RARE late 1700s French hand painted gouache on finest silk leaf fan, elaborately carved and foil-decorated bone guards and sticks. Hand carved guards are backed by mica, I'm quite certain, shimmering to a pink tone but unlike mother of pearl it has a different irredescence. On the front leaf a courting couple under an elaborate gazebo or pillar and trellis of sequins, flowers. It's era is the French Romantic era, represented in art by the work of artists like Boucher, Fragonard, etc.. It's a delicate old treasure, commensurate with age, and from the backside you can see very old restorations done with Japanese rice paper. Not a fan to use, but one to display, perhaps frame. It has its original box, lacking the old clasps to hold it closed. Measurements are 27cm long, closed, opening to 50cm (10.75" opening to 19.75"). Impossibly slender sticks and guards which fan out at top to 2.5cm width.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, having survived, it presents commensurate with age and use, some Japanese rice paper restorations visible from back, light splits at tips of the paper at folds, and I've marked 2 spots where the guards show a loss/chip. Beautiful old gold and silver foil work, some lost to time. A rare and beautiful old treasure, this one. Photos show it from all angles. There are paste gem mounts as buttons but they have lost the paste stones on each side.