18th Century Italian Fan – Telemachus and Athena
Early 18th century fan made of ivory sticks and a vellum leaf. The front is handpainted with Telemachus and the Goddess Athena disguised as Mentor.
Date: ca. 1700-1720
This early 18th century fan is made of ivory sticks and a fine vellum leaf. The sticks are inlaid with silver piqué and mother of pearl panels. The front of the fan is handpainted with a scene from Homer’s Odyssey, showing Telemachus and the Goddess Athena disguised as Mentor. Athena is trying to persuade Telemachus to take to the seas in search of his father Odysseus. This is the original Mentor, from whom the now commonly used word and concept derived. Odysseus had asked Mentor to watch over his son Telemachus before he left for Troy.
Length: 10.75″ (27 cm) Width: 19.75″ (50 cm)
Condition: Very good for its very advanced age with some faint water? marks on and minor wear on the leaf and a couple of antique repairs (not visible). Leaf has darkened with age, but the colours are bright. This fan is in usable condition.