International bidders joined us for The Fans and Fancies online-only auction on 27th March, to partake in the 234 lot event, of fans and an extended range of lace, embroidered and beaded items, needlework tools and period fashion accessories from Part I of a Major European Collection.
Highlights of the collection included a very rare Italian Marriage Fan, composed of 18th century ivory sticks and what is likely a late 19th century lace leaf, which sold for £800 against an estimate of £400-600. From the same collection an elaborate 18th century European Child’s Cap also sold well, realising £480 against an estimate of £150-250.
From other vendors came two 18thcentury Grand Tour fans, one depicting a view of St. Peter’s in Rome and the other a view of the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius by day and night, which realised £750, respectively.
Conversation fans proved popular too, with lot 4069 a Fascinating Conversation Fan, dated 1891, realising £950, against an estimate of £180-250. Displaying a vast amount of notation, including names "Dante, Raphael, Condor, Milton, Ruskin, Chaucer, and Coleridge" amongst others, with quotes, poems, and number games. The New Paris Conversation Fan for 1802: a small Regency paper fan, also sold well, on estimate for £550. This example was printed to the recto with questions to the left and answers to the right, in both French and English.
Other highlights included fans rarely seen on the market today, including uncommon advertising and perfume fans, and unique novelty fans from the 20th century created and exhibited by a Northern crafts person.
The top lot of the sale however came in the form of the New Caricature dance fan for 1799: a slender bone fan printed with musical scores to include "The Duke of York at Valenciennes", "The Royal meeting", "Trip to Dunkirk" and "Brighton review". Under each score, in tiny script, instructions on how to actually perform the dance. The borders show couples engaged in dancing, and the printer's details, including the date of Nov 10th1798. It realised a hammer price of £1300, against an estimate of £300-500.
The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £34,040 for the 234-lot sale, with a 91.5% sold rate.