We have shown fans with artistic or historical interest. But we must also, dear "fans" or simple curious browsers, let you see fans which, without these prestigious references, may reflect just as well, if not better, the grace and charm of our favorite object, and the light spirit, (doubtless too light) of the French society during the XVIIIth century, to which the Fan is so well related. Have a better look at this fan, by clicking on different parts.
Make sure you did "click" on all the details. They were 6 on the leaf... and those, cascading, of the sticks. But we want to attract your attention to a point. The number and quality of the scenes of games represented here give this fan an obvious interest, especially as the object has lived through the centuries without a blemish. Such scenes are nevertheless rather common on fans. However the scene below (which you have already seen above), is more rare, and we wish to take a further look at it.
What is depicted in the scene? When we bought this fan, we were unaware of it ! Thanks to an excellent Versailles antiques dealer, a toys specialist, we now know. In fact, François Binetruy, beyond his professional specialty, is an eminent collector of all that deals with magic lanterns and "boîtes d'optique" ("optical boxes"). It is indeed an optical box that is shown here.
The young woman here is a spectator : she looks through the openings. The superior element ( "chimney"), helps to ventilate the object, as a luminous source is placed behind the "vue d'optique" ("optical view").
This view often represents a known monument, and a game of filters and transparencies allows one to animate the spectacle : various appearances, night view, sunrise or sunset, fire, fireworks. For instance, in such a case, when backlit the numerous piercings and pin pricks are illuminated in various colors highlighting the firework display.
François Binetruy (a Versailles Antic Toys dealer) was kind enough to authorize us to present to the visitors of the "Place de l'Eventail" some of his wonders in relation to these recreational views. We thank him warmly! (Click on the fan! )
An American collector also authorizes us to reproduce a fan apparently more recent thanthe one we study here. This fan is a very fine one. It is worth note it is similar to another belonging to the Royal Collection of Fans, exhibited in Edinburgh in 2006 and at Buckingham Palace in winter 2006/2007 (see "Informations"). On those two fans, a detail must be related to what we show above. Here is this beautiful fan. A "detail" on the left will interest you, we guess. And in 2009, a French Fans specialist give us other images of a very similar fan. Please click on the picture and enjoy !
Contributions from the "international union of fan collectors" would allow to enlarge this gallery (in this domain as in so many others!). A bunch of warmful thanks to all those who, like here Gary Myron (FANA past president), or Serge Davoudian, well known in the Fans World, kindly agree sharing their beloved treasures. Whilst waiting, do not leave our "plein vol" (full flight !?) fan (i. e. opening to 180°), without an admirative glance to the back. This one, as this is the rule, is less decorated than the reverse. It is nevertheless pleasant, as much or even more than the face of certain fans of the era (about 1765 would we say ?), or especially of the following period, from Louis XVI to the resurrection of the half of the XIXth century.
This time again, the visit "for the pleasure of the eyes " is worth all the speeches. It is nevertheless with pleasure that we would add here your remarks, photos of similar fans or of comparable work. Thank you in advance!.
And do not forget our other monographs.