From the Napoleon III era (mid-Victorian, c.1850-70), and the style popularized by Empress Eugenie, France's last Empress and wife of Louis-Napoleon (Napoleon III) nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. Hand painted face screen pair in paper mâché of the French style, lots of gold, loads of charm. Face screens were always near a fireplace, at the ready for guests who might come to visit, and who's winter warmth in the old chateau, mansion, castle, was left to sitting near the booming fire. The need for a screen to keep one's face from blotching from the heat was addressed by these charming hand-held face screens. Not a fan, as some interpret them. Make-up of the era (if any) had some wax base, and heat and face sweating would make it run. These were the defense of culture against the onslaught of what otherwise was necessary: big fireplaces to heat the rooms. Now they're charming as intended, but also great for mantel decoration, either rested there, or hung as art. Measurements are noted on the photos.
Very good condition for age and type. We only rarely find a matching pair, for one thing, and rarer still a set that are in such good condition. A couple of flaws to note, however. You can see we've marked them for your inspection. There are no big chips on the elegantly shaped fans, but there are 2-3 edge rubs. More a roughness, really, and those can be greatly improved with a tiny dab of wood glue, clamping so the paper mâché tightens back into itself, then a wipe with black shoe polish. You'll never find them if you do that. But we want you to see the flaw and have not yet fixed it. Tip of one long turned wood handle is also missing. Again, the fix is to make the other one match it. Will leave it to our buyer.
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