2.000 - 2.500
4 March 2020
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Sandalwood, ivory and tortoiseshell frame
Painted leaf with Chinese daily scenes
Reverse painted with birds, flowers, foliage and cartouche with view of Macao's Outer Port
China, 19th century
(losses and faults)
Length: 27,5 cm (fechado) Length: 52,5 cm (aberto)
The piece we now present is called the “One Hundred faces” or “One Thousand Faces” hand fan (a designation that comes from an incorrect translation from the Chinese, where “a thousand” mean numerous faces and not a specific number) but it can also be called a "Mandarin" hand fan.
This designation refers to the title given to senior officials in ancient China.
Applied to Chinese pieces, this term was probably used for the first time by the famous French collector of Western ceramics, Albert Jacquemart (1808-1875), to describe export porcelain pieces ornamented with mandarin figures on panels surrounded by flowers. From porcelain the term also came to be used to name this concrete type of hand fans, as they have a similar decoration.
These objects are characterized by having the leaf decorated, usually on both sides, with paintings representing scenes from the court life or chinese daily life. The scene is usually surrounded by a frame with symbolic motifs identical to the porcelain of the Famille Rose.
This hand fan shows on one side a view of Macau outer harbor, where in addition to several boats, we can see the last national flag of the Portuguese monarchical regime, which makes it as rare piece.