A ROYALIST FAN

FRENCH FOLDING FAN. DOUBLE LEAF OF WINE COLOUR GAUZE, EMBROIDERED WITH SEQUINS AND A PAPER MEDAILLON WITH A "MEZZOTINT" ETCHING. SUSAN MAYOR WRITES IN "THE LETTS GUIDE TO COLLECTING FANS" - 1991 PAGES 58/59 THAT AT THE TIME ONLY TWO FANS WERE KNOWN WITH SUCH A TECHNIC, ONE OF THESE VERY SIMILAR TO MINE. ROSEWOOD STICKS. RIVET COVER PLAQUE OF IVORY. THE STICKS END IS COLOURED OF PALE BLUE. THE FAN, IN PERFECT CONDITIONS, HAS A GREAT HISTORIC VALUE. THE SEQUINS WRITING SAYS: "TOUT PUISSANT JE L'AIME MALHEREUX JE L'ADORE DOMINE SALVUM FAC REGEM" (ALMIGHTY I LOVE HIM UNLUCKY I ADORE HIM GOD SAVE THE KING). IN THE MEDAILLON THERE ARE THE PORTRAITS OF LOUIS XVI, OF HIS WIFE MARIE ANTOINETTE AND OF THE DAUPHIN LOUIS-CHARLES. ABOVE, THE WRITING: "DOMINE SALVUS FAC REGEM REGINAM ET DELPHINUM" (GOD SAVE THE KING THE QUEEN AND THE DAUPHIN). THE ENGRAVING'S AUTHOR IS AUBIN DE SAINT AUGUSTIN, THE KING'S ENGRAVER, BORN IN PARIS IN 1736 AND DIED IN 1807. TO BE NOTED THAT ON THE FAN THE ENGRAVING IS ON THE OPPOSITE, WITH THE ADDITION OF A WRITING, A CLOTH WITH LILIES AND TWO CROWNS, WHILE THE KING WEARS THE "CORDON BLEU" WITH THE ST. SPIRIT'S ORDER CROSS, WHICH END WAS TO PROTECT THE SOVEREIGN BECAUSE SACRED. (THANKS TO MARGARETHA MAZURA FOR THE FINDING OF THE PRINTING ON THE BOOK "CHATS ON COSTUME" - G. WOOLLISCROFT RHEAD - 1905). THE LEAF IS EMBROIDERED WITH SEQUINS FLEUR-DE-LYS, THE ROYAL FAMILY SYMBOL. LOUIS XVI WAS GUILLOTINED ON JANUARY 21st, 1793, AFTER THE IMPRISONEMENT AT THE TEMPLE, ON AUGUST 13st, 1792. MARIE ANTOINETTE OF AUSTRIA WAS EXECUTED ON OCTOBER 16th, 1793. WE THINK THAT THE DAUPHIN LOUIS-CHARLES, COUNT OF NORMANDIE, IS DEAD IN THE PARIS TEMPLE'S PRISON, ON JUNE 8th, 1795, AT THE AGE OF 10 YEARS. WE ARE NOT SURE, BECAUSE SOME SOURCES MAINTAIN HE EXCAPED. THEORETICALLY, HOWEVER HE WAS KING WITH THE NAME LOUIS XVII FROM 1793 TO 1795. ON JULY 14th, 1789 THERE WAS THE CAPTURE OF THE BASTILLE AND FROM AUGUST 16th THE NOBLES EMIGRATION BEGAN. THE MANUFACTURE OF THIS FAN GETS EXACTLY IN THIS HISTORICAL CONTEXT. EVEN IF IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THOUGHT THAT FANS WITH SUCH CHARACTERISTICS WERE PRODUCED IN ENGLAND, I CAN AFFIRM THAT THIS EXEMPLAR HAS BEEN PRODUCED IN FRANCE, PROBABLY IN THE MADAME DESPEAUX'S BOUTIQUE, RUE DE GRAMONT - PARIS, AS QUOTED BY BLONDEL, WHO MENTIONS AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE "JOURNAL DES HOMMES LIBRES DE L'AN IV" (1796). HERE IT IS SUSTAINED THAT SUCH FANS WERE OF THE MOST REFINED AND EXPENSVE QUALITY. (SEE ALSO "AUTANT EN PORTE LE VENT - EVENTAILS,HISTOIRE DU GOUT" PAGE 66 N77). I THINK THAT THE MISUNDERSTANDING HAS RISEN FROM THE CIRCUMSTANCE THAT M.ME DESPEAUX MOVED HER ACTIVITY TO ENGLAND, FOLLOWING THE EXODUS OF THE NOBLES FROM FRANCE.  SURELY, BY THE TENOR OF EMBROIDERED WRITINGS, THE KING WAS STILL ALIVE WHEN THE FAN WAS MADE, ALMOST CERTAINLY FOR A FAMILY MEMBER, PERHAPS ALSO MARIE-ANTOINETTE OR THE YOUNG LOUIS XVI'S SISTER,ELISABETH PHILIPPINE MARIE-HELENE DE BOURBON. SO, IT CAN BE DATED WITH CERTITUDE BETWEEN THE 1792nd AND THE 1793rd. CM 27,5. MAX SPREAD CM 51. STICKS 18+2.