Fan with carved and gilt mother of pearl sticks decorated with Egyptian motifs and, in the centre, the death of Cleopatra.
The double canepin leaf is painted on the recto with a scene representing the 'Banquet of Cleopatra' along the bank of the Nile. The Queen is shown reclining on a daybed in the act of dissolving her priceless pearl earring in a cup of vinegar, while Mark Antony similarly reclines opposite; signed H Viger.
This subject often formed part of cycles on Antony and Cleopatra with other subjects including for instance the Meeting of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony or the Death of Cleopatra.
Viger, H. (French, 1819 – 1879)
Painter who specialised in genre and historical subjects and miniature painting (along with painted fan leaves).