Found in France, the elegant and exceptionally fine pair of mid-1800s face screens (some think they're fans) not only have full large papier mache panels intact but also the original hand painted florals which were painted on the inlays of mother of pearl. Most of these old ones have lost the painting from the pearl surfaces, leaving just the pearl on view, but originally, as seen in this pair, oil painted florals or sometimes architectural detail was the decoration and the pearl simply a shimmer of light and color showing in the fire's glow, lighting the bouquets. Rare to find in this condition! The pair have sturdy handles of dimensional metal, a brass alloy, and though each has only one pin as attachment, they are sturdy and the set can be displayed or used. These were fittings for any fine home, given to guests who might come for tea or sewing, visiting beside the fire. The old homes, estates, chateau were heated by large booming fireplaces and to protect one's face from the blotches of heat, these were in use. Sometimes pole screens, but for guests, the hand held sets. We have a wide selection, all sold separately - I'm always searching for the best ones. This is a special set - very nicely preserved as original. Full measurements noted on photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. I can see very little by way of imperfection on either one. Typical crazing of the old lacquered surface, not much. That outer form, serpentine scallops and points have suffered no breaks, which is very rare. Rarer, still, to find a matching pair still with the oil painting in place on all the inlaid mother of pearl. I see 2 flaws: each at the joint of the metal handles. Each one is missing one pin, and there is some flaked damage to the papier mache, nearly disappears beneath the handle mount, but I've marked with an x. They are sturdy. A fabulous pair (2), still together. Made in their time (c.1840-70) in both England and France, this set does not have a "Jennens & Bettridge" imprint, though they look very much like J&B production.