Get up to the frills with fans at Tennants online23 March 2020 Interested in starting a new habit or simply curious about historic objects? Fans are an enduringly popular if somewhat niche collecting field, but there are plenty out there to choose from.
At its sale on March 26, Tennants offers a range of these objects at various price points to be snapped up by serious collectors or curious buyers alike. There are plenty more in each category and at price points on either side, so visit the auction page to get a sense of the full offering.
Estimate: Under £60
At this level you’ll mainly be looking at job lots of less significant fans (unless you have a real eye and can spot a sleeper!) But for novice collectors, there still plenty of delight to be found in these pieces. For example, this collection features four 20th century fans all on an animal theme, estimated at £40-60.
This 18th century fan features an ornate gorge (the lower part of the fan) with gilded sticks and carving radiating from the centre. The leaf features a pastoral scene of a gathering with a dog as well as vignettes of flowers. There is some wear on this piece, but it is an interesting antique piece available at a relatively affordable level.
This novelty fan, c.1899, features portraits of Boer War Commanders. Each embossed paper section is shaped as a pansy and printed centrally with photographic images of the leaders (such as Baden Powell and Kitchener) flanked by a soldier and a sailor, all labelled. It is in a shape known as a Jenny Lind, named for the singer who made it famous, or a palmette.
This rare Italian marriage fan is made with different needle lace techniques with an armorial of each important family to either side of the profile of a wealthy lady holding a fan. Though the lace is probably from the late 19th century, the leaf is mounted on 18th century ivory sticks, the gorge painted in pastels with flowers and chinoiserie figures. It may have been created in the Burano needlework school.
Made c.1776, this Grand Tour fan is expected to be one of the top lots of a sale with an estimate of £800-1200. It is decorated with scenes of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius by day in the central panel and by night in the smaller panel to the right. Between these two scenes is a poem in Italian. There is also a musical score and a trompe l’oeil design of a ribbon. An engraving on the 18th century tube suggests a connection to Sir Joshua Reynolds, which may attract interest from bidders.