This finely painted fan shows ‘Hector’s Farewell to Andromache’. This is an episode in 'The Iliad', an epic Greek poem by Homer about the Trojan War. Andromache’s pleas fail to prevent her husband Hector from joining battle with the Greeks and he is later killed by Achilles. The mother-of-pearl sticks have superb carving and piercing and add richness and lustre.

Fans were part of the language of love and romance throughout the 18th century. Although lovers never agreed on a precise code, women were certainly aware that they could use their fans to attract men.


  • Title: Hector's Farewell to Andromache
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1730/1750
  • Location: Great Britain
  • Provenance: Given by Admiral Sir Robert and Lady Prendergast
  • Medium: Gouache on paper, with carved and pierced mother-of-pearl sticks and guards

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