Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Unfolding Pictures: Queen Adelaide’s Fan, 1830

Queen Adelaide's Fan
English with French leaf, 1830
Leaf by Alphonse Giroux
Gold Guards by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell
Leather, wood, ivory, gold, rubies, amethysts.
The Royal Collection
This magnificent fan of painted sheep’s leather, gilt wooden sticks and gold guards studded with amethysts and rubies, once belonged to Queen Adelaide, consort of King William IV and aunt of Queen Victoria. Clearly in the English style, the gold-work on the guards, with ciphers of A.R., is most likely the work of Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. The leaf, however, was imported from France and is the work of Alphonse Giroux who was known for his elegant painted fan leaves. The leaf is painted in an Asian style and has applied ivory faces on the figures. Curiously, the heads have Western features, showing that they were most assuredly European in origin.

Queen Adelaide, upon the death of King William IV, was known as the Dowager Queen. Since none of her children had survived into adulthood, the throne passed to her niece, Victoria. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were extremely fond of Adelaide and made sure that she was well cared for. Upon her death, most of her personal possessions were bequeathed to Queen Victoria—including this fan. 

Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Images Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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