Fan with mother of pearl sticks backed with burgau (a type of sea snail shell prized for its iridescent, translucent quality). The guards are encased in gold inset with diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies. The gold loop is shaped to form a double 'love knot'.
The loop is stamped with a Russian hallmark, with the date also engraved on one guard.
The double paper leaf is painted on the recto with a sumptuous ballroom scene, signed 'Aman Cy'.
The verso is painted with three vignettes and a pastiche (in the manner of Watteau); signed 'Alexandre'.
Alexandre, Félix (French, b. 1823)
Fan maker to the French Imperial Court; he manufactured top quality fans between 1855 and 1875. In 1891 a consignment of 'Alexandre' fans was brought from Paris to Russia out of which eleven were selected by the Emperor Alexander III.
Watteau, Jean-Antoine (French, 1684 - 1721)
Painter, draftsman and member of the French Academy. His work is characterised by landscapes, figures from the Commedia dell'arte and rococo motifs.