This is an exquisite and finely hand-painted "Vernis Martin" fan dating from the second half of the 19th century. The ribs are entirely of bone. It is of a diminutive size (5 1/4" tall, 9" wide unfolded), indicating that it was made for a young lady.
When opened, one side features a dreamy young lady and a dashing gentleman who have spent a lovely afternoon together collecting pink flowers. The man has fashioned a flower crown for the lady and holds it out in admiration. The faces of the lady and gentleman are finely detailed, their feelings are expertly expressed. In the background is a country house with a grain tower.
The reverse side of the fan displays a beautiful long-range view of the countryside in the foreground and mountain range in the distance. An old Roman bridge crosses in front of the scene and a white columned building is in the background. The trees are eloquently portrayed, as are the rolling mountains in beautiful shades of blue.
When folded, either end features a lovely design of gilt flowers with a blue oval at the top filled with pink roses.
It is amazing that this little fan has survived in such pristine condition, having once being owned by a young girl. The paintings remain fresh and lively, with no loss of color or chipping. The ribs of the fan are strong and sturdy, the original brass fittings still remain at the base.
This is an exceptional piece, and would make a centerpiece addition to any collection.
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