Fans · 19th Century Fans · Rare Small Italian Silver Filigree Brisé Fan


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Origin: Most likely Italy

Date: 1850-1900

This very rare fan is most likely Italian in origin, like most European silver filigree fans (we know still very little about these fans, but some were made in Genova probably as early as the 1830s - they were most popular around 1860). I have seen a similar example (sold at Christies) described as Cantonese, but I am 100% sure that this is a European fan. This fan is an even rarer small example probably dating from the last quarter of the 19th century, but it is also possible that it is an earlier (mid-Victorian) apprentice's piece (I believe that this is indeed an apprentice piece, because I can see sections that are not as skillfully made - I have had the privilege to study several of the large examples for a comparision).

The fan is made of beautifully crafted solid silver filigree sticks that are connected via a satin nylon ribbon (replaced). I must admit that I have never seen a filigree fan with 2 holes in each stick (except for the example sold at Christies). The fact that the ribbon passes through 2 holes means that the fan cannot be closed (it only closes somewhat as shown in the second last photo). As with all silver filigree fans, this is a purely decorative, rather than functional object. It is possible to re-ribbon the fan in a way that it closes fully (I have shown this in the last photo), but it is designed for the ribbon to be passed through the 2 holes. The sticks are worked with highly stylised flowers and foliage. The fan is not hallmarked, but this is not unusual (silver filigree are very, very seldom hallmarked). Commonly, filigree fans are made of silver with a fineness of 800/1000. I have no way of determining the silver content of this fan, but have given its weight.

Length: 4.75" (12 cm) Width: just under 9" (22.5 cm) Weight: 109 grams

Condition: Excellent (see photos).

Price: SOLD

(including packaging & shipping via Registered, Insured & Tracked Airmail)


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