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Fan leaf

  • Place of origin:

    England (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1750 - ca. 1775 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching and gouache

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case T, shelf 130

This fan leaf, printed with a Chinoiserie design, is probably English in origin. When finished such fans would have been aimed at the cheaper end of the market and probably sold on the street. This printed fan leaf has also had a wash applied. Since it is uncut it is possible to see quite clearly the brush strokes of the wash as it extends beyond the shape of the leaf. This fan shows signs of having been given a wash all over of silver 'dust' in solution, which has now oxidized to dirty grey, done by English fan makers to simulate Japanese mica papers, i.e. papers containing glittering specs of mica.

Physical description

Fan leaf printed with a Chinoiserie design and partly covered in a silver (oxidized to grey) wash and coloured by hand in pink and white gouache. A Chinese family group of man, woman and boy, with the man leaning on a rock holding a loaf of bread, the woman holding the boy's hand and a tray with a teapot on it. Also are a winged insect, flowers (peony?) and a bucket holding a large feather and bamboo sticks.

Place of Origin

England (probably, made)


ca. 1750 - ca. 1775 (made)


Unknown (made)

Materials and Techniques

Etching and gouache


Height: 28.5 cm sheet, Width: 52.4 cm sheet

Object history note

Martin Willcocks Collection

Descriptive line

Fan leaf printed with chinoiserie design; English, third quarter of the 18th century i.e. 1750-1775.


Printing ink; Paper; Gouache; Water-colour


Etching; Hand-colouring; Wash

Subjects depicted

Peony; Woman; Man; Feather; Bread; Tray; Bamboo; Boy; Bucket; Rock; Fans and fan mounts; Teapot


Fans; Paintings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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