 1060
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Wednesday 5 August 2015 Updated: Tuesday 26 October 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 13 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) "Feather Fan with Hummingbird" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-15 21:06:17

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{{cite web|url= |title=Feather Fan with Hummingbird |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-15 21:06:17|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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