Item #4241 Pierced brisé fan with painted images of the Bastille and an engraving. FAN — BASTILLE.

Pierced brisé fan with painted images of the Bastille and an engraving. [France, 1789?].

Pierced brisé sandalwood fan with ornamental and figurative cut-outs, highlighted in gouache, and a mounted hand-colored print, probably a stipple-engraving, width (when open) approx. 487 mm., height 269 mm., the sticks with floral and arabesque cut-outs, and two large cut-outs of the Bastille, enclosed in foliage and flowers, with at center a medallion-shaped mounted print, heavily over-painted, of a woman and baby; the top of each stick with cut-out stylized prison bars, the guards with several cut-out windows; the Bastille images painted brown, all three images with blue gouache borders, the cut-outs outlined in green, pink, gray and blue gouache, additional painted flowers added to the guards; bone reinforcements at rivet. Some apparent restoration to the border of the print; later painted ribbon.***

This delightful and rare brisé fan combines a sunny painted decoration with a grim reminder of the hated prison, the Bastille, whimsically stylized with its openwork slat windows. From the top of each image of the Bastille emerges a pair of reddish flags, possibly indicating its rendition, but the significance of the image is not unequivocally clear. Before the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, the prison was a recognized symbol of the monarchy’s despotism. Since this fan’s imagery includes nothing related to the chaos of that day, the opening salvo of the Revolution, it could conceivably have been produced before that.

At center is an unrelated colored stipple(?) engraving of a woman gazing at her new baby, sleeping in a cradle hanging from a tree bough. The combination of painted découpé work and a hand-colored print is unusual in fans of this period.
Item #4241

Price: $2,500.00