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  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1750-1760 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gouache on vellum, with carved and pierced ivory sticks and guards

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Some mid 18th-century fans are miniature versions of paintings by well-known landscape artists. The work of Joseph Vernet inspired this particular example. He was famous for his harbour scenes, and his paintings characteristically show groups of fishermen and fishing boats. The painter of the fan leaf has faithfully reproduced Vernet’s style and composition. The wide, closely spaced ivory sticks are typical of the 1750s. The scene carved on the guardsticks shows a gentleman talking to a cherub. As usual, the image on the sticks bears no relation to that on the leaf. This is because each part of the fan was usually designed by different artists and made separately.

Physical description

Folding fan with the obverse showing a riverside scene painted in watercolours of kind, showing some fishermen and their boat in the foreground and village women awaiting the catch. In the background is an Italianate landscape with a bridge leading to a village, with mountains in the distance.

The picture fills the fan leaf and has been arranged to conform to the shape of the leaf. The composition and subject appear to have been influenced by the paintings of Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714-1789). The painting technique is of a high standard for a fan.

The reverse is of paper, painted in watercolours with a sketchily painted scene of a seascape showing a man and a dog running across a rickety bridge towards a ship anchored beside a ruined building. In the distance are a group of cottages around a tower with a mountain beyond.

The sticks and guards are of finely carved and pierced ivory decorated with cupids, lovers and musical instruments. The upper portion of each guard is backed with mother of pearl.

Place of Origin

France (made)


1750-1760 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Gouache on vellum, with carved and pierced ivory sticks and guards


Length: 29 cm, Width: cm open span

Descriptive line

Fan, France, 1740-1760.


Accessories; Fashion; Fans; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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