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Mandalay-Style Painted Fan
Burma
circa 1880

height: 35cm, outstretched width: 67cm

This fine, folding fan is in excellent condition and is a remarkable and rare survivor given its age. It has spent the last few decades in a private London
collection. It comprises fine, bone supports and silk painted in tempera colours and gold. It is painted on both sides with figures in Burmese dress. On one
side, King Thibaw Min, Burma's last king, and his consort are seen atop an elephant, accompanied by a procession of ministers and other figures from the
Court. Many of the women wear sarongs or
longyis with the characteristic zig-zag luntaya-acheiq pattern associated with the Burmese court.

The outside bone supports are pierced with foliage patterns. A white metal hoop at the base would have allowed the fan to be suspended.

A similar fan in the Victoria & Albert Museum is described in Armstrong (1979, p. 69) as probably the work of a Court Painter attached to the Royal Palace in
Mandalay. The V&A fan is believed to have been found in Mandalay in 1885 and is ascribed to 'circa 1880'. Click
here to see the V&A fan.

The example here is in excellent condition and is without repairs or tears. There is some loss to the painted designs, as might be expected, but this is relatively
trivial.

References:
Armstrong, N., Fans from the East, Debrett/V&A, 1978.

Provenance: private collection, London

Inventory no.: 4248 SOLD

Click here to see more items from Burma.