A very elegant hand fan with a beautiful "scene galante" at the center, it originates from the south of France and dates towards 1910. It is an advertising fan, from an old cafe in Paris, France.
A bit of fan information: regardless of what they are made of, most folding fans have the same basic parts. The piece that’s most visible to the eye, and the source of decorative expression for fan makers, is the leaf, which is creased so that it compacts into a little package within the fan’s monture, which includes the sticks, ribs, and outside guards.
The fan is fashioned in the form of earlier eighteenth century examples. Instead of a vellum leaf, a textured, coated paper is used which mimics the older material perfectly. The printed design has the style and form of these earlier hand painted examples. At the center is a small window which is held at each corner by two beautiful ladies who rise from acanthus leaves. The courtship scene portrays two couples and a female chaperone strolling in the gardens outside a beautiful country chateau. Their faces and clothing are eloquently depicted, the scene is fresh and bright. The ladies arise from a design which spans the entire fan form. Acanthus leaves, scrolls and tendrils are printed in gilt and sepia . Tiny rose colored paillettes or sequins swirl across the design reflecting rose colored light. The sticks and ribs and outside guards are of wood. The front guard has a heat impressed gilt design which includes the name of the cafe (partially visible, the gilt has worn away some letters).
It measures (when open)16 1/2" across, 8 1/2" tall. The central medallion measures 3 1/4" x 3". It is in very good antique condition: no tears in the leaf, no breaks to the sticks or ribs, some missing gilt in the stamped design of the top guard as mentioned above. The printed design has survived with amazing freshness, the paillettes are original and in place.
It is a small treasure from an elegant era and an interesting example of an advertising folding lady's fan.
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French Antiques: 19th Century French Smalls: Sewing, Religious, Bronze Figures-French Books and Bindings