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Fan

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1770-80 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gouache on vellum, with net insertions; carved ivory sticks and articulated guards

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Hester Popham

  • Museum number:

    T.19-1939

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This fan has elaborate decoration of panels of net inserted into the vellum leaf. The central scene reflects the influence of the paintings of François Boucher and Jean Honoré Fragonard. Two girls sit in a garden with rose trellis and lake behind, while Cupid aims his arrow at one of them. Such an idealised outdoor scene is typical of the pastoral views popular on 18th-century fans.

The ivory sticks are carved and painted, and the guards are articulated; that is, they each contain six portraits, and by sliding a thumb-piece show alternately either portraits of three girls or of three youths. Such fans with articulated sticks are extremely rare.

Physical description

Vellum leaf painted in watercolour, arranged as pictorial panels originally alternating with insertions of patterned and stiffened gauze. This has suffered damage, and has largely been replaced with later net. The central painted panel shows a pastoral scene of two girls in a garden with Cupid. Columns flank the net insertions, and the remaining vellum panels are painted with realistic depictions of flowers on solid coloured grounds. The ivory sticks are carved and painted, and the guards are articulated; that is, they each contain six portraits, and by sliding a thumb-piece show alternately either portraits of three girls or of three youths.
The verso depicts a landscape scene.

Place of Origin

France (made)

Date

1770-80 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Gouache on vellum, with net insertions; carved ivory sticks and articulated guards

Dimensions

Height: 273 mm tallest point when open, Width: 490 mm widest point when open

Historical context note

In 1711, The Spectator satirised the use of fans, claiming ‘women are armed with Fans as Men with Swords, and sometimes do more Execution with them’.

Descriptive line

painted vellum with net insertions, ivory sticks, articulated guards, French, 1770s

Subjects depicted

Pastoral

Categories

Accessories; Fans; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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