|Trompe-L'Oeil Lace Fan|
Prvisouly owned by Queen Charlotte
Presented to Queen Mary, 1939
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The fan is an exceptional work of art in the style of mid-Seventeenth-Century French fan-makers who took great care in creating their fans. The French preferred that fans were mounted with two leaves, instead of one as was the custom with English fan-makers. Carved tortoiseshell sticks and guards with a silver, garnet-head pin support the leaves which have been painted in a trompe-l’oeil style (literally, “fool the eye”) which is meant to give the impression that the entire piece has been overlaid with a sheet of delicate lace. The lace has been painted onto the fan as if it had been applied and glued and is rendered in such a way that it appears to have been carefully cut around the two painted scenes. The scenes may depict Dido and Aeneas, but their exact subject matter is unknown.