5712

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Fine Indian, Double-Sided Temple Fan Embellished with Fluorescent Beetle Wings

India
19th century

length of fan face: 33cm, width of fan face: 29.5cm, length of handle: 39.3cm

Sold

Provenance

UK art market

This hand fan is remarkable for its fineness and degree of preservation. Fluorescent beetle wings  have been applied as decorative devices to both sides of the fan. We are not aware of similar Indian fans decorated with beetle wings having been published.

The fan comprises a turned, wooden polychrome handle with an attached fan face of stiffened calico and strands of tightly sewn straw, embellished on both sides with embroidery, metal sequins, and dozens of almond-shaped fluorescent green beetle wings

Such fans were used ritually in temples and in temple processions, usually to fan bronze images of Krishna and other idols, in keeping with the practice of treating such images as if they are life-like.

This museum-quality fan is in excellent condition and is without losses or fading.

References

Aryan, S., Unknown Masterpieces of Indian Folk and Tribal Art, KC Aryan’s Home of Folk Art, 2005.

Hutt, J. et al, Fans from the East, Debrett/V&A, 1978.

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