Face screen pair, needlepoint with a panther, and decidedly Napoleon III era motifs and colors. They have beautiful walnut lathe turned wood handles in perfect condition.
The old face screens were requisite accoutrement for any fine home in the 1800s, and were handed to guests to protect their faces from the ravages of a direct open large fireplace in the effort to warm a guest but not melt their wax-based makeup, nor turn their pale lovely cheeks a mottled pink/red from the flame. We always watch for them and have had many sets over the years. I never tire of seeing the beautiful manner in which this functional item was created. Very decorative, they range from fine pearl-inlaid and hand painted papier mache, (more typical in UK) to the embroidered, beadwork and needlepoint ones (also typical in UK) to the earlier painted paper and silk ones we find more often out of France. Works of art, all. Full measurements noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, no loss or damage to needlepoint, though one needs a little surface cleaning to the wool (see images). Handles are excellent, firmly in place, but on one screen's backside, the inner card that supports the face screen in use has a bend there where you see the open split in the black backing fabric. That means they're best for display, unless you wish to put a few minutes into reinforcing the inner card through the split. Framed or just hung as art, they'd be beautiful.
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