Spanish Fan Scarf
This limited-edition silk scarf reproduces details from a nineteenth-century Spanish fan (LJ1655). The mother-of-pearl staves are ornamented with luxuriant bronze appliqué foliage while the guards are embellished with heavier appliqué depicting a seated angel, an oval silver mirror on the front, and a cameo on the back. By the mid-nineteenth century the most luxurious fans were mounted on mother-of-pearl, suggesting that this one was intended for a high-ranking woman. The paper leaf illustrates aristocratic themes. On the front, Orientalist vignettes depict life in a Turkish court. The central scene may refer to the 1868 visit to Constantinople by Eugénie de Montijo, Empress of France and wife of Napoleon III (1853-71). On the reverse, fashionable aristocrats listen to a lyrist in an idyllic landscape, a fête champêtre. The musician and verdant setting recall the god Apollo at Parnassus, making the image both contemporary and mythical. The nude figure embracing a wolf and woman at the center may refer to Apollo, his mother Leto, and the wolf, sacred to Apollo. The pale blue of the paintings reflects the mother-of-pearl, while the black and gold is traditional for Spanish fans of the period. Fans were an important accessory for fashionable women but also served as commemorative devices, as does this example.
- Inspired by: Fan with gallant scenes, mother-of-pearl, bronze appliqué, mirror, cameo, paper, glue-based watercolor, and gold leaf, ca. 1868
- 100% silk
- 42.5 x 35 in.