hand fans collectors who visit this "Place de l'Eventail", and we thank
them, inevitably ask themselves questions about the value of their
favorite objects. If they have been for a long time frequenting
antique dealers, garage or jumble sales, auction houses and specialized
websites, they have seen the prices go up ... and down. This cycle will
undoubtedly continue, and the true collector does not act on the basis
of price fluctuations but after the quality of the objects and the
personal interest attached to them. However, one can reasonably
think about the evolution of the market, and for example, wonder what
were the values in distant times. Unfortunately, old sales catalogs
almost always have summary descriptions, rarely photographs, almost
never estimates, and of course not the prices achieved.
therefore believe that our visitors will be happy to find here extracts
from a sales catalog comprising photographed and relatively well
described fans, and where an attentive collector had noted the prices
reached (which we have been able to verify thanks to another
source). This catalog originally belonged to the prestigious
"Heim Library", created by a famous antique dealer with almost
exhaustive Parisian auction sales since 1730, and dispersed in 2015.
We even have an "entry card" to the exhibition.
The cover and the title page provide further
The featured fans
fans appeared in the first 57 lots of the sale. All the lots
which did sell bear a price noted in ink, to which it is appropriate to
add the amount of the costs : in those happy times, alas well bygone,
they amounted to only 5% (I truly mean five percent!). In addition to
the first page, only the texts corresponding to the illustrated fans
will be reproduced below, placed for convenience under the photos of
the fans. Those pictures are grouped in the catalog into three plates.
The question that immediately arises is that of the correspondence
between these prices and our current currencies. To simplify a lot, and
after consulting specialized financial sites, we will indicate that to
obtain Euros for 2020 or 2021 we can multiply the prices by four, by
3.5 for English Pounds and by 4.5 for US Dollars. All this is obviously
very approximate, and we must also consider that low wages, especially
in France, increased considerably during the twentieth century, and
that for example, a postman was earning at the time about 700 F per
year (and number of workers even less) and a schoolteacher hardly more
than 2000 F per year: neither one nor the other could buy the fans that
we will see below!
1 - Fan from the
time of Louis XV, with mother-of-pearl
gilded reliefs, with the arms of France and of the House of Austria,
offering an allegory to the hymen of Louis, Dauphin, and Archduchess
Marie-Antoinette. The leaf, painted in gouache, represents the
medallions of the two spouses alternating with other emblematic
medallions of the fine arts and framed by the fleurdelized mantle.
- 5 Fan from the time of Louis XV, with openwork and gilded
composed of three medallions: the engagement and young women at their
toilet, in frames enriched with zircon. The guards are decorated with
arborized agates, and the leaf, painted in gouache, represents a
pastoral scene composed of nine figures in a park decorated with vases
12 - Fan from the time of Louis XV, with gilded mother-of-pearl
monture, showing a sacrifice and enriched by coloured stones;
painted leaf depicting a
female prisoner brought to a victorious warrior
Fan from the time of Louis XV, with gilded mother-of-pearl monture,
showing mythlogical subjects: leaf depicting Balthazar's feast.
20 - Fan from the time of Louis XV, with engraved mother-of-pearl monture, openworked, enhanced with colors and gilding, with cupids figurines, garlands, baskets, birds, rockeries, etc. Leaf, painted in gouache, offering a pastoral subject.
34 - Fan from the time of Louis XV, with mother-of-pearl monture decorated with deities from the Fable and Cupids, enhanced with gold in frames drawn by clouds and foliage. The leaf represents Flora and Zephyr, garlanded with flowers by the Cupids.
40 -Louis XV fan in mother-of-pearl with gilded reliefs: figures of Ceres and reaping Cupids, in openwork frames. The leaf represents the palace of Apollo.
What questions ?
are not going to study here the relevance of the descriptions made by
MM Mannheim father and son, experts for this sale. Let us simply note
that the illustrated fans are all in mother-of-pearl, and said to be
"from the time of Louis XV" or, for the latter only "Louis XV" (we do not know
what this difference may mean). We also note that at the time it
was not considered useful to better specify the dating, nor the
geographical origin and even less the dimensions of the objects.
we include this page in our section of "Fan Questions", it is quite
simply because we think we have seen at least two of these fans in
sales or exhibition catalogs, or during these sales or exhibitions.
You are perhaps the proud owner of one of these fans, or maybe you could tell
us in which catalog or book it is possible to find them.
We would be
happy to relate these objects to this sale of 1897.
Thank you in advance for your contributions. Of course, all other opinions, opinions or questions are welcome!