Fans were practical accessories for a lady of style, as they could be easily modified or replaced as new designs came and went. Martha Washington is known to have been particularly fond of fans, purchasing at least 28 for herself between 1755 and 1793. This fan, one of five in the collection with a history of having been owned by Mrs. Washington, was undoubtedly one of her finest. The quality of craftsmanship, as indicated by its delicately carved and pierced ivory face, belies its Chinese origin, while its iconography and design suggest it was made for a Western market. More

Date

1760-1795


Geography


Material/Technique

Ivory, silk, copper alloy, possibly mother of pearl


Dimensions

Overall: 7 7/8 in. x 14 1/4 in. x 1 7/8 in. (19.94 cm x 36.2 cm x 4.7 cm)


Credit

Given in memory of Lucy Ware Lewis McCormick, 1946


Marks

One roman numeral is scratched into each rib in the blank space covered by the silk ribbon, numbering 1-24. They are arranged in order from left to right: "I", "II", "III", "IV", "V", "VI", "VII", "VIII", "IX", "X", "XI", "XII", "XIII", "XIV", "XV", "XVI", "XVII", "XVIII", "XIX", "XX", "XXI", "XXII", "XIII", "XXIV".


Object Number

W-1441


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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