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House of Courtesans


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Title/s

House of Courtesans

Maker/s

Unknown (maker)

Collection

Messel-Rosse Collection

Category

fans

Name

folding fan

School/Style

Chinoiserie

Description

Double leaf paper leaf painted in water colours and gold and decorated with mica inserts, applied straw and feathers. Sticks of painted and gilt ivory. Guards of ivory strengthened with tortoiseshell at the head end and overlaid above the shoulder by painted wood decorated with applied feathers. (14+2) Rivet of brass? Front: A house of courtesans comprising a series of buildings with 32 mica windows painted with figures. In the foreground, seven larger scale figures, two holding mica fans painted with a bird; another figure behind the house holds a mica fan painted with a figure. In the background, three flowering trees, the one in the centre having feathered flowers. Back: A Chinese lady standing beside a bare tree and a Chinese lady seated beside a bare tree. Sticks: Painted with a flowering tree, a Chinaman and a lady standing on each side of a vase, and a butterfly hovering over a flowering plant. Guards: Ivory plain, wood decorated in green paint and feathers with six swimming ducks, one above the other facing in opposite directions. This chinoiserie fan is one of the most fragile and unique in the Collection.

Production Place

Netherlands (maker) (country) ()

Germany (maker) (country) ()

Dutch (maker) (nationality) ()

German (maker) (nationality) ()

Technique Description

Double leaf paper leaf painted in water colours and gold and decorated with mica inserts, applied straw and feathers. Sticks of painted and gilt ivory. Guards of ivory strengthened with tortoiseshell at the head end and overlaid above the shoulder by painted wood decorated with applied feathers. (14+2) Rivet of brass?

Dimensions

length: (guards): 30.5 cm
width: (leaf): 52 cm

Period

mid 18th Century

Date

circa 1750

Provenance

bought: Anne, Countess of Rosse 1985-01-28 (Filtered for: Applied Arts collection)

Colonel Leonard C. Messel (1872-1953); his daughter Anne, Countess of Rosse (1902-1992)

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

Documentation

  1. Armstrong, Nancy (1985) Fans from the Fitzwilliam. A Selection from the Messel-Rosse Collection, Cambridge (Cambs.): Fitzwilliam Museum Enterprises Ltd [page: pl. 28]
    [comments: Publ.]
  2. Fan Circle International (1978) Fans from the East, London: Debrett's Peerage Ltd [page: 25]
    [comments: Publ., p. 25, pl. 15]
  3. Moore, Susan The East through Occidental Eyes, Chinoiserie Fans in the Messel-Rosse Collection, [page: 1005]
    Source title: Country Life (10 October 1985)
    [comments: Publ., p. 1005, pl. 3]
  4. Gostelow, Mary (1976) The Fan, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan [page: 57] 1976)
    [comments: Publ., p. 57, col. pl. 2 and 3]

Other Notes

Accession Number

M.143-1985 (Applied Arts)
(Reference Number: 117728; Input Date: 2004-12-07 / Last Edit: 2011-07-22)

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