Unfolding Pictures: The Marriage Fan, 1760

Thursday, April 28, 2011


The Marriage Fan
French, 1760
Presented to Queen Elizabeth II, 1947
The Royal Collection
This antique French fan with pierced mother-of-pearl sticks and guards was a gift to Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) on the day of her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip. Traditionally, those firms employed by the Royal Family make gifts of objects which represent their trade on the occasion of weddings. The Royal fan-makers of Duvelleroy presented this fan to the Queen to add to her collection of similar antique fans (most of which had been assembled by her grandmother Queen Mary).

The fan’s painted leaf depicts a scene of an Eighteenth Century French wedding. As was the tradition of the time, the wedding guests are shown wearing red flowers and crimson party favors—typical symbols of marriage.


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