Carved tortoise fan depicting Chinese immortals in a landscape, Canton (Guangzhou), first half of the 19th century
In the 17th-19th centuries, the fan became an indispensable attribute of secular etiquette and an element of flirting. Fans were made of silk, leather, parchment, paper, lace. The plates of the fan were cut out of wood, mother-of-pearl, ivory, tortoiseshell. Fans were decorated with gold, painting, precious stones. Even such famous painters as Watteau painted fans with pastoral scenes.
In Europe, fans of Italian and French work were considered the best. And in the 19th century, Chinese and Japanese fans made for export, according to the tastes of European fashionistas, became popular. In this collection you will see tortoiseshell fans that belonged to the beautiful ladies of the past.
Carved tortoiseshell fan with pagodas and flowers, China, circa 1790
Tortoiseshell fan of traditional Chinese form depicting scenes from Chinese life with boats and buildings, Canton (Guangzhou), circa 1790-1810.
Italian fan Toilet of Venus, in ivory and mother-of-pearl with tortoiseshell guards, with a paper screen painted after a painting by Francesco Albani (1621-1633), circa 1680.
Tortoiseshell fan with protective plates (guards) decorated with enamel, garnets and turquoise, Vienna, late 19th century.
French tortoiseshell fan painted with gallant scenes, 18th-19th centuries.
The miniature in a cartouche depicting a couple in love surrounded by cupids is painted in gouache on silk.
Plates depicting elegant figures with intricate openwork carvings are lined with gilded silver foil.
French mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell fan with ivory trim, silk painting, chinoiserie decoration, circa 1770-1780.
Tortoiseshell fan trimmed with black lace with vine motif, ivory guard set with diamonds, mid-19th century
Italian tortoiseshell fan Diana the Huntress, with a painted paper screen, decorated in the golden pique technique, circa 1740.
Two French painted tortoiseshell fans, one depicting a Maypole celebration and the other a bucolic scene (J Donzel), late 19th century
Very rare Belgian tortoiseshell wedding fan with troubadour and lady, painted on parchment by Felicien Rops, circa 1880
Gothic-shaped tortoiseshell fan, painted with medieval ruins, carved guards decorated with micromosaic, circa 1825.
French lace tortoiseshell fan with lions and gazelles, Chantilly, 19th century
Tortoise fan Village of Kermess, painting on parchment depicting Flemish peasants dancing in front of a village tavern, archery scene, late 17th century.
Children’s tortoiseshell fan Hunting for lions, decorated with mother-of-pearl and ivory, possibly Italy, late 17th century.
Tortoiseshell fan with a watercolor image of the Palace of Versailles on parchment, decorated with mother-of-pearl, France, 19th century.
French tortoiseshell fan decorated with gilding, silk painting (J Donzel)
Beautiful Japanese tortoiseshell fan, covered with gold, depicting storks by the river, circa 1880
Japanese tortoiseshell fan, elaborately decorated with wooded mountain scenery and climbing flowers, late 19th century
Carved export tortoiseshell fans with three medallions depicting figures and pagodas, Canton (Guangzhou), mid-19th century
Cantonese export tortoise fan with figures and pagodas, Guangzhou, 19th century
Silver lacquered tortoiseshell fan with figures and flowers, Canton (Guangzhou), circa 1820
Carved tortoiseshell fan, depicting pagodas, Canton (Guangzhou), circa 1810
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